I did the Brechin Loop this morning but in the opposite direction and taking a different road out. Instead of starting out westbound to the lake, I headed north first and then west to the lake. I prefer this route. It is a little shorter (35 km) but the roads are in better shape and there is more climbing. The ride starts with a 5 km climb at a 3% grade. Sounds easy except there was a 24 kph headwind. It felt more like 8%.
Once again, I stayed on the small chainring most of the ride spinning at at high cadence averaging 25-30 kph much of the time. I am adjusted to the time and feeling much better. My legs are back.
I plan to keep at this routine for the first week working on technique and building up the mileage. The headwinds help me focus on pedalling in circles, engaging all of the leg muscles through the stroke and, they get me down on the bars in a more aerodynamic position most of time. In fact, I was down almost the entire ride this morning, even on the flatter sections. Next week, I will introduce some sprinting and hill repeats. There is a short but steep hill not far from here that is perfect for this.
The first day I forgot my water bottle. Although I stopped mid-ride for a glass of water and a coffee, I felt tired and stiff in the afternoon. While food shopping, I bought a bottle of “G2 Thirst Quencher”, a sport drink with 11% Sodium. It made me feel better almost immediately. I had lost a lot of fluid and had not replenished it properly.
I didn’t bring the electrolyte powder I normally use for fear of it being confiscated at the airport and, cannot find it in the stores here, at least not yet. Instead, I purchased a case of “Hydrate Sport” that is available in the local market and mix it with water in my bottle – 3 parts water and 1 part “Hydrate Sport”. It also is 11% Sodium and, it seems to work. On todays ride, I drank most of the bottle over the 35 km and finished feeling strong. I’ll sip on the remainder of the bottle this afternoon.
I love cycling these roads. There are quiet, relatively smooth and, scenic. And yet, I have not seen another cyclist on the road. Cycling is not big in this part of the world. It would seem farmers and cottagers have better things to do. There is a road cycling shop in Orillia, a 45 minute drive from here. I am heading there this weekend for chain degreaser (another item not allowed on the flight). Perhaps there is a local cycling club I am not aware of or even better roads to travel. Wouldn’t that be nice.