The Ins and Outs of an Ordinary Life

Saturday, August 06, 2011

Rolling in the Deep

The bike club has 6 levels of rides -- A, B+, B, C+, C and D (A is the fastest and D is the slowest). Each level has a ride coordinator. I am the D ride coordinator. That is the level for which it is most difficult to get rides posted because many D riders -- aka D(ivas), without regard to gender-- don't feel secure enough in their skills to lead a ride. Many of them cannot change a flat, and they worry about that, among other things. If nobody else steps up to lead a D ride, then I will usually post one. All my rides are named with song titles (That also gives me the option of posting a link to a music video in the ride description, which is always kinda fun).

Most D ride leaders try to find "easy" rides, relatively flat (which is very difficult in Westchester County), and usually less than 25 miles. My philosophy is different. I find a ride that is challenging for D riders (and there's alot to choose from) and then I just go slow. I try to push my D(ivas) to ride stronger and longer. Last week I did a hill ride for the D(ivas)-- Hot Fun in the Summertime-- 25 miles with 1800 ft elevation (73 ft/mile is hilly), and today I did a long ride, 41 miles but kept it as flat as I could (54 ft/mile). Today's ride was Rolling in the Deep. Many of us had to dig a little deep to get through the last 5 miles, which was more uphill than down.

Not everyone wants to be pushed to ride stronger and longer. I was glad that 9 D(ivas) came out for the challenge today. The speed of the group did vary quite a bit, which means I often had to wait for the slower people, but I promised 41 slow miles, and I was happy to see them complete the ride.

The only way you are going to get stronger is by pushing yourself. After today's ride, I hope these D(ivas) will not be afraid to take on the challenge of a longer or more difficult (hillier) ride. It's worked for me, although I am still "slow twitch."

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