07 February 2010

A different ride

I joined a group of TCC cyclists to ride up and down the Arakawa.

It was a beautiful day - very crisp air, with extremely good visibility.

However, an initially modest headwind which we were able to take in pace line at around 32km/h turned into gale force winds which slowed us down sometimes to a creeping 20km/h, blowing us nearly off the path and at one point almost into the traffic.

I would have never been able to motivate myself to go through this permanent wall of wind without the pressure to cycle with a group, and a fast one it was.

The return ride was great fun - skippering our bikes in the wind. On a longer stretch free of any lurking dangers I accelerated easily up to 60km/h. With a better ratio than 50:12, I could have done even more.

It was also fun to be with such a strong group. Constant motivation to put in a lot of power - accelerating, sprinting, facing the wind. I find it hard to do this by myself in the flat.

The result has been my first ever muscle ache after cycling. I didn't feel particularly exhausted after 133km of riding, but the frequent sprinting must have added an extra degree of exercise that I normally don't get.

I hope there will be more soon.

P.S. for ardent believers in the accuracy of cycling computers that measure altitude gain: I did 470m in this very flat terrain! I'm so proud of myself...

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