Here it is, five days after we finished the Tour de Fred, and I am finally beginning to feel normal again. Today is the first day that I have not had to fight to stay awake during the day. I didn't ride on Thursday or Friday, but on Saturday I went for a moderately hilly 50 mile ride (Up & Down Lake County) with my bud Steve Katzman at a pretty brisk pace. He later commented that I was climbing better than before the tour, but maybe I was pushing harder. It is pretty difficult to partial out all the variables. The ride was no cakewalk, that's for sure. Saturday afternoon I actually took a nap -- an extremely rare event for me. On Sunday Kathy and I did our usual 35 miler on the South Lake/West Orange Trail to Winter Garden and back. This time the pace was relaxed, but I still dozed a bit in the afternoon, which I believe indicated that I was still recovering from the tour.
Saturday I rode my Colnago, which had been pretty much ignored since February when I started training in earnest. Initially I found it nearly impossible to control! After so many hours on the longer, heavier, and more stable Surley LHT, the road bike felt a bit cramped and positively twitchy. It responds instantly to any input, so I had to work harder to keep the bike upright and going the right direction, especially when standing. I was used to it again by the end of the ride, but the difference is HUGE! The tandem is somewhere in the middle, but closer to the touring bike in handling.
Pushing on the hills on Saturday left my lower back aching. Now that I don't have to put in so many hours training, I plan to work on strengthening my core. I'm going to try to return to stretching and doing some exercises before bed in the evening. Contrary to the commonly held belief, exercising before bed tends to help me fall asleep. We'll see.
* * * * *
Steve left a comment to one of the tour posts to the effect that I am always the last one to be ready to ride when we do our regular group rides. I was completely unaware that this was the case, but Kathy confirmed it, so it must be true. I also have a reputation for fiddling with one thing or another on the bike when we stop, which might contribute to the problem. Anyway, I will make a deliberate effort to turn that crown over to someone else. (On our Saturday ride I left my helmet and gloves on, and I was the one to say, "Ready?")