With the Culpeper County Metric Century now two days into my rear view mirror, here’s what I think I think:*
1. I think I like organized rides. They give me a goal to shoot for, provide some great interaction with other cyclists, and give me an opportunity to ride on routes I am not familiar with. The t-shirt was nice too!
2. I think the Culpeper County Century ride was well organized, well supplied, and well marked. The route was a great route that provided wonderful views of the area and was not too difficult for novice cyclists. The volunteers were friendly and eager to help. If there’s a better ride for a relatively small group, I’d like to see it.
3. I think riding with a partner is great fun and forces your heart rate to slow down (you can’t speak when you’re exhausted). This makes for great endurance riding but not so good training, I think. I think it’s probably best to train alone and have fun in groups.
4. After the October 23 Great Pumpkin Ride, I don’t think I’ll be signing up for any more 65-mile rides. I think the money and effort to drive to the site require a 100-mile commitment on my part. And I think I’m ready for the challenge.
5. I think my seat is too high. I have been experiencing chronic pain behind my left knee since I bought the Trek. During Saturday’s ride, this pain appeared behind my right knee as well. It was pretty bad. Two days later it is subsiding, but still present. A Google search indicates this symptom is closely associated with seats that are too high. And Sloan mentioned that he thought my seat was high. And I adjusted my seat upward after only one ride because it felt too low. So I’m pretty sure I my seat is too high.
6. I think I need to work on my upper body technique. My elbows were in a good deal of pain, probably because I ride with my elbows locked. I need to fix that. On the positive side, I adjusted my hand grip and largely solved the numbness problem I experienced a week earlier.
7. I think I need to figure out my cold weather clothing plan. I got lucky with the compression shirt and the gloves. In a few weeks, that won’t be sufficient. Head, leg, and shoe clothing are in order. Sadly, I remain a cheap skate and will probably dither over each of these purchases until I am satisfied I am getting what is absolutely necessary at a good price.
* My apologies to Sports Illustrated’s Peter King, whose weekly column on the NFL was the inspiration for the title of this post.