Wednesday, April 18, 2012
Fit for a spin?
We will be traveling a little heavier from now on as I purchased a bike from Koop's Cycling. Phil over there helped me out a lot and even "lead" me on a ride as I'm still learning the streets. We did a short 10k in his approximation. I would guess even less. The bike is meant for long endurance rides so it has a more relax geometry, but it still has some mad acceleration power. It fit very well and I was tossed in a bit of extras for the asking price. I got pedals, a cage, a bottle, and a kit with bag. I then added on shoes (discounted 20%), helmet (discounted 20%), lights, and a computer. I wont post the price, but it seemed like a good deal. He is also going to box the bike up when I'm ready to return so I can get it shipped or fly with it.
I was invited to join their Tuesday Night Sweat Fest known to the locals as their winter trainer ride. Phil greeted me with a smile and pointed to the trainer I would be using. I set up my bike and he joked that he was going to put the resistance at hard so he could make me work. The group was made up all different ages, abilities, and styles of bikes. My first impressions, I'm going to enjoy riding with this group on the trainers and on the road. I set up next to a friendly woman Marla, who offered to give me a ride home each week as the New Zealand drivers don't really respect bikers and it can get crazy dark even with lights.
For the training session, we did ladders last night incrementing with time and resistance. Phil kept checking in on me and commented that I was already sweating on the warm-up. For those who know me, I tend to sweat a lot. During soccer games, I would get the salt lines on my face and jersey. We listened to hits from the 70s to 90s and I sang along to a few of them. Marla joked that I wasn't working hard enough, even though we were on our 2nd hardest gear of the night and spinning at 100 rpm. I would just count my rpm during the 3rd and 4th hardest gear as I moved down most of my cassette. It felt really good to get out and interact with the locals. I'm sure I'll be riding with them soon enough on the road.
Today my legs are in need of some TLC. I need to stretch really good. I wish I would have brought my foam roller. I'll make do with Beth's lacrosse ball for the places with lots of tension. In the last couple days, I put on some good miles running and my first intense riding since last July when I hurt my hamstring. FYI: As everything is in km here I will be posting in the future in kph, But for the initial post I will calculate it back to mph for your sanity. I rode about a mile last night at 54 kph (33 mph) and held steady for the rest of the trip about 3 miles, other than hills, at 40 kph (24mph).
Phil also said I was welcome to join in on the weekend festivities of group rides. Saturday is their hard day with a much longer distance and I'm guessing we get to hit the hills we have been winding down and up with our adventures inland. Sunday is more relaxed with about 2/3 the distance. Both days have an 'A' and 'B' group. I'll play it safe and take the slower day as I haven't put much distance on my legs yet this year. Phil will probably move me up to 'A' as I beat him up a few hills on my test ride.
Here is to safe riding and learning the streets of Tauranga and the rest of the Bay of Plenty.