I haven’t done a WORS race since June 13th, and haven’t even ridden the trails much this summer because of the typhoons. So most of my miles have been on my road bike this season. While it’s been a lot of fun, it’s not the same as riding off-road. Besides the obvious differences (dirt being the first thing that comes to mind), it’s a completely different workout. If road biking is like watching a movie, mountain biking is like watching TV while someone with ADD holds the remote. Nothing ever stays the same, you’re constantly changing positions, speed, effort levels, etc.
While this is what the appeal (to me) is all about for riding in the dirt, there’s not much you can do on a road bike to replicate training for a mountain bike race on a road bike. Or so I figured anyway – that’s where the Spokesmen rides come into play. The Tosa Spokesmen weekday rides are generally short and very hilly. Chris Beyer picks some nutty routes through the city, and we blast around them before work. Anywhere from 10-20 miles, there are very few straight or flat sections that last more than 2 city blocks. Most of the routes focus on getting to and then climbing various hills around the city. So, if you happen to show up on a single speed mountain bike and try to keep up with the group on their road bikes, you’re essentially in for a mini-WORS workout.
This morning was a great warm-up for Sunday’s race; average speeds of 16-20 mph, and lots of hills with speeds generally increasing on the climbs. It took a lot of effort to keep up, sometimes I just ran out of gear, but I feel about as ready as I’m gonna get. There are 3 races in the next 4 weeks, so this is kind of like the second race season for me this year. I’m hoping for some more hardware, time will tell.