Monday, August 15, 2011

Bike revisited

It happened! I exhausted myself on the bike this morning. It... was... amazing! I figured out a huge part of the reason I couldn't get my heart rate up on previous work-outs. It's all about the surface. Montreal has a dearth of smooth, bicycle friendly surfaces, which is strange because we have a huge network on bike paths. But even on the bike paths there are inevitably huge cracks and bumps and construction zones and I was forever braking, swerving or standing on the pedals and coasting to avoid punishing me lady bits on a huge pothole. This morning I headed out to Montreal's Formula 1/Nascar racing track, the Gilles Villeneuve Circut,  which is doubles as a training ground for cyclists and roller bladers on Ile Notre Dame in the Saint Laurent River off the island of Montreal. Heaven! Bliss! Smooth as a single malt scotch. 4.38 km of sheer cardio heaven. No bumps, no cracks, no fear for the lady bits.

As I pumped away, turning over as fast as possible I had this strange sensation, like something was wrong with me - I just didn't feel like I normally do on the bike, I felt wonky and uncoordinated and then it hit me - it was the feeling of having gone out too fast and not been able to sustain the pace and slowly bonking. I was exhausting myself ON THE BIKE! Sweating like a pig, heart rate in the high 150s, work-out induced nausea, shaky tired legs, taste of exertion in my mouth, HEAVEN! I managed 5 laps - 9:03, 8:44, 9:10, 8:26, 8:43. Averaged JUST shy of 30 km/hour (29.8 km/hour). Which I have to admit the quantitative beast in me was disappointed in, with all the exertion and effort I thought/hoped maybe I was averaging maybe 32/33 kph but WHATEVER I EXHAUSTED myself on the bike. Yippee!

The track I was riding on is also the site of more races I have run than I can even clearly remember and PiccolaPineCone-on-the-bike also entertained herself by chasing down and squashing the myriad of ghosts of running PPC. Speed is fun. Out of shape PPC on the bike still destroys running PPC. The other wonderful thing about cycling, which I`ve mentioned before, is the sheer range of access it provides to strangely beautiful places I don`t otherwise often get to. Not mountains in California beautiful but urban beautiful and all to myself at 5.30-7.00 am, definitely a unique experience:

Montreal from Ile Jean Drapeau (island next to the island with the track)
Montreal skyline from Ile Notre Dame

Site of expo `67 against Montreal skyline (obviously not taken this morning as indeed none of these were, nor were they taken by me!)
Green scene on Ile Jean Drapeau