Monday, 20 June 2011

7,806 calories up in smoke

7,806 calories seems quite a lot if you imagine eating that many calories in a day.  But what about burning that many calories in one day?  On Saturday I did just that!

The week before was my biggest ride, but on Saturday I still wanted to get in a descent ride.  It was raining cats and dogs, or raining ropes as the French would say when translated into english, but I couldn't afford to miss the training opportunity.

Due to the bad weather it was a bit chilly and I had to wear my trusted red jacket from the offset.  Every super hero has his or her cape or his or her mask, and I have my trusted red waterproof jacket that will get me through any kind of weather.

I didn't want to go into the Alps and do lots of ascending as it would have been too cold, especially on the descents, so I set off from the apartment and went round the lake.  I got to Rapperswil in a reasonable time and then continued round the lake to Richterswil where I decided to do at least some ascending and headed towards Einsideln.  Before reaching Einsideln I took one of my favourite routes as of late - I took the turn off to Hütten and then at the village of Finstersee I turned off the main road and did a very nice quiet ascent where you hardly see a soul save for the cafe at the top.

I could have continued on to Zug after descending back down to Finstersee, but I chose instead to retrace my steps and go back along the lake in the opposite direction.  Anny had a friend over to stay for the weekend and they were exploring Rapperswil, so as I passed Rapperswil for the second time of the day I stopped and met up with them for a nice big plate of pasta.  I decided as I was burning so many calories I could afford a tiramisu, but this was to turn out to be a big mistake.  For the rest of the ride the tiramisu didn't really want to be digested, and decided to hang around in my stomach.

After the lunch stop I injected some pace into the ride, and for the remainder of the ride I hardly went below 30km/h except at traffic lights.  Once I reached Zürich I looked at my GPS and it showed I had done 75 miles.  La Marmotte is 105 miles, so I decided I would continue along the Thalwil side of the lake until the GPS read 89 miles and then head back home, so that the total distance would be the equivalent of La Marmotte.

Usually when I cycle on the flat I start to get lower back ache after 50 miles or so.  Strangely enough this doesn't happen when I am climbing hills, one more reason as if I need one to love hills.  As this ride was mostly flat I was worried that my back would start aching.  Most of the time on long rides I cycle with my hands resting on top of the handlebar stem, maintaining quite an upright position on the bike.  I had assumed that this position would minimise my back ache.  However, on Saturday I spent a lot of time on the handlebar drops, in a more streamlined racing position, and actually I found that my back felt much better.  Maybe this helps to stretch my back and the aching usually comes from it being overly compressed.  I would need to do some more rides like this to find out if it was just chance, or whether it really is better for my back if I maintain a racing position.  But one thing is for sure - even if it is not better for the back it certainly helps reduce the drag from the wind and improve the average speed.

This week I will do a few more hour long, faster rides to keep the cobwebs at bay, but I won't be doing anything crazy this late in the game.  A longer ride at the weekend is possible, but I will take it easy and there won't be much vertical ascent.  Whatever is done is done and whatever hasn't been done can't be caught up now.  Que sera sera, whatever will be will be.................

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