A certain amount of riding lethargy seems to have set in since Saturday’s ride. I think that’s partly brought on by the fact that I feel I didn’t do all that well, and I went back to work this week after a nice couple of weeks off, and the temperature has been brutal lately – it may hit 100° F (38° C) every day this week. Not exactly welcome riding conditions.
I was thinking about the ride and how welcome the rest stops were. The volunteers at the stops were quick to fill water bottles with ice before letting you top off with water or sports drink. Sometimes, there were tables and chairs under canopies where riders could plop for awhile and regather their strength for more time on the road.
Those kinds of rest stops are missing from regular weekend rides. Usually, it’s just pedal like crazy until the halfway point is reached, then take a break, then pedal back to the start. I was stunned on my first club ride that the distance was just as long as my first organized ride, but the sole rest stop lasted all of five minutes.
I like to take breaks. If I’m out on a weekend ride by myself, I’ll usually stop after the first hour and take a breather. That depends on the length of the ride, of course – if I won’t be out for more than an hour and a half, I might not take a break, but just pop some Shot Bloks and drink while pedaling. If the ride will be two hours or more, I’ll stop at one hour and rest, refill my water bottles, maybe eat a little something, and then start again. That’s just the way I approach my rides. I’m not trying to break any speed records, and there’s no point in hammering away.
I really enjoyed one club ride about a month ago. We rode for a good 25 miles before stopping, but when we did stop, it was excellent. We pulled over at a small independent coffee shop that had some tables and chairs on a patio out back. The patio was shaded by some old live oaks, and a cooling breeze wafted through the branches. The coffee shop sold Gatorade, too, so we could replenish our electrolytes. We sat around and talked – and talked – and talked.
One of the riders got impatient, and wanted to get going again. We let him go. No one wanted to move. We probably spent a half hour there before remounting and starting the return leg. Probably not everyone’s idea of how to rest during a ride. But for a guy who’s just out to enjoy a Saturday morning on the bike, it was a great break.