Hills and Flats

I’ve been riding flats this year. Lots and lots of flats. And straight lines. Loads of lines. This year started out slow. I left my house, went up the road a ways on one of them flat, straight lines, then I came home. I’d often ride every day, but it was most always the same, ride up the road and then ride back. I’d go on longer rides over the weekend, but still a lot of straight lines involved. I got stronger and stronger, and went farther and farther, but the routes, well, you got it.

So is this good or bad? I thought it was bad, or at least uninspired, but it looks like things turned out pretty well. Over time, as uninteresting as they were, the miles, and my fitness, added up. Several of those straight lines ended up being 150s, and I even managed my first double century. My routes weren’t holding me back.

And this weekend, I saw something I never thought I’d see. Those flat rides actually helped me on the hills. I was on vacation in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Georgia where they don’t have anything, anywhere, resembling a flat course. Everything was up and down, and trust me, it felt like all up. And it was kinda no big deal. Four thousand feet of elevation gain over 35 miles felt like just a regular ride. Well, not really, it was totally different, but it didn’t feel unattainable. I wasn’t cursing my lack of preparation. My all-flats fitness, it turned out, was transferable.

So what’s next? More flats or more hills? Hard to say. I’m not quite sure what the winter will bring. Maybe another double in February, or maybe just a lot of indoor riding. I’ll let you know after I figure it out.

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