Last week I rode too late in the day. I got burned pretty bad, like the skin on my arms is peeling. That doesn't happen to me very often. Every couple of years at the most. The joy of being used to the sun around here, it is kind of automatic.
I hear other people in different parts of the country have issues, I don't generally have problems in the heat. This morning it was already 90 plus degrees early on the ride, like before 7 am. Eventually you get used to it, and it and 90 doesn't seem that hot.
Riding at 3pm isn't fun, our hottest time of the day. Even at noon it gets pretty yucky, but it still feels better than later in the afternoon. What a weird perspective. We have already exceeded the average number of 110 degree days here. We normally see around 30 of them, not a great statistic.
I was good for around an hour on the ride, then just didn't have anything. I rode hard on the fast part, made it up the first hill, but then blah. I did win the sprint though, like you were all worried. Hit 39mph on it and decent wattage. A week ago I was doing better, and was through 2 hours riding harder. I did hit the wall at 2 hours though. I guess there is a time to take it easier and this is one of them.
I haven't had high expectations since my last race in California. I wanted to race this weekend, but didn't have a place to stay in San Diego. I will try to make it over at the end of the month, and maybe do Manhattan Beach GP. A totally fun race, out of the heat and near the beach. After that, there isn't much racing for the rest of the year.
Most of our Saturday group ride in this part of town covers our old State Championship course from back in 1985. About 10 miles from my house we used to have the International Harvester proving grounds. Yes, in the desert and all that, but they were testing plows out here.
|When the roads of the test track were first converted to streets. The area in the background is now an elementary and middle school. That is South Mountain in the far background, where the TV and radio towers are.|
This area is now a huge housing development, and the main test track was turned into a 4 lane divided road. Soon a few miles of that road will turn into a full fledged freeway. In areas of the development you can see graded roads on the hills where they used to test bulldozers and other earth moving equipment.
Back in '85 our championships were later in the year, like in June or May. It was super hot out. Like get a bottle on every 8 mile lap type hot. You could see riders melting, a total race of attrition.
I don't know if we need races like that still, or what. Amazingly we had a good turn out for it, better than we see in many races now. We also had races as late as November, a split season so to speak. It was great, you would peak in the spring for a big race, chill for part of the summer, then hit it again in the fall.
It helped string the year together better. You would rest during Thanksgiving, and then get back on the bike in December to get ready for February. You never really were off the bike very long to lose fitness and go through a monster building period. After I truly learned about periodization at the Olympic Training Center, I would just keep riding, but didn't go crazy doing intervals until early spring. That meant you could race early, but not be in peak form, and carry a bunch of stress throughout the entire season. You could ride through the waves, compete more, but not worry as much about peak form.
Now people get worried about being in peak form here in late February, and then the season falls apart right after that. Valley of the Sun SR is their world. Such a shame as there are great races all over the west, or even back east to hit. Expand your horizons and have fun somewhere else. It also takes more than 10 races per year to become a good bike racer.