The Pain Cave

I’ve been following a program of indoor cycling, 21 rides in 21 days to celebrate the Tour de France. Two thirds done, I t’s averaged about an hour and 20 minutes per day. Not a ton in the world of going out for a bike ride, but still a lot of effort since there’s no stopping, no coasting, no downhills. Just pedaling away trying to generate as many watts as possible. I can sustain a little more than two watts per kg of body weight. By contrast, the pros are doing 4.5, and in the big mountains they’ll get over six for a few minutes.

I don’t have a fancy smart trainer, but the app shows me video of the French countryside while I spin along. That river of sweat is what it took to get up Mt Ventoux last night, the longest stage of my Tour. I don’t have the algorithm set up just right, so it took me quit a bit longer than when I did it four years ago in real life.

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