After a week off the bike because of the derailleur situation, I went out for a 26-mile ride Saturday morning. I wondered if the time off would make it harder for me to climb hills and maintain a strong pace. I needn’t have worried. My hill climbing was stronger. Higher speeds came easier. The week-long layoff did me good.
That got me wondering — what’s the point of diminishing returns? How much time does it take before being off the bike translates into a noticeable loss of power and endurance?
Riding without a cell phone
I was making preparations to leave on my Saturday morning ride, but I couldn’t find my cell phone. It wasn’t anywhere in the house that I could see. It wasn’t left in the car. Then I remembered. At work Friday, I plugged it into a charger. I must have left Friday afternoon and forgotten to take it with me.
Saturday was the first day in forever that I had ridden without a cell phone. Funny how important those things have become. Always, in the back of my mind, I was thinking: “What if I crash? What if I need help for some reason?” It was an extra careful ride.
Sunday, I rode with my wife, who had her own phone with her. But when she finished, I decided to head back out for another 12 miles or so. It was a little easier for me this time, and I wasn’t constantly thinking about the missing phone. But you can bet I’ll make sure it’s with me when I leave work from now on.
Funny — it wasn’t that many years ago that we rode anywhere without them.
While riding with my wife this morning, she said, “For Christmas, I’d like a pair of those biking capris.”
“You know, the bike tights that stop just below the knee.”
“Oh, those are called knickers.”
“Yeah — I want some.”
“I thought you wanted new cycling shoes?”
“Oh yeah — I want those too.”
Looks like it’ll be a cycling Christmas around our house.
My wife has become a big fan of Pearl Izumi “thermal” gear. She even said, “You are buying me the thermal jacket . I can wear it at work when it gets cold …” Talk about wearing your cycling gear as your regular clothes 😀
I’d say you hit the sweet spot at one week off. In my experience, after that you lose form. Up to a week, the time off makes your legs that much more fresh.
Think of relief pitchers in baseball. Fresh or rusty?
I’ve had the same experience. I usually have great rides after 5 to 7 days off the bike.
Used to ride without a cell phone all the time (they weren’t invented yet). Did ok back then. Now it’s “OMG, I forgot my cell!”
Bike stuff for Christmas!!!!!
I have been riding bikes and training for close to 15 years. I have noticed that 2 days after a really hard training session is when I feel strongest. My coach says that it is not the actual hard training that makes you stronger; it is the recovery period where you actually gain power as muscle is being rebuilt to handle the next session. Proper recovery is essential. I like http://www.bikepartsexpress.com/C49_0017/EB5540.html I have found that after 3 days off the bike, I start to get less powerful. Then it takes me 1 day back on the bike to feel strong again.
Spent 2 weekends in a row on the trainer because of bad weather doing considerably less hours. Then, I got a nice day and had a super ride. I think getting away for that short period helped boost my enthusiasm.
P.S. I’m hoping for new shoes under the tree as well : )