Wednesday, October 4, 2017

A lesson in rolling resistance (re-visited)

It was almost 2 yrs. ago that I got dropped on a night ride by a bunch of old farts (50-60ish like me..ha).  Not only was getting dropped demoralizing it was also embarrassing.  I'm glad none of my friends saw me.  It was truly a low for me.  After all, when I was in cycling shape, I would have dropped everyone on the same ride.  Since that time, I have changed my Mtn Bike tires to a less aggressive tread and inflated my tires higher to decrease rolling resistance.  Also, since that time, I've gotten into better cycling shape.  Last night, I went on the same ride with pretty much the same people that had dropped me two years earlier.  However, this time it was MY time to do the dropping.  Except for 2 other guys on cyclo-cross bikes (which have less rolling resistance than my Mtn Bike), the three of us dropped our entire group of 10-12 riders.  Where two years ago I could barely maintain 12 mph average speed on the flats, last night I was averaging 16 mph at a much lower average Heart Rate..i.e. I was in much better cycling shape.  I was also able to maintain 18-20 mph speeds for periods of 10 minutes or more.  I can't tell you how good that felt (to drop the same group that dropped me 2 yrs. ago), granted it was only a bunch of old farts that I dropped not some young riders.  Nonetheless, it felt good.

I'm still not in the cycling shape I want to be I'm optimistic I'm only going to get stronger this Winter.  My goal is to get my Functional Threshold Power (FTP) back up over 250w by next Summer.  I know I'll never get to 275 or 280w which was my best FTP when I was 55 yrs. old, but that's ok.  I'll settle for 250w.  With my current weight of 162 lbs (74 kg), a 250w FTP will give me a 3.4 w/kg power-to-weight ratio.  That's mid Cat 4 Power which isn't anything to write home about but for a guy that's almost 60 yrs. old, it will keep me riding with local B group rides...and definitely stronger than most 60 yr. old recreational riders.

My goal for 2017-18 is to get a group night ride in during the week, combined with an indoor high intensity training interval on my Computrainer and a longer 3 hr. group road bike ride on the weekend.

POWER ON!  Coach Rob

No comments: