Before today, I hadn't been on the bike in two months. I won't insult you with sorry excuses. I know that the only way to break the trend is to just get on the bike, so I decided last night that come hell or high water, I would ride today. With the rain we had on Friday and Saturday, I knew that it might be the latter.
I had ridden through the Fulshear area west of Houston before, so on Saturday night I mapped out a route from our new house, weaving through subdivisions and along rural roads towards Fulshear. I printed my turn list and maps, prepped the bike, and woke up at 6am Sunday to ride. It was very foggy. I don't like to ride alone in the fog, but it wasn't going to stop me.
The first few miles were miserable. The fog kept me worried about cars, and the route took me through subdivisions where I quickly lost my bearings. I made a couple of wrong turns, eventually needing to consult my iPhone to find my way back to my route. If I want to ride instead of driving to meet other riders, I'll need to figure my way through the 'burbs. With practice, I'll learn my way.
During the ride I targeted 17-20mph, and 90+ cadence. I obviously need to do some interval training to build up my strength, but I also need to get used to the saddle again and get some conditioning. I felt good during the ride, and even drafted in with the Sugar Cycles "A" group when they passed me. I drafted at 23mph or so, but I couldn't pull. Luckily, I hit my 20 mile turnaround target before it was my turn to rotate.
On the way back I enjoyed the rural scenery that I had ignored while hanging on with the Sugar Cycles group: pasture land, pecan groves, creeks, and farms. The Fulshear area is really picturesque, and I'll make this route a regular one.
As I approached 40 miles, my legs definitely felt burned. My calves and quads were crampy. Once home, I had to drag myself leg by leg up the stairs. But as I write this, I feel recovered. I'm looking forward to tomorrow to see if there's any soreness, but I'm even more excited about getting back on the bike with more consistency.
One last note -- my Garmin turned off during the ride, so the ride stats are mucked up. I rode ~39 miles, I guess around 17mph average, with ~90 rpm cadence average. The map shown here is accurate, but all of the time-based stats are skewed.