Yesterday I enjoyed my first road ride of the 2014 season.
It was a balmy 8 degrees (Celsius), sunny and the roads were dry. Eight (8) degrees seems to be my riding trigger. Anything lower and it is too cold for me. I may ride but I don’t enjoy it.
It was a slow, easy ride. Two laps around Stanley Park. Forty kilometres in total. A mixture of climbing, descents and flat sections. I am rusty. I didn’t attack the climbs and was careful on the descents.
I have upgraded my ride for the 2014 season. New Michelin Pro 4 Endurance tires (they were difficult to fit). New white, 100 mm FSA stem (20 mm shorter). New white Fi’zi:k Arione saddle (it matches the new stem and bartape). And, fenders (respecting those drafting behind). My chain and cassette only have 30% wear. I am ready for another season.
I am planning to complete the Pacific Populaire on April 6. This is an annual 100 km (and other shorter distances as well) organized by the BC Randonneur Cycling Club. I completed this ride in 2013 and really enjoyed it. It is a good start to the season. The weather in March usually cooperates with temperatures gradually warming from a low of 9 to 14 degrees well above my riding trigger.
The plan is to complete as series of easy tempo rides increasing the distance weekly starting with a 50 km ride in week #1, 65 km week #2, 85 km week #3 and 100 km week #4, the day of the ride. I will also continue with the weekend spinning class working more intensely each week. And, whenever possible, cycle to the office doing laps around Stanley Park on the way home provided there is sufficient daylight.
The Populaire is not a race (at least for me). It is a group ride enjoyed by 580 cyclists in 2013 who completed the route with an average time of 4:28 including a check point stop mid point in the ride – about 25 km / hour. Last year the weather did not cooperate. It was rainy, wet and windy. This year I am hoping for something better. Better weather. And, a faster time.