CSCC Training Ride at CarmichaelsPeggy Seidel
The Computrainer puts load to the bike, depending on the riders body weight, the grade of the terrain and the drafting effect. Yes, this computer can even simulate drafting when appropriate!
We arrived at 5:00PM, so that coaches could get us set up on the trainers. Most brought road bikes. Betty Schwartz and I brought our mountain bikes with the prerequisite slick tires, and Al Brody even brought his recumbent! The group was divided into three pods. Betty and I rode with Ann and Stan Lebahn, John Pamperin and Vicky and Chris Lieber. To get calibrated with the computer, we each had to pedal and get up to 125 RPM. Now, I’ve never pedaled up to 125 RPM in all my life. My personal best was 110, achieved only for a brief second or two… I thought I was out of the program before it even started! But, I shifted into my big ring and pedaled with all my might and mind, and what do you know? I made it to 125RPM for an instant just long enough to register on the computer! I was sure I was finished after that. My lungs were making noises I’d never heard before! But we still had 15 minutes before our actual start time. So after an entire bottle of Heed and a long meeting with several different inhalers, I felt I could ride. Hopefully, I’d make it through the first race.
Right before the start, Betty asked for a Kleenex. I showed her what that terry fabric part of our gloves, the part between the outside of the thumb and index finger, was really for! (Poor Betty…) And at 6:00pm, we were off! From a standing run, we were racing a one- mile course with inclines and declines and some flats. On an overhead screen (one for each pod) we could see a box moving across the screen with our name and designated color. (Mine was purple! Yes! Way!) We watched our position and movement in relation to the other riders in our pod. (Just like the horse races! Not that I’ve ever been to one MYSELF!) We also tracked our wattage outputs, calories burned and the distance between each of us and the rider directly in front of us. (Drafting was not yet being applied during this first race.) Keeping track of it all while pedaling furiously was interesting! We all made it to the finish line and won a moment or two to once again fill up the water bottles!
The second race would be three miles and drafting would be applied when any of us were within 40 feet and ends at 7 feet of the rider in front of us. This race seemed to be a race without end for yours truly, but with Betty pushing me forward, my husband, John cheering me on and Dave (The Great) Horne taking photos, forcing me to wipe the look of agony off my face, I made it to the finish line. We all did! Another couple of minutes to fill water bottles – yes, one more time, and then we were racing in teams, the front row against the back row. We all found this difficult, as we all needed to stay together and cross the finish line together, as a team as a team. We were only as fast as our slowest rider. (Yup, that would be me!) We would try to ride a pace line. For those unfamiliar with a pace line, the rider in front, rider One is working the hardest, while riders, Two, Three and Four are drafting off him/her and don’t have to work quite so hard. Then rider One moves to the back and rider Two takes over the front spot, and Three and Four each move up a spot. The Pace line continues in this wayso that every one has a chance to lead, while the others draft off him/her.
Vicky Lieber, riding next to me, coached us a bit and told each of us when we needed to speed up or slow down, as needed and which of us was to take the lead. Vicky and husband Chris seemed to be leading most of the way, with Betty leading the last third of the race. I did try to lead for a brief time, but I just couldn’t hang in there! So, not a true pace line, I know, but the room was starting to spin (Nobody else seemed to notice!) because I just couldn’t suck in enough air to keep the room steady! Both teams survived! Speaking for myself, I couldn’t have pedaled another single rotation. Not even if my bikes life depended on it!
After the ride, Susan Schenk of Simply Delicious Baked Goods and Catering had these absolutely delicious Peanut Bars and Chocolate Bars for us! THANK YOU SUSAN! I could’ve eaten them all, but leaving some for the other 23 riders was keeping me healthy! (Hey! C-H-O-C-O-L-A-T-E! Even YOUR knees would get shakey!)
We also want to thank Rob Klausch, Jayson Middlemiss and Leland Dains for putting all this together for CSCC, getting us set up, coaching us through the event and teaching us SO much about training. I know we are all looking forward to doing it all again!
I’d like to thank Dave (The Great) Horne and Vern Pitcher for photographing the event. And to our cheering squad- thank you for not letting us quit when the going got tough! You gave us the strength to finish!
This Race Night was a hard, fast 60 minutes, filled with laughs and fun for all and even quite a bit of awe among those of us who pushed beyond our previously perceived limits!