Taco Tuesday Ride - Hey, wasn't this supposed to be a recovery week?


In terms of mountain bike racing/training, I am supposed to be recovering this week after the 400+ miles last week on the bike during RAGBRAI.  Mapping out the season, it came right in the middle of a string of races.  The physical toll of grinding out long, slow distance miles for hours at a time like we did on RAGBRAI still puts plenty of training stress on the body (Training Peaks using a training stress score), and needs time for everything to rebuild.

Sunday:  I did take Sunday totally off the bike.  I started in on doing my chores around the house, hit up my to do list items, and got involved in unpacking, fixing the Hula House tent, drying the tent out in the sun, picking a few weeds in the garden and yard, sleeping, eating, hydrating, etc... .   That qualified as a nice recovery day at the slow pace I was moving.

Monday:  The chores and to do list items continued all day into Monday, but I did an easy lap out at Lake Ahquabi on the RIP 9 in the morning to see what shape the trails were in so I could plan my trimming days out there this week with the loppers and scythe.  That didn't qualify as a recovery ride since I was on a mountain bike with 1 x 9 gearing handling the climbs.  Almost, though.  The legs felt really good and all of those long, slow Zone 2 miles seemed to have boosted my climbing.  I used the climbs as M.E. intervals to substitute for not doing maintenance weights on the legs (my normal Monday workout).

Tuesday:  A full day of office work for FAFSA, taxes, USA Cycling permitting, ordering toilets for The Mullet Fall Classic in October, and doing laundry.  Rob Versteegh posted up on Facebook that the BikeIowa Team was getting together for a Taco Tuesday ride meeting at one of our sponsors - El Bait Shop in Des Moines - and riding to the Cumming Tap where team member Sam Auen was selling his delicious tacos.  It sounded like a good time and a nice way to wind down out of the RAGBRAI week, so I headed up to El Bait Shop at the appointed time. 

Here was Rob's "rule" that he posted on Facebook for the ride...
...bring your allowance and a non-shitty attitude. if you need to race/go up the road/or generally be in 'training mode', just DON'T. i'd say ride whatever bike you'd most like to ride on a pavetrail for 20-whatever miles. dress in your stretchy suit...or not...i don' t care...
Christy Varnum photographed the motley crew as we warmed up with a beer before hitting the trail to Cumming...
BikeIowa at El Bait Shop

Fat chance we stuck to Rob's "rule" as the 12 of us blasted off out of the gate. Nothing like a group ride to up the ante and heart rate zone!!! We stopped midway to the little town of Cumming after crossing under Highway 5 at the little picnic shelter to regroup and hydrate.  Scott Sumpter pulled out a PBR for everyone on the team from his pannier just as Kurt Benson caught up to us. So we now had a baker's dozen of team members out enjoying the mist and cool temperatures for Taco Tuesday. We made it to Cumming in one piece, had our tacos, some more beer, and mingled with the crowd of what looked to be a couple hundred riders.  I had never been to one of the Taco Tuesday rides, so it was nice to experience the fun and frivolities known by everyone else.   Actually, I had never been to the Cumming Tap or El Bait Shop before - so a lot of firsts for me!

I noticed it was already 8:35 and starting to get dark quicker than usual with the cloud cover. I had no lights and the ride back to Des Moines was going to take me about 35 minutes at a good clip. So I hopped on the bike and had at it in the mist by following a steady stream of riders with lights passing them on the left side. I was racing daylight and pushed myself even harder getting back to El Bait Shop to my car than we had gone as a team on the way to Cumming.  My legs were screaming at me the majority of the return trip.  Needless to say, no recovery for me on Tuesday with the steady effort of over an hour at a much higher intensity than I was expecting.  The ride qualified as sweet spot training (Zone 3/4) with a couple of Zone 5 sprints mixed in there for good measure.  So no recovery at all for me on Tuesday.  Instead, an intensity training ride.  My bad, but it was fun!!!

Thanks Rob and BikeIowa for a fun evening involving no crashes and three new firsts for me.

Wednesday:  I am taking today off the bike.  I'll do some maintenance weights to fire up the metabolism.  My body weight has whittled itself down to 181 getting me closer to my sub 180 goal.  This comes 2 months later than I wanted, but I've still got plenty of races coming up to utilize the lower body weight on the climbs.  I'll be teaching lesssons all day, so that will allow for a good day of recovery in terms of being off the bike and letting the legs rebuild as I sit at the piano.

I will utilize Thursday/Friday/Saturday properly for continued recovery to steer myself into some kind of race shape for Sunday's race in Wisconsin.  I think I can balance sleep, nutrition, stretches, recovery spins, foam roller, and what not to achieve some sort of recovery during the 2nd half of this week like I am supposed to be doing.


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