I went to do the Family Bikes shop ride today. Usually, the Saturday ride is pretty moderate, aerobic to tempo. If it was on the easy side I intended to go ride a bit extra, just to get some zone 2 seat time in.
Weeeelll... Jay showed up on his fixed gear. He's buddies with Jon, who owns Family Bikes. He's also one of the winningest riders in MABRA over the last 10 years according to Bill Leucke, who keeps track of such things. Jay stirred the pot a bit, attacked a few times, and generally stuck it to us. As the resident fat guy who hates hills, I felt crushed on this ride - we hit the hills by Crownsville Road on 450, the one by the nudist colony / Elks Camp; Honeysuckle Road; River / Old Herald Harbor Road, Dairy Farm Road, plus significant grades that feel like hills when you hit them doing 22-24 on Millersville Rd., Piney Orchard and other places I'm probably forgetting because my eyes were bleeding.
The flats weren't bad, we pushed it a little but because I'm so badly sunk from a hard training week I had nothing for the hills. Given my bloatitude, it was a very hard ride for me. How hard? Here's the power figures.
Average Power: 223. Nothing major, a zone 2 average.
Heart Rate: 141. Hmmm... a bit high for a zone 2 ride. Sure you weren't riding tempo?
Speed: 19.3. That's not high. What's that, the first and last 4 miles were warmup?? Interesting. What did you ride in the middle? Oh, 20.5 through the middle of the ride. No big deal. It was flat, right? No, it wasn't? Hmmm... that's odd.
Normative Power: 333. Hey, that's weird. If your average was 223, but your NP was 333, you must have had some hard efforts in there. Did you?
Peak 5 seconds: 1258. Dude, that's a near sprint-level effort! You didn't do much like that, right?
Peak 10 seconds: 1149. Dude, that was a sprint, right? It wasn't? It was just going over the top of a hill? Some hill...
Peak 20 seconds: 1026. Okay, so you did a couple hills sprints. It's not like you did a sustained hard effort. What's that?
Peak 20 minutes: 278. Damn, that's near threshold level effort. You didn't ride like that the whole way during the hot part of the ride, right?
Peak 60 minutes: 252. I'll be damned, I guess you did.
So there you have it. I finished with a training stress score of 237, and an intensity factor of 1.073, for a ride that lasted 2 hours and six minutes. By way of comparison, a one time trial performed at threshold would have yielded a TSS of 210, and an intensity factor of 1.0. So in the grand scheme of things, this was two hour, race-level effort. It's a real power geek thing to list all those numbers, I know, but don't get the idea I'm getting all hot and bothered about them. I'm just trying to illustrate how a really tough ride stacks up in terms of actual effort. Looking at the graph that plots the recorded wattage data, I see 20 to 30 second surges of >600 watts every couple minutes, and a number of crazy "hills" on the graph where I averaged 400 watts for 3 minutes, or 500 watts for two, stuff like that. To put that in perspective, my threshold power is around 310. Tough ride.