[Thanks for the snot rocket tips, guys! I'm going to fully make use of them later this week.]
One reason why I rode nearly every day last week was the weather forecast for the weekend: it was going to rain from Saturday to Monday.
All for the best, probably, as my left calf is still stiff and generally refusing to cooperate. But three days of sitting around? Even the internet can’t keep me entertained for that long...!
I dutifully worked my arms and abs and then hopped on the track bike for some intervals on Saturday. Taken from last month’s Bicycling magazine, it looked something like this [and yes, I did it in those beat down shoes]:
Go all out - 5 seconds Rest - 30 seconds Go all out again - 30 seconds Rest - 30 seconds Go all out and try not to die - 60 seconds Rest - 3 minutes
I did that three times and by the last minute-long interval, I pretty much wanted to fall over. We should all get S.H.I.I.T done once in a while, but the thing is, I know I’m not doing them right. The warm up, cool down, and rest periods between those intervals are supposed to be done at a high cadence of around 90rpm. Even though I’m spinning on my lower gearing of 46/17, anything above 80rpm has the back of my rollers bouncing around and my rear wheel swinging from side to side. If I was doing this on flat ground outside, I’d spin out before I reached 90rpm.
Obviously, that plan wasn’t written with the single-speed in mind.
But with rain outside and a weekend’s worth of time in front of my computer, I did a little research. I scoured all the [women’s] fitness blogs I’m currently obsessed with, googled, and came up with...very little. Most of the blogs out there are maintained by runners or triathletes; cyclists with blogs are predominately male and/or pros. And while it’s helpful to know that so-and-so can crank out 4000 watts in one hour, or that someone climbed 392,033,919,365 feet yesterday, it’s just not that relevant to me, my lack of gears, or my pillowy legs. To complicate things further, the training programs that I could find usually require at least 12 hours of riding a week; no bueno when I can probably realistically manage, at most, 10.
Okay, yeah, I could probably cut 2 hours out of somewhere and figure out a way to ride. But at the risk of this sounding like another poor excuse, I’m actually sort of afraid that a 12 hr/week program complete with 2hr rides followed by sprints are going to make my knees melt. That might be an irrational fear, but I know how my knees feel after anything over 3 hours. To throw down 4, rest a day, then get back on to do a 2 hour ride, week after week, might actually make my knees pop.
But never one to give up - I admit, the single-speed thing is totally my fault - I have a bit of a plan. It’s not fully formed yet, but things seem to be coming together. Slowly but surely, on one little gear.