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My approach to riding outdoors again is to treat this as if I’d been off the bike for a while and focus on time in the saddle. Indoor training I rarely went past two hours. Most of my trainer sessions were an hour. I’ve picked two routes to use that I’m familiar with and have used a few times in the past. First is the loop I do out to the park near Antonio and Ortega Highway. This loop has the advantage of restrooms and water at the turn around. It is also relatively flat, at about 300 meters of gain and right about two hours for my usual duration. The second route is down to the north gate of the base and back with a loop around Dana Point Harbor thrown in at the end for mileage and duration. Also relatively flat at a bit more than 300 meters.

The plan is to ride these two routes for a couple weeks then depending on how I feel, begin adding a hill or hill repeat on the Ortega route or simply one of the hillier routes I’ve done in the past. I’ll have to gage that choice once I’ve gotten another week under my belt.

I changed the northern route a bit adding around four kilometers to the total. That got me to a thousand calories burned while trying to keep my heart rate down around 120 bpm. The week was interrupted by two days of rain and a very long errand. I only missed two of the tree days. The second rain day had a big dry window, with a good breeze off the ocean.

I think this week or two more of riding these relatively shorter routes is a good idea, then I’ll likely switch to mostly northern routes and add hills. I figure I’ll first add the hill up Antonio from the park. I can do repeats on that and have water and restroom available at the park. The statistics for this first week are as follows: five rides out of seven days, combining for a total of 253.2 kilometers over 9:47. I’ll call that a good start. I feel pretty good, legs are sore in a good way, some aches and pains thanks to time in the saddle. More time and more riding to come.

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