Wednesday, September 1, 2010

this time of year

there is something absolutely fabulous about riding a bike this time of year.
it feels like fall, even though it isn't truly fall yet, and we are probably just getting a sneak preview, but I love it.
the air feels crisp and clean, and the sun shines brightly but without the intensity of a just a week or two ago. the temperature allows you to put an extra layer on, but not the two extra layers you need a little further down the calendar road. trees are still green, flowers are still happily blooming, but the pressure of a hot, heavy, dry summer is past.
this is excellent bike riding weather.

this morning I rode after the kids were all gone to school, and it was a blissfully still day. tailwinds and headwinds so light as to be insignificant, the kind of day where you feel like you get a true sense of how you ride. nothing is helping you, nothing is hindering you.
this is what I have discovered lately and confirmed today: headwinds and crosswinds really mess with my riding.
riding down the canyon today, only the slightest headwind occasionally pushing lightly against me, I was able to push my speed and my heartrate. when I have a strong headwind, try as I might, I have a difficult time getting my heartrate high. it's as though my legs say, uh-uh, I can't work one bit harder against this pain-in-the-but wind. I experience a similar situation to a slightly lesser degree on the ascent: the more wind in my face the harder time I have reaching my top heart rate zone.
I'm trying to understand this.
and the only thing I can come up with is that I just need to develop more strength in my legs. that with too much wind (resistance) I just hit a point where I can't work any harder, and that point is lower than I'd like it to be.
now of course this is simply susan's assessment of susan, and a Real Coach might have a much better explanation.

all I know for certain is that today was absolutely lovely, and I loved every wind-gust-free moment of my ride.
blue skies, sixty degrees, green trees and the smell of damp earth everywhere, today brought home to me how much I love riding this time of year.

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