Thursday I went in for a bicycle fit with my fitter, Curtis Cramblett of Revolutions in Fitness. He adjusted my saddle and my new cycling shoes and discovered that the saddle was too far back; he moved it forward. He also did some arcane magic on my new cycling shoes (the old ones were wearing out after many years of use), and told me he could get my orthopedic insoles specifically designed for cycling (yay!). After he finished, he warned me to go out on a couple short (40-mile or less) rides before going whole hog into centuries, to give my body some time to adapt.
Fortunately, I was scheduled for a “rest week” anyway, so this worked out perfectly. Every fourth week or so, you’re supposed to cut your time in the saddle by 40% to give your body some time to rest and rebuild. Cinderella was 65 miles and 5 hours, so yesterday I did 30 miles in 3 hours. Just to give myself a bit of a challenge, though, I went up Old La Honda Road to Skyline, which is a 45-minute, fairly steep climb. I haven’t done any long climbs yet this season, so I was expecting it to be difficult.
It turned out to be much easier than I expected. I had to stop a few times to wipe the sweat out of my eyes (it was quite warm, mid to high 80’s), but other than that it was no harder than going up Mt. Hamilton, except for only 45 minutes instead of four hours. I classified it mentally as “an easy climb”. Then I realized just how far I’d come, from the days when Old La Honda used to intimidate me. It’s not that I’ll always be able to do Old La Honda – I wouldn’t have wanted to tackle it early in my training – but I’ve stopped being afraid of it. One of the byproducts of training for the Death Ride, and would have been worth it all on its own. I’m pleased. Now I can go up mountains without being intimidated.
Today I’m going on another short ride – this time a fairly easy one – I think 40-45 miles. I’ll go up to Highway 92 along my usual route and then ride the Portola Loop. It’s scheduled to be another warm day, so I’m being careful to stick to areas where I know I can get water – I can carry 70 oz (a bit over 2 quarts) of water in my Camelbak, but yesterday I went through nearly a GALLON of water in just three hours!
Next week I will have to get more inventive with routes as my target is 6 hours of riding, about 75 miles at my current pace. Or maybe not. I may start by going down to Los Gatos for that yummy hot chocolate, then north to 92 and back. Week after next is Day On the Ride, which is an 82-mile ride sponsored by AIDS Lifecycle, complete with rest stops, portapotties, etc. to give participants an idea of what an actual day on the Ride would be like. I will, of course, ride in a tutu – gotta pick one of my favorites from previous years (this year’s tutus are still a tightly kept secret!).
Textile-wise, I have mostly been sewing feathers onto my peacock-feather tutu. I’ve struck up a conversation with a former ballet costume designer, and she suggests fusing the feathers on with thermoplastic dots, which would be faster than sewing – must look into this. I’m about halfway done with the feather-ing, but maybe I can use this technique on the tutu. She also had a great idea with the corset-tutu, which was to add some elastic on either side. I may change this to using elastic in the lacing, but it’s a brilliant idea and I’m very grateful for it.