Sunday, November 28, 2010

Post Thanksgiving Greenway Ride

With my eye set on a mileage goals for 2010, there has been very little time for recreational riding. Way back in January, I told my riding buddies I was shooting for 10,000K for the year, inspired by the lead of Dallas RBA Dan Driscoll. That averages out to a 200K nearly every week of the year. With several volunteer commitments on my calendar, I had to make every ride "count" -- it had to carry RUSA credit so it could be added to the yearly total. That meant I gave up the fast Saturday rides with the Gyros, a local riding club. It also meant lots less riding just for the sake of riding. There were very few 50-mile pick-up rides on Sundays. Instead, I'd hunt down Deaner and do one of his 100K permanents.

I wound up averaging about 1100K a month, hitting the 10,000K mark in early October. I really enjoyed all the rides, all the camaraderie, all the adventures. Physically, all that riding wasn't that tough. Grinding out the miles -- hey, that's what we randonneurs do. As the season wore on, I found I really liked all that time on the bike. Ten, 11, 12 was great time to be out there in the sun, or the rain, or the wind and fog. I stopped worrying about finish times and just enjoyed the day. It's probably a good thing that I put time goals aside. All that distance riding with no speed work took its toll. After several long events over the summer, including a 1000K in California, my endurance was fantastic, but my speed? Not so much. Thankfully, with the longer events behind me, my form is returning.

So, this has been a great year of  riding, one of my best seasons ever. The distance goal gave my randonneuring a new focus and took me to new places, literally and metaphorically. Will I repeat it in 2011? Doubtful. The focus next year will be PBP. I'll continue the R-12 events, get a series early in the year, work in more speed work, swim more regularly, drop 10 pounds. The plan is to train more, ride less.

What prompted all this reflection was a post-Thanksgiving ride on Raleigh's extensive greenway system. I rolled out on one of my fixed gears and enjoyed a slow cruise through the spectacular fall trees. The city has signed many of the trails since my last ride.....

A light rain was falling, the perfect conditions to capture a swamp crossing near Raleigh Boulevard.

 A perfect day, under grey wet skies, to ride a bike for no reason at all.


Vance Ricks said...

Great photos, Mike. But in light of your subsequent posting about your ride this weekend, it's hard to make sense of your claims that your speed is "not so much"!

Congrats again on your current, and future, milestone(s).

Rob E. said...

Too bad I was too lazy. For the two years before this, Doug, Kelly (both from 1304), and I have gone on the "Raleigh-go-round" where we circle the city using as much of the Greenways as possible. This year I decide the weather would be better on Saturday or Sunday, but Saturday found me in Durham and Sunday turned into a work day. But if you think you can ride at our leisurely pace, keep it in mind for next year.