So after the debacle of too much biking, I settled down to read the Junior Woodchuck Guide to recovery. I took most of the next week off, scaling back my gym workouts, etc, and when it appeared Fluffy the Cat would be unable to ride, I planned to re-visit Banks to Vernonia.
Unfortunately, my legs were still toast when Saturday rolled around and my motivation was already at the top of the climb...but I was still in bed. Since my motivation had such a large head start on me, i elected to skip it entirely and sped the day watching Hard Knocks reruns.
What, you think I made the wrong decision? Child...please.
I did go to the gym a couple times this week, and this evening Smokey the Bear's wife suggested he needed a ride...and I know I needed a ride but would probably not get one in tomorrow. Checking the Junior Woodchuck Guidebook's weather page, we elected to ride Fanno Creek Trail after work.
Unfortunately, overworking your legs and then over resting them is not, despite all received wisdom to the contrary, a good way to build up leg strength and pedaling speed.
So I set off with the speed of an elephant and the strength of a cheetah. Had I but consulted the Junior Woodchuck Guidebook, those efforts might have been reversed. I did not...I also neglected to check the Junior Woodchuck Guidebook to maps, had a brain cramp, and was riding the bike lane-less Allen Boulevard in rush hour traffic.
So instead of a nice, leisurely ride to where I was meeting Fluffy the Cat for our evening ride, I pushed myself hard to get past the dangerous portion of my ride as quickly as possible and by the time I arrived at the trail head I had averaged nearly 17 mph. Of course, it was less than 2 miles, so pushing that hard is no big deal.
We then set off on a nice, leisurely ride. (Have I mentioned I LOVE the map my ride app?)
Sadly, I was pedaling with all the oomph of a vaguely spastic rutabaga. There were spurts of pedaling brilliance...I actually had my highest speeds going UP hills. By far. I was power-pedaling from the base of the hill to the crest, increasing speed on almost every hill.
It was honestly as close as I have ever come to the mythical "dancing up hills" biking nirvana. The downside is flats and downhills had me noodle-legging it along at frenetic paces that can only be exceeded by the speedsters of the animal kingdom. Like...anything faster than a slug. That has been salted.
Fluffy the Cat was less noodle-legged, proving this when he totally velodromed me for about a quarter mile just as the ride was coming to an end, sprinting for about a quarter mile at speeds in excess of 23 mph.
In the end it was a beautiful night for a ride, and checking in at a shade over 20 miles was perfect. We got back in the flow, we got a ride in, it was relaxed, and the rutabaga will be vanquished on the next ride.
All hail the Junior Woodchuck Guide to Cyclings wisdom on maintaining the gains you have made by not skipping it for two or three weeks...
Another ride is in my future. Will Fluffy come along?