Tuesday, 1 September 2009

Long Way Home via Secret Ranches

After work I went up Tunnel and took what I call the "Secret Ranches" path back home. For the locals, it starts at the Steam Train, goes down Lomas Contadas and across to Wildcat. I love how intimate that road feels. It passes by unkempt stables, and even dissolves into a gravel stretch for twenty yards. The sunset over the hills also rocks from there.

I drilled myself on Tunnel, Grizzly Peak, and Wildcat, so was happy to take it easy and take some pictures on the Secret Ranch section. I never used to ride hard on the bike, putting in the work in spin class instead. I didn't want to associate my bike with pain and suffering. The lumbering Atlantis also discouraged hard efforts.

But lately, easy after-work cruises feel boring unless I have someone to ride with. I've actually grown to like the pain cave, especially on the more zippy Indy Fab. Also, if I take too long to get home I end up STARVING, and stuff huge handfuls of potato chips in my mouth while standing in the kitchen in a wet chamois.

Sometimes I wonder why bother with the "training." Training for what? To drop 50-year old ladies on hybrids (for the record, I smoked two tonight)? To be the bestest century rider I can be? I think it comes down to a couple of things:
1. Feeling fit, and the associated confidence to tackle tough rides.
2. Endorphins.
3. Post-ride meals taste even better.
4. If I'm going to shave my legs I'd better make a fucking effort.
5. My shaved legs will look good.

I still refuse to call it "training," though. And though tempted, I haven't committed to the lactate threshold test at the gym. I don't race. What would I do with this data?

For dinner - spinach and cheese ravioli tossed in a sauce of fresh tomatoes, anchovies, and garlic. Grilled green beans on the side. I highly recommend the Costco frozen ravioli. Nothing beats it after a mid-week ride, when I'm too tired to make a proper meal. It's a once-a-week date for me. Not glamorous, but super satisfying.

Oooh - I managed to get the stuck stem out of the frame this morning! I just put a wheel into the fork, which gave me enough leverage to twist it out. Should have thought of this on Sunday.

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