I have still been biking but not taking very many pictures as I am trying to get faster again so stopping to snap pics is not in the plans usually.
Late Jan., early Feb., I emailed a biking coach explaining that I wanted to be able to go on group rides this summer and wasn't able to keep up with others so what was more likely to help my performance a road bike or going on group rides. His wife emailed me back saying that I needed both. So, I decided to get a road bike (sure wish I hadn't sold my Bianchi). After our tax return came, I found a great deal on an older (1995) carbon fiber bike on craigslist.
It's really lightweight and rides SO different from my touring bike. This one is twitchy, meaning that it moves very easily....which can be both good and bad. As a result, it feels less stable but I've not had any problems staying on it, or it staying on the road. In fact, I was biking pretty quickly one day and someone almost turned left in front of me so I hit the brakes hard. The front wheel started wobbling side to side and I had trouble regaining control for a few seconds. It was scary, I thought I was going to get run over for sure. Anyway, the person stopped in time and I regained control without a spill. So it's plenty stable. The problem is that I am coming from driving a tank to driving a little Porsche...they just handle completely differently but both are safe.
After I bought the bike, I got a call from the coach himself. He gave me a program to follow so I can work on my speed. His program consisted of riding on the trainer 3 days in a row, then taking one day off. Then do that cycle again and again and again. While riding, I am supposed to push myself as hard as I can. I started at 20 minutes. I felt like I was going to throw up and die that first ride but after that first one, I usually just feel like I'm going to die. :o) As I got comfortable with my speed on that 20 minute ride, I bumped it up to 30. Most of my weekday evening rides are still 30-35 minutes but my weekend rides (when I get one) are about 1 1/2 hours. Those loner rides are slower than the short ones, of course. I did that faithfully for a while and noticed a huge improvement. I have slacked off a bit though lately and my speed has suffered but I am still a few MPH faster than I had been so I am happy. I still hope to improve as the year goes on and actually join his team on some rides. I am itching for a longer ride so hopefully I'll be able to get one in soon.
So, that being said, I've taken the camera along on some of my longer rides. Spring is definitely here and has been since March so everything is green.
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