That First Spring Weekend

That first weekend , when its sunny and just barely warm enough for shorts is very special here in the Netherlands. Everybody will go out dressed way to optimistically, the terraces will be flooded with people and the atmosphere is very jolly. Last weekend was suck a weekend. As a mountain biker, its also a great opportunity to do some riding.

This year we were lucky in that it has been dry for a few days leading to this weekend. The trails were proper dry by the time weekend was upon us.

Saturday I did not have a lot of time so I managed a short ride on my fixie. Even though it was short it was very relaxing. There is something to be said for the simplicity and focus of riding fixed that really helps clear the mind. I checked later and it was exactly a month ago that I last sat on a bike saddle.

Sunday the weather was even better and I had more time on my hands and so I rolled to Amerongen. The last few days have been dried and so I expected the trail there to be in good condition. I was not disappointed. There was very little mud and I could push hard. It was months since the last time I rode my mountain bike so I considered taking it easy. For the first 20 seconds. Then I put the hammer down.

The last few months have been incredibly busy (home renovations, a new baby). Training had to take a back seat. Having trained very little the last few months, I was curious as to how much my fitness has regressed. The only way to find out was to push as hard as I could and see what happend. I hammered through Amerongen, pushing as hard as I could. By the time I was up the Amerongseberg I was feeling low on energy. I ate half a bar, took a few deep breaths and continued to Leersum. I started Leersum pushing hard. I could feel power returning to my legs. These new duursport bars were proving their worth. The Leersum trail flew by and in 20 minutes I was finished and ready for round 2 of Amerongen. By now my legs were in constant, but manageable, pain. Munching on the second half of the bar, I started my second run of Amerongen.

About half way through, I started getting cramps. It was time to go over to chill mode. Pushing really hard voor over an hour without warming up (I know I know, bad idea), and without some training buildup was taking its toll on my legs. I finished the trail run in chill mode, crawling up the last climb.

Only when I got back to the car and got of the bike did I notice I was grinding like an idiot. It think the grind took hours to disappear. It felt so good to be back on a trail. When I got home I looked at my data. These runs were my 3rd fastest ever runs on both Amerongen en Leersum. Not bad. I even managed to ride a few PRs, which is a great boost to motivation. I can’t wait to get back.