Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Keeping Up with Leslie

When Leslie and I were talking about riding on Monday (as we often do) she told me that she tries to keep a 20mph pace on flats and an 11-12 mph pace on hills. Leslie is really the person that has taught me the most about riding and I really look up to her. I've had a rough couple of days and decided a game was what I needed for today's ride: Keep Up With Leslie.

I did okay on the flats. 20mph is not my most comfortable pace...I couldn't do it for 70 miles, but to ride to and from Tabor I did fine. When I got to the first hill I was like, "Okay, start at your normal pace and see how far you have to go." Normal pace: 8.5mph. Darn it. Well, clearly, 12 mph is out of the question. How about 10 mph. That seems attainable.

The whole way up the Lincoln side I struggled to see that blasted 1 and 0. 9.5, 9.6, 9.7, oh damn, 9.5. On the last little stretch I hit 10.0 for a split second before I lost it. Coming up the Salmon side I got to 10.0 a couple of times, but I couldn't hold it. I imagined seeing Leslie's svelte figure 50 feet ahead of me. 12 miles an hour! 12 miles an hour! How the hell does she go 12 miles an hour?

I decided to do the big steep hill on Yamhill for my third run. That was laughable. It looks really scary so I geared down to my granny gear as I was going down. That put me at a measly 7mph going up the hill.

For my last climb I did the sweeping road past the resevoir and for that I can do 11-12 mph. Though, not the whole way. But, hey, I still did it.

Riding home I was in the best mood. My game had kept me thoroughly entertained and my admiration for Leslie was as high as ever. Checking my clock when I parked my bike I realized that by just TRYING to keep up with Leslie I had shaved 11 minutes off my Tabor time. And, that made me very happy, indeed.


  1. Wow! 11 minutes is a great gain. My progression in thinking (if not performance) is to focus on maintaining a high side cadence (~90-105) rather than mph. When you can maintain it at a distance then gradually you can work on keeping in a higher gear longer on climbs. I worked on some trainers this winter and shifting that focus really seemed to help my workout and endurance. Happy cycling!

  2. I'm so excited for you and bummed for me. Where do you get your energy and your 'push'? You are inspirational and dad-gum iritating with all that improvement :@)

    Sounds like I have issues.......shhhhhh....

  3. Christian,
    I think working on your cadence is the best thing about having to use a trainer. Here in Portland, we have good weather all year so there is really no need. I know mine is too low (about 70) and I definitely need to work on that. Happy cycling to you!

    Ms. S,
    Thanks! You are so sweet. I just love to work hard because it is then that my mind is most quiet. Things that have bothered me for years I've resolved in one really hard bike ride.