This morning was the first group practice with the Team in Training group who will be going to Tahoe for the century ride. Down south is a 3.3 mile concrete loop (called the veloway) for cyclists and rollerbladers and that is where we met. We broke into three different groups - beginner, intermediate, and advanced. I decided to go with the intermediate group since I haven't been on my bike in a couple of months and since I didn't know the skill level of those that immediately went to the "advanced" group.
After we split up, we went to three different stations and did lots of drills. The first station was to ride the short loop of the veloway working on single leg drills. This meant we only used one foot to pedal. We would pedal with one foot for about 15-20 seconds and then switch. When you have clipless pedals (like I do) and your foot is attached to the pedal at all times, the single leg drill really lets you know if you have an efficient stroke or not. I found that my right foot was much smoother than my left.
At the second station we worked on breaking skills and on looking over our shoulders. That one was not as easy as one might think. We would have to look over our shoulder to see which hand the coach had raised and then raise that hand ourself. The whole time we were suppose to stay in a straight line and keep pedaling. Most people either went way off course or stopped pedaling. Some did both. I felt like I went fairly straight and did fairly well, but I wasn't watching myself, so I have no idea how I did.
At the last station, we worked on going in circles while grabbing our water bottles and taking a drink. This was to work on controlling the bike with one hand. Then he had us reach down on our leg as far as we could and keep our hand there - all while still going in a circle. The last thing he had us do was a "slowest person race". We all started at one line. The goal was to be the last person to cross the finish line. The whole point of this exercise was to be able to balance on your bike while at a complete (or almost complete) standstill. This was the hardest exercise of all.
After we were done with the drills we hit the veloway for some laps. We went fairly slow but tried to keep everyone focused on proper cadence. We ended up doing 3 laps. I didn't time anything today since we were focusing so much on drills and since we were all focused on staying with someone who is just starting out in cycling. For the most part, everyone did well for the first practice.
When I got home, I decided I needed to wash my car. This afternoon was absolutely gorgeous here. It got up into the 70s and the sun was shining. My car is now clean and has no trash in it. Wahoo!
And then I decided it was so pretty I needed to run. Outside. I put on shorts and a tank top and took off through my neighborhood. There was a slight breeze blowing and it was perfect. I ended up with 5 miles.
Tomorrow is supposed to be just as warm. There is a slight chance of showers, but hopefully very slight as I want to get out on my tri bike tomorrow for a ride. And of course tomorrow night is the Super Bowl. I've got my Doritos and Coke ready to go! Yum.....