One huge difference was discovered between pedaling a stationary bike and riding the real thing. Let's see if you can guess based on my story.
I headed out from home yesterday for a ride. We live in a little valley at the top af a "little" hill.
At least the hill seems pretty mild when we drive it or walk it. I coasted down this little hill to start my ride, topping out at 31.8 MPH! I felt REALLY fast!
Pedalling out of the neighborhood was OK, my legs felt tight but they loosened up as I went. I biked over to a long, relatively flat stretch out behind a nearby mini-mall, big store area and made a new discovery. As I was pedalling, I noticed that no matter how hard I pushed, I couldn't seem to keep my speed above 10 MPH. I had some little bursts of speed, around 12 MPH. But I just felt slow! Of course, I had been awake since 8:30 am the day before, worked a 12 hour night shift, and stayed awake this morning while the Wife was with her folks. So perhaps after 28 hours of being awake, I was just tired.
Then came the turn around. I wearily made a 180 degree turn and headed back. Almost instantly my speed was up to 15 MPH, then 17 MPH. I didn't even feel like I was going hard! I pushed a little and got up to 21 MPH! I was cruising! I felt so good that I passed the turn off to my house and went an extra mile!
Then I turned around 180 degrees again to head home. Once more it was slow, tiring work. The reason?
Yesterday we had winds of 10 MPH gusting to 20 MPH. I discovered that I REALLY hate headwinds. I remembered the joy of paddling into them on the river trip with Dad. Now those memories came flooding back. By the time I reached my hill again, it was just too daunting to try and pedal. I got a third of the way up and had to walk the bike to the top. It is my goal to one day ride all the way to the top. But maybe I'll do that at the start of the ride!
Oh, and I only went 6 miles. I've got less than seven weeks to go, and my "supreme confidence" in finishing has turned to being guardedly optimistic. The last place finisher at Hickory Grove was under 2:10:00 last year. Unless my times improve, I'll be pushing 2:45! Maybe more!
I'm not going to quit though. I'm looking forward to this very much! It will be a great starting point for improvement and an excellent way to get ready for the adventure to China that happens less than two weeks after the Tri!