Don’t slow down!

DSC00366I found out today that I can make my commute home as hard as I want it to be.

The new bike came with a basic computer attached and though I haven’t inputted the tire dimensions yet, it still shows the time on the display. So a few days ago, out of curiosity, I figured out what my normal cadence is. I counted 70 rotations per minute on a flat strip of road.

When I got out of work today I was pretty tired. I needed something to perk up the ride home, so I decided to see how long I could keep my cadence up between 80-90rpm. Ten minutes in and my legs were beginning to burn, I slowed for a bit to take a drink out of my water bottle and then started plugging at it again.

Soon I was struggling to control my breathing so I downshifted while still maintaining that punishing (for me) cadence. Since last Tuesday when I got the bike I have felt so powerful on it, but now my legs were quickly turning into little lumps of jelly.

While going up a hill, I started to whimper like a little lost puppy and I thought to myself, “This is how you are supposed to climb a hill.” I made it up the hill without going below 85rpm and I have never been so happy to coast down the other side of that hill in my life.

With a mile and half remaining, my side started to cramp, so I picked a sign a quarter-mile away to be my breaking point. It felt so uncomfortable, but at the same time so fulfilling to push my legs to stay at the right speed until I reached that sign.

The rest of the ride home I went really slow. I guess my ten mile commute is only as easy as I let it be!

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20 thoughts on “Don’t slow down!

    • I am starting to find that out…
      It is so strange-on my MTB with studded tires I never felt like voluntarily pushing my limits, but my new bike is a whole different story 🙂

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      • It gets worse. Now you’re playing with cadence. One day someone will say something like, “if you get out of the saddle, hills are easier” and then you’re going to be like “hmmm….” Next thing you know you’re blasting up every frikking hill you can find and the only thing that stops you is the fact that your legs have literally turned to mush inside your skin.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. And then you’ll “discover” how fun it is to ride LONG distances without worrying about speed or cadence or anything except what God is showing you as you ride, inhale, see, feel, experience. So MANY facets to this hobby/sport we love.

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  2. Nice bike. Great attitude. Keep experimenting and testing yourself. Be sure to mix it up – flat rides, climbs, descents, fast rides, tempo tides, training rides, recreational rides … In time, you’ll learn to mix it up on every ride and want to do longer rides.

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  3. It’s so interesting to see your growing excitement with the new bike and riding style! Makes me really nostalgiac for my first time on a “fast” bike. Keep it up, it makes for great reading!

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  4. Awesome! Your cadence will come around. What you’re feeling is pretty normal, so don’t sweat it. Just keep plugging away. You’ll find that you’ll be able to sustain it longer as you keep at it. Before long, you’ll feel odd trying to go back to your slower cadence. Now, when you feel your legs burn or your breathing get out of whack, try shifting to a higher gear (harder), slow your cadence and use your muscles till your breathing catches up.

    I’m so happy for you, for how everything worked out. You’re doing great!

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