First time on a bike outside the city limits in a very long time

Two weeks after my first Ironman in Kalmar last year I traveled to Tjörn for a half IM. It is truly one of my favorite races in Sweden. A simple straight forward swim course, that is wide open so no need to fight other swimmers, biking on a loop twice so you can push yourself the second time around and really get a feel if you are speeding up or slowing down and a run course that is 3+ laps around the coastal city. As far as I can remember that was the last time I was on a bike outside city limits.

Eleven months later or about 10 months too late I am back on a bike. Managed to get in a 100k ride home yesterday on my Cross.

I took it slow, since I knew it was not going to be easy. As I leave Mörrum I take it nice and easy. I gear up and down, and never really feel I have to push hard with my legs. I also notice that I should have pumped my tires before leaving but now it is too late. It’s very up and down the first 45km, but mostly up. It’s not easy to get up speed on a cross. I have two gels and two bottles with me. At the halfway point I have taken on gel and still have more than one bottle left. As the course starts to flatten out, the rain comes. At first it was just a drizzle and I was able to pick up the pace. But then during the 55-65km I had to slow down because I could not see more than 15-20m in front of me. Once the rain stops I am able to pick up the speed ever so slightly. I also notice that now I am drinking more often, and even take my second gel. Maybe I was not drinking enough the first half, or I am just bored. I tend to eat and drink more than needed when bored.

During the first 70km I was having problems my hands going numb but it felt really good to be riding through the country side. Sometime in the 70-80 km my back started tighten up. I stop to pee and stretch my back, and then push on. The only difference in the last 30km is that I do not push up the hills, I gear down and lightly pedal up. Luckily for me that last 6-8km was through the city so I got up on the bike trail and just relaxed all the way home.

After I get off the bike, I notice that it is really only my lower back that is sore. My legs feel fresh and I feel like I am full of energy. The last 2-3 years I have had problems with my butt, cramping in my inner thighs and fatigue. So even though I barely managed to hold 27km/h (16.7mph) I think I will be able to hold 30 km/h in Kalmar.

You can see my ride here.

During the coming 3 weeks I am going to do my best to get several distance rides on my cross, but also quality time on my time trial (TT). If my back was sore after just half an IM riding on a cross, how is it going to feel going twice the distance on a TT. If I am going to be racing with my high profile wheels I will need to put them on my TT for training. Don’t want to get to Kalmar and be nervous to be on my bike every time the wind blows.

I woke this morning coughing and stiff in my back. I had a pretty bad swimrun workout Friday, so maybe both that swimrun and yesterdays bike ride could have been better if I was healthy.

So now I am going to do my best to rest today, and then really focus on Kalmar.

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