Day 7: Zone 2 in Winnemucca; Mormon Crickets

Today I 100% committed to ride in “zone 2”.   Zone 2 is a “conversation pace” in the jargon of my high school cross country years — elevated heart rate, but if fed, you can pretty much go forever.   Zone 2 burns both fat and carbohydrates, and helps clear lactic acid.   I needed a zone 2 day.   It meant I road most of the day on my own — had I ridden in a group I would have been between 2-4 all day.   So I had no choice but to talk to myself.

The science of endurance training is all about varying the pace — sometimes going to your max, but generally alternating low and medium stress.   If you are interested in more, see training peaks:

We have two 100 mile plus days in a row 3 days from now; I am focused on resting my muscles as much as possible to be ready for those days [I know it may seem I am contradicting advice from yesterday, but there are times to take things one day at a time and times to plan :)]  I must admit I’m sore; for the first time my knee is hurting a little bit.   I have a problem where my butt is chafing as well.   So “taking it easy” for a couple of days seems to be in order.

Mormon crickets.   For about 30 miles of the ride today these fairly large insects were migrating in mass from the field to the highway.   Apparently they are uber destructive insects, with quantities so high at times that roads have to be closed.   They are also cannibalistic — one reason they are running so fast is to escape attack from the rear.   They are named Mormon Crickets, even though they are actually katydids, because of the “miracle of the gulls.”   Anyway, I had to clean my bike wheels afterwards.

Bike technology.   I took a somewhat low tech solution to my bike navigation issues.   I bought a small top bar pack and a very long life battery pack.   Why didn’t you just buy a Garmin, you ask?   I debated with myself for hours on this one.   I’ve had 3-4 Garmins over the years.   I find the software and user interface clunky, I hate “Garmin Connect” and I find the screen resolution weak.   They are as expensive as an iPhone.   The main advantage is they are sturdy, better in the rain and long battery life.   The advantage of the phone — the screen is amazing.   The Ride With GPS software I use works so easily with a phone — beautiful maps, and four “info screens” that include the map, speed and distance data, altitude data, cues for the ride, etc.  People I ride with ask me to navigate, because the Garmin software just isn’t as easy to navigate off of.   In addition, you have a phone!   Now I will also be able to run Wahoo Fitness in the background, so my rides are downloaded on Strava and we can all micro-analyze my pace, speed, watts, etc.

I’ve bought a little bracket on Amazon that I hope to use to get a larger back cartridge in Salt Lake City — my friend Ned is setting up an appointment with a mechanic.   If I can go from a 29 to a 34 in back, it should be 5/29 or about 17% easier.   That will make a HUGE difference in the Rockies.

Today’s Ride.   Very straightforward ride — NE to Winnemucca.   There were no towns between Lovelock and Winnemucca.   We had a nice tailwind and gentle hills.   Beautiful overcast day, so not too hot either.

Song of the Day.   There can be NO DOUBT today’s song is Johnny Cash’s “I’ve been everywhere.”   You have to listen to it.


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