February training update

Mar 1, 10:28 PM

Things are slowly warming up, and I’ve continued to build up mileage. Too much of it has been in the basement, but more and more I’ve steeled myself to ride outdoors. The unseasonable weather has helped: not that it’s been much warmer than average, but there has been less snow than in years past, so I’ve found it easier to do long road rides.

February results

I was able to keep to my training goals during this month. I even started riding outside, with a 31-mile outdoor ride on Feb. 13, a 35-mile ride on Feb. 20, and a couple of rides in and around Charleston, SC, on Feb. 25 and 27. Still, I put in a lot of miles on rollers.

  • Week of Feb. 1: 30 miles during the week, 25-mile weekend ride
  • Week of Feb. 8: 35 miles during the week, 31-mile weekend ride
  • Week of Feb. 15: 40 miles during the week, 35-mile weekend ride
  • Week of Feb. 22: 12.5 miles during the week, 42-mile weekend ride

As I’ve noted in earlier postings, the rollers did not prepare me for hills, but otherwise, training on them has given me the stamina for long rides outside. It has been exhilarating to roll through the Massachusetts countryside again. And though the week of Feb. 22 was a low-mileage week, I compensated by walking a lot in Savannah, GA, and Charleston.

The Low Country

I took my Bike Friday Express Tikit with me to South Carolina and Georgia. In Savannah, I just set it up and rode it around the block a few times to adjust the saddle and the derailleur. Back in Charleston, I used it to ride the 12.5 miles from the airport to our B&B after returning the rental car we had driven to Savannah after arriving in Charleston. I always find the Tikit to be terribly flexy after my Long Haul Trucker, but after a few minutes I get used to it. The ride from the airport went through some ugly industrial stretches, but as the sun was setting even a warehouse next to a railyard could take on a hint of beauty.

The real pleasure of the week, though, was my 42-mile weekend ride from Charleston over the Ravenel Bridge, through Mount Pleasant to the Pitt St. jetty, then out to Sullivan Island, Isle of Palms, and back. There was a stiff 15-20 mph west wind that helped me somewhat on the way out and then fought me on the way back. The ride was flat, other than the bridges, but often picturesque. In Mount Pleasant I saw a number of shorebirds, and along the islands there were stunning vacation homes, some traditional, some harmoniously modern, and some just plain weird. I’ll post some photos on Flickr in a few days.

(Update, 3/3/10: photos are now online.)

The Tikit felt fine for the ride, though I do miss a lower gear after being out for a few hours and facing the combination of a stiff headwind and a steep bridge. I’m still considering a New World Tourist with a triple or compact double, especially if I want to do a 600K brevet on a folder this summer. I’m not sure the Tikit would feel that good after two days in the saddle, even if the saddle is my Brooks Champion Flyer!

Goals for March

In March, I plan to:

  • Work up to 50+ miles during the week: a base of 30 miles, more or less, commuting to work, and two additional training rides, one devoted to hills and one to speedwork. If I want to get faster for brevets, I need to work on speed. And the series I’m doing isn’t called the Berkshire Brevets for nothing….
  • Continue extending the weekend rides from 45 through 70 miles, with some hilly stretches.
  • Take it easy the week of March 22, so I don’t overtrain.

Check back next month for a training update; more often if you want the occasional ride report.

Brian W. Ogilvie

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