The warmer weather and rains have made riding the back roads a real challenge. They may be fine one day and a total mess the next. Or they may change within a ride as parts of them dry out. I think the ruts and holes this year are bigger than I have seen for a while, I don't know how vehicles can get down some roads. Even on a bike you are constantly switching course to try and find a line through the holes. Yesterday I almost went over the bars when I rode into one hole that was deeper than it looked.
I did what I thought was my hard ride yesterday, 50+ miles on the SS and on my hill route. I felt pretty good climbing and had a slightly faster time at my checkpoints than last week when I was riding the FS. But last week I did the route the day after my strength workout, this week it WAS my strength workout so my legs were a little fresher.
I had issued an invitation to my team mates to join me for a casual pace 50 mile ride today, up in horse country and on a route that wouldn't have a lot of big hills but still have some climbing. The only one who was able to make it was Bernie and he brought his SS for a little extra workout. I took a geared bike so I could ride a little easier.
The back roads were in way worse shape than yesterday, many of the roads were muddy or soft, robbing you of energy. It turns out the route I chose also had more climbing than my normal hill route. With the wind in our face for much of the return leg plus the soft roads made it feel like we were on a death march, just trying to survive. So much for an easy ride. But it made for good training. By the end I felt like I do at the end of a long race, every little hill hurt.
I think I will take it easy for a few days and allow my legs to recover. The weather for the next few days calls for rain so I may do easy spinning on the trainer or stay off the bike altogether. But the recovery process is essential to rebuild the legs even stronger.