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Real Recovery Ride

Real Recovery Ride

For ages, my recovery rides have been recovery in name only. They've been true "junk miles": not hard enough to make me faster, but too hard to let me recover from my last ride. About all I can say for them is that they helped build volume, and maybe that helped... somehow.

I'm determined to make my easy days truly easy, so today I actually maintained discipline and kept my cadence up, my heart rate down, and my pace steady, and completed an hour-long recovery ride.

I did this today without a cadence sensor, but I've now put my cadence sensor on my road bike and set up a screen on my GPS with just two numbers: heart rate and cadence. That should make it super-easy to stay on track for future recovery rides.

Not Poaching Talpop

The plan was to start at the south end of Liberty Cyn Rd. and roll counter-clockwise around the Las Virgenes Trail until I hit the east end of the Talpop Trail, then take Talpop around back around to where it connects with the Las Virgenes Trail, and retrace my path from there to get back to the end of Liberty Cyn.

Unfortunately, there are large, clear signs indicating that Talpop is off limites to bikes.

And at exactly the moment I was discussing things with the little devil on my shoulder, a woman on horseback rode up. She was polite enough, but not talky. And as she passed me she said to her horse, very clearly, "C'mon, Silver. We're doing Talpop today." And then she and Silver turned up the Talpop trail.

And that settled that. I wasn't interested in a stern talking to (at best) from a horseback rider who'd busted me poaching.

So I spun out to the park off Lost Hills Rd. and back. Not a lot of really interesting trail, but hardly a bad way to spend my lunch hour.

I'm tempted to try to put together a trail loop that largely parallels the classic Rock Store road loop. I think it might be possible to include enough trail to make it a really fun ride.

Or, it'll end up being the loop that convinces me to finally get an "adventure bike" that'll handle fire roads, easy single track, and roads with equal aplomb. We shall see.

Liberty Cyn Trails

Coloring Outside the Lines

Coloring Outside the Lines

You can have a lot of fun inside Wildwood Park, but I'm discovering that some of my favorite features of the park aren't technically inside the park. Today I headed out to a spot I've wanted to visit for ages: the end of the Edison access road overlooking the truck scales on the pass between Camarillo and Newbury Park.

The view is amazing, the climbing not anything as strenuous as I expected (though the final push to the top will get your heart rate going). And once I passed the boundaries of the park, I had the trails mostly to myself.

I'd originally planned a longer outing, but realized that I just didn't have enough daylight left for that.

I've been riding and hiking in Wildwood for years, and there are still plenty of trails I haven't ridden, and I still make wrong turns trying to find my way to the Teepee.

Wildwood to Overlook

Rock Store Loop

The Hard/Easy Principle is paying off. I feel like I'm starting to stack up strong rides without pushing too hard.

I wasn't as quick as I hoped up Rock Store tonight, but that's okay. Mostly, I just wanted to let go of obsessing about high cadence and just go with what worked. I felt great for about the first ten or twelve minutes, but I could feel my legs start to fade, and the GPS confirmed it. I was clocking an average of 8.6 mph, but that wasn't gonna last: I was only pedaling about 6.2 mph.

So I'm not where I want to be, but I feel like I'm back on the right track. Stacking up enough volume to get stronger, and getting better about letting myself really recover between hard efforts.

Tomorrow, it's a real recovery ride. None of this, "Well, I meant to go easy, but decided to PR Black Canyon" nonsense I get myself into. I can feel that I'm right on the line. As long as I go easy tomorrow (max HR around 150, average around 130), I'll hit the weekend feeling great.

Rock Store Loop

Miller Ranch & Dead Cow Loop

Miller Ranch & Dead Cow Loop

I've been wanting to do this loop pretty much since the first time I explored the connection up the switchbacks off Lang Ranch Pkwy over to Oak Park. Today means, motive, and opportunity finally aligned, and it was time to give it a go.

The climb up Miller Ranch went well, but I was clearly tired climbing Dead Cow. After blowing some of the lines that are normally warm-ups, I new I didn't have the juice to do even the stuff I usually get clean. I quickly switched to dismounting and walking anything technical.

Mixing Gu and Skratch seems to cause horrible bloat for me. Really uncomfortable. Not ever going to do that again. From now on, it's either liquid fuel or gels. Not both. (Though either one seems to play well with solid food.)

Miller Ranch - Dead Cow Loop

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