One hour, 5 minutes. Total hell. I'd rather do the 3-4 hours that the dork at the coffee shop was bragging to me about while I was about to toe-tag mysefl.
Background for you first and an important message - it is not how long you are in the saddle, its what you do while you are in it that counts! So, here's the story and you tell me who's the dork. I went out Wednesday to do my lunch ride with about 8 other guys at a local CrossFit gym. If you know CrossFitters, they are beasts. Super fit. Combine cyclists who CrossFit and you have a nasty mix of junkyard dog with smarts. Vicious.
So I do this Wed. lunch ride that lasts about an hour. It sometimes feels like you are going through a meat grinder. We roll out, warm-up on PCH for about 10-12 minutes, hit a 3% hill at about 20-21 mph then drop into total aggression. We ramp up to about 27mph pending on how much we want to dish out the pain. We normally maintain a near-30 mph pace for about 4-5 miles then slam into a 10% wall full gas. We often want to puke. What keeps us driving is to see who hangs on and who gets dropped. Makes for some fun text bantering after. After the wall, the fun continues. We climb up a 7% hill that takes about 5-6 minutes to climb. It hurts. More attacks. Then we jam downhill, hit another leg breaker climb (where the sprint point is) and roll back. Total time in pain zone = 40 minutes give or take. I often get "hot head" after (if you ride hard enough, you know the feeling).
But here's what happened Wednesday! We were riding in a ridiculous headwind with 25mph gusts that were swirling around us. Dry outside too. That made it feel like a death march.
Dude at the coffee shop asks me how our ride was. "Hard," I said. I had a hard time attempting to talk. Too wrecked. As he adjusted his hair and pretty sunglasses, he rambled on about his 3 hour plus ride and how he is doing 15-18 hours a week. Uh, yeah. I do about 8-10 hours right now but guess what I do?
So, I ask you - who got the better ride in to get ready for racing?