I hit the Wiouwash Trail again today. It was a couple of days since my last ride, biking for big guys like myself can be traumatic to certain parts of the body. Two things, sitting in the saddle and the constant and nearly non stop rubbing of body parts, forget about the normal fatigue that out-of-shape guys like me experience.
I hit the trail and focused on a few things.
The first thing was to maintain a double-digit speed (my speedometer was fixed and worked normally). I did not do this all the time, at times I dipped down under to speeds slower than ten miles per hour. This was at times inevitable at points where I had to stop. Points such as crossing HWY 96 in Medina and other roads. I will get down into the lowest gears and come to a complete stop only if I have to. I also slow down when overtaking others on the trail, whether or not they see me. I am ready to react if they do something unexpected, kinda like I have to do while skiing. Those two cases (and another where I had to get off and retie a shoe) excepted, I did not satisfy this goal, there were times I lolligagged it.
My other area of focus was to ride a series of sprints. I would pick out a visible point down (or one I know is coming) the trail and work the pedals for all I am worth. Some sprints were short and some were long. After everyone of them my heart was pounding, the blood flowing, the legs burning, and the diaphragm pumping. I would hit my point and I would pedal long enough to shift down into the gear I will need when I start pedaling again.
Once I hit the point where my cruising pedal rate would drive the bike I would hold that for a while until I caught my breath and my bodily functions were solidly back in the aerobic zone, spend some time there, and repeat.
One of the neatest things about this is when coming off a sprint everything seems so very vivid, especially colors. Despite the exertion I had just undergone a feeling of peace and well-being overtakes me. When I am in the middle of the exertions, none of that is noticeable because I am focused on driving my body to reach beyond itself and my eyes are searching holes (created by gophers, ground squirrels, and other such causes) in the path, the whole system will take a nasty jolt (no suspension on my bike) if I hit one of those holes.
In the song Disraeli Gears Cream sang: so many fantastic colors and they were not talking of runners high, but something else (which will remain unelaborated), my buzz is more subtle and more rewarding.