Fall riding and season is over as the equinox ushered in the official start of Winter this week. Winter Solstice. Shortest day of the year (in terms of daylight). My peak for off season weight gain (tacked on 6.8% of my ideal racing weight this Fall with some good eats). It also marks when I put the snow tires on the cars. In addition, Solstice brought some fond memories as it would have been my Dad's 90th birthday.
That being said - Winter is here.
We have been through an emotional transition in our families with loss, and are focused on new growth going forward. Our son adopted a dog from the AHeinz57 Pet Rescue and Transport group out of De Soto, Iowa. Her name is Noel (as in the French word for a Christmas Carol) and she is busy carrying every shoe she can find in the house as a prize she thinks she is entitled to have.
Minimal lights and no ornaments are on the tree this year as Noel is fascinated with chewing whatever she can chew on - and she enjoys drinking the water out of the tree stand.
I think I got a record number of laps in at Banner Pits in the September - December time frame this year thanks to favorable weather, my new set of lights, and the trail having been in great riding shape.
55 degrees and a Thunderstorm on Christmas Day ought to leave our trails in muddy messy conditions, but hopefully things will dry out next week.
With the start of Winter also comes the start of my training for the 2017 season. This is week one of a 12 week plan. Monday was day one which had me doing 40 squats, 40 deadlifts, 40 bench presses, 40 hamstring curls, and 30 minutes of core work. It's taken until today for me to clear the DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness). Ouch! Tuesday was my annual Power and Heart Rate Test to see where I am as I begin the new season training. I was surprised to find myself score a number 5 watts higher than the two previous years to start the Winter training. Small gain in terms of my starting point, but probably due to some good Fall riding I was able to enjoy that kept my FTP tuned up. Wednesday was a 60 minute recovery spin. Due to the forecast for Sunday, I swapped Sunday's scheduled workout with Thursday's and took advantage of the sunshine and 40 degrees to get my 4 hour Zone 2 ride yesterday. I was happy that my legs had 55 miles in them out in the wind and hills to knock out the ride.
Who has 4 hours to ride a bike during the work week? Well, this is all due to our semester break giving me the time to load up all the training hours that the final two weeks of December and first week of January allows. That being said, it looks like 2016 will come in about 50 hours less on the bike than 2015 and 2014. More on that later, but suffice it to say I am slogging out week one of my LWCoaching.com training plan this week.
After four years of riding the Specialized Roubaix, I decided it was time for a new chain, cassette, rings, brake pads, new tires, and a tune up. So the parts were ordered at Rasmussen's Bike Shop in Des Moines, and I will take the bike up to drop it off for the update. I'm switching from the white bar tape to black as well since white - which looks cool - is pretty impractical when it comes to dirt, and sweat.
The Roubaix sees the most miles and hours out of all of my bikes I own. It has been a great work horse the past four years. Whether it is a training ride, a fun ride, a group ride, a gravel ride, RAGBRAI, or a simple commute - the Big Red Fire Truck (size XXXL 64cm) Roubaix has served me well.
The tune up and new components ought to freshen it up.
A very Merry Christmas to all!