After that 2013 Tour de Cure I got the road bike; rode in Tour de Cure again for the subsequent two years; and for the past few months I've been preparing to ride in this year's Tour de Cure. I plan to do the 50-mile route. The distance itself isn't worrying me so much as the terrain. Probably the hills are what would be described as "gently rolling", but as far as this spoiled flatlander is concerned, hills are hills, are hills, are hills (with apologies to Gertrude Stein).
About a month ago I finally figured out what I need to do in order to truly simulate those hills. I can stay on the small chain ring; but I need to shift the fifth or sixth (of ten) cog, then push the cadence to at least 100 for one to three minutes.
It's hard, all right. My heart rate goes into the red; my legs burn; and I feel like I need to gasp for breath. I try to take deep, full, but regular breaths during these efforts to counteract the gasping instinct. But this is what I need to do. On past Tours de Cure the hills were always a problem, and I want to do better this time!
These simulated hills are also probably what I need to improve my cruising speed for my daily rides. For several years now, "improve cruising speed" has been on my annual list of cycling goals, and to date I still have not accomplished it. More specifically, I want a regular cruising speed of 15 mph.
I can't make it to all the Tour de Cure training rides because I don't have a car. When possible I get transportation with someone else, and pay for the gas. If I can't get to the official training ride, I do a ride of my own around home. The big day is now less than three weeks away, and I sure hope my "sim hills" will pay off when the time comes!