Sunday, March 24, 2013


I enjoy Fridays. It is the day when I get to enjoy a leisurely recovery ride with friends, followed by coffee at the local café and then followed by more coffee at the local café. Most of my friends must then head off to work while a select few get to stay and have more coffee at the local café.

Last Friday, I slept in and missed the start of the bunch ride. I woke up in a huff and my wife was wondering what was wrong. I explained that I had slept in as I put on lycra in record time and head out the door. I had missed the ride, so the ONLY option I had was to head directly to the coffee shop and then head out for my ride later in the day.

Coincidently, my wife had a conference in the city on this particular Friday and about 2½ hours after I had left home she came in to join me for a pre-conference coffee. On her arrival, she asked how my ride was. Foolishly, without thinking, I replied, ‘Oh, I haven’t ridden yet, I slept in. I’m going to ride afterwards.’

My wife looked surprised… ‘You mean you have been sitting here this whole time?’
One of my friends kindly replied for me, ‘Oh no. We were at another café just up the road for a while first.’ My wife shook her head.

I knew what was going to happen after this. In an attempt to dull the aftershock, I did an extra-long ride afterwards but I still knew that it was not going to have an effect on what was going to happen when my wife saw me next.

That night, my wife arrived home after her conference and her first words were, ‘So… how was your ‘ride’ today?’

I informed her that I did an extra-long ride and also pointed out all of the other things that I had achieved during the day. It was ineffective. Now, whenever I go for a ride, my wife says, ‘Enjoy your ‘ride’.’ accompanied by the two finger ‘air-quotes’. 

Thursday, March 14, 2013


Most of my training rides start and/or finish at a coffee shop. I may have to meet people there or, on most rides, I stop there at the end for some R&R and about 7 coffees. This takes up a bit of time before I pedal the 20-odd minutes home.

During these stops, I don't turn off my bike computer and simply jump back on my bike to go home. Consequently, over a week, there can be rather large differences between training times and actual time spent riding my bike. For me, this is not a problem, as I only ever look at riding time or the distance covered.

A couple of weeks ago, I received an email from my coach that strongly suggested that I take an easy week as I had been training hard for 6 weeks in a row. Happy to oblige, I accepted his advice and took a couple of days off, then limited myself to a handful of short, easy rides. This also meant that I spent a lot more time at the coffee shop after rides, relaxing with my feet up. After this easy week, I went back to normal training.
This week, I received another email from my coach even more strongly suggesting that I take an easy week. He said that he has never seen anyone train the number of hours that I have been doing without blowing up. I was puzzled by this but continued to read. The email outlined my last few weeks of training with my recovery week consisting of 30+hrs of riding. I began to put the pieces together...

My coach had been looking at total time rather that just riding time. This meant that my average training each week was around 30 hours and in the week that I took it easy, I spent so much time at the coffee shop after rides, that it looked like I had done more training than ever!

Looking back at total time over the last few months, I can totally understand why my coach was a little concerned. I don't think anyone could put in those kind of hours on the bike without destroying themselves. Perhaps I should spend less time at the coffee shop after rides??? But then again, chamois time is training time, right??