Cinderella Conditioning Ride – 2-14-15

What a great day for a Cinderella Conditioning Ride

One of the ways I get myself in riding shape as winter transitions into spring is to help out with the ladies who are getting ready to ride in the Feather Pedals’ annual Cinderella Classic, a women’s only cycling event that is held in the San Ramon and Livermore valleys every April. Many of the riders are experienced, but there are always lots of ladies for whom this is the first organized cycling event they’ve ever contemplated doing. They need help understanding the rules of the road, and how to get themselves from the starting line to the finish without incident (and while having fun).

So, I get to help out, and I get miles under my belt without having to subject myself to hammer-fest shop rides. (Nothing against those, but frankly, I’m not ready after taking two years off to rehab a back injury).

Today’s ride took us out to Little Tuscany through the hills of Livermore and the wineries. And because I’m sometimes Wrong-Way Selby, I took a couple of wrong turns and added several unplanned miles to my route, along with some additional climbing that wasn’t planned for the day. But I suspect I this was my subconscious reaction to the gorgeous weather we had today.

California is in the midst of an epic drought, and I should be wishing for rain, but on a day like today, when I could ride in February not only without thermals on, but without arm or knee warmers beyond the first hour, I have a hard time being worried about that today.

I mean, take a look at this:

How can you comCinderella Conditioning Rideplain about a drought when you get to ride in weather like this in February? I will share a secret with you. Featured prominently on my section of the Dream Board in our house is a cycling trip to Tuscany. So getting to ride in pseudo-Tuscany in the Livermore valley today was pretty amazing.

I also learned that I’m not quite ready to push myself beyond 40 miles. I will communing with my foam roller tomorrow morning in a big way.

This was the 5th planned Cinderella Conditioning ride, and the 4th that actually took place (last weekend was, quite literally, a washout). I spent two years getting myself ready to get back on the bike and one thing I have really noticed that is different from when I was riding before is that my core is a lot stronger and more engaged when I ride, and I’m generating a lot more power as I pedal.

I’m not a fast rider by any measure, but prior to my injury my typical average speed on a ride like this would have been between 11 and 12 mph. Today’s ride I averaged 14.3, and could have gone faster for much of it if we hadn’t been on multi-use trails where going over 15 mph is frowned upon (and can actually earn you a ticket, not to mention being dangerous to runners, children, dogs and older folks out for a stroll). I have to credit two rounds of T-25, a round of PiYo and having just completed Insanity Max: 30 for this. All three of those programs put a lot of emphasis on core work and I’m benefiting from that on the bike.

 

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