On Monday I decided to be nice to my body and do some casual climbs up Mandeville and Bundy – two of the most popular climbing spots in Brentwood. Something must be changing with my body because it felt really easy and painless (even the final push on Mandeville when the grade increases from six to ten percent). There is nothing like a low-intensity ride to make the training process doable.
In the afternoon, I made a trip to REI and finally obtained two very important items: Pearl Izumi's Sugar cycling knickers (with the world's best chamois), and full-fingered gloves. Spring is deceptive in Los Angeles, and on some occasions the morning temperatures in places like Mandeville can get dangerously cold. During Chad's 30-30, I rode dangerously underdressed and stopped being able to feel my fingers. This was grave news for my considering that cycling is a sport that depends on manual dexterity for safety. Eeek! So rest assured, dear readers, that I have no intention of freezing on my 6AM training rides around the west side of LA. Total Miles: 30.
On Tuesday, I rolled out of the house at 6AM on the dot to do my morning training AND make it to work on time (that plan was successful). On my way up 26th, I saw all of the LaGrange morning riders preparing for their weekly spin down to the marina. I rode on without them down San Vicente. On my way back from the marina, I was overtaken by their pack. For just a second I understood why pack riding is so appealing: everyone was talking and pushing themselves and they were entirely visible to morning drivers. Chad was with them and we talked for all of 20 seconds.
I am not fast enough for LaGrange, but being around them in the middle of my 30-30 did raise an interesting thought for me. Over the last week or so I haven't suffered from any lethargy after a ride. The training has been working, but I worry that I have hit a plateau of sorts.
All of this means that my normal pace is no longer pushing me on a day-to-day basis and I need to change my gearing to get a better workout or I need to start switching things up. I suppose I can wait until the 30-30 (or even the LifeCycle) ends to really push my thresholds. But something needs to change if I'm going to see any improvements. Total miles (including commute): 34.
In other news, I have decided that I need to spend at least as much time on my research as I do on my bicycle saddle. It seems kind of obvious, but as the LifeCycle takes over my life in the coming weeks, this will prove to be quite a challenge. In other eco/community news, I plan to attend a screening of The Garden tonight at UCLA. I'll post my Day 10 entry once I ride home.