When you ride the same roads all the time, it can get boring. For this holiday weekend, I chose one route we haven't done in a while, and put together a new one which was a different mash up of roads we have been on before at one time or another. The Long North Hills ride, which we'll do on the 4th will be a great work out and fill the entire morning. The Town & Country ride we did yesterday was shorter, and featured a fair amount of flats, where higher pace could be maintained. High pace doesn't really matter for me. It seems my engine has a speed governor of about 19 mph. Anything over that really tuckers me out. Under that and I am Okay for long periods of pedal turning.
We started near my house, and rode over to the next town, Millbrook. Passing through the Main Street area and city hall, we headed on towards Elmore, then Deatsville, Posey Crossroad, and south to Prattville, where we finished the bulk of the ride with a stiff cat 5 climb (our 2d of the ride) up a lovely street in the historical district of downtown. Hopefully, everyone wasn't so intent on the climbing effort that they missed the pretty architecture and lawns. 50 miles, and about 15 mph avg for me.
I stayed with the other riders for about 1/2 the time. When we neared the Elmore prison complex, I had to drop off the back and slow down a little. I rejoined the group at a store stop, but again fell back to a slower pace after a while. Hopefully, these intervals with the stronger riders will help me to get faster too, for those times that I choose to motor along more smartly. I was pleased to note that muscle and lung recovery was more rapid upon slowing that I used to experience. Makes sense given what I'm eating these days.
It's now two full weeks on a vegetable diet, and I feel pretty good. I like the food, and I get to eat enough that I'm not still hungry after meals. My weight which initially jumped up a few lbs, has dropped back to where it was when I started it. We took our son and his fiancee to dinner at Ruby Tuesday last night and I stuffed myself silly. A full bowl of spaghetti Squash, zucchini and marinara (272 cal) grilled zucchini (45 cal) grilled green beans (41 cal) and a plate from the salad bar with spinach, butter-head lettuce, edamame, sliced mushrooms, slivered carrots, broccoli fleurets and fat free balsamic vinaigrette dressing (low cal, lots of nutrient). I've cut coffee consumption by 1/2 or more and may take a stab at lowering the diet soda intake. Am I healthier? I think so, but don't really know. While most of what I've read supports the work of Campbell (The China Study) there are those who dispute his methods, analysis and conclusions from statistical (not philosophical) grounds.
For example this: http://rawfoodsos.com/2010/08/03/the-china-study-a-formal-analysis-and-response/
Campbell exposes himself to this sort of critique by failing to present a dispassionate scientific position. Instead, he calls Robert Atkins "an obese..snake oil salesman." which is not true either. He was a cardiologist who died after a fall on an icy sidewalk. Campbell fails the serious scientist test in his reporting in other cases as well. A pity, as what he presents IS worthy of our consideration.
Well, time to get ready for church and whatever the rest of the day has in store. Looking forward to wearing my old red white and blue US Postal jersey tomorrow. Reminiscent of the pre-doping scandal days of the TdF and Independence Day.