Okay, guys. I entered the twilight zone. I had planned on not exerting myself as hard, and tacking on an extra lap. Sure enough, I got 4 laps in. Then I decided to do another. And then another. And then three more after that...
According to my phone, which documented my ride, I rode for 1h 12m 43s, for a total of 14.77 mi, at an average speed of 12.19 mph. That means I did 9 laps, or 3 circuits, of my usual ride.
What the hell? I couldn't do 5 mi. yesterday without feeling like Death was chasing me, and I'm mostly sure that's the only reason I was able to do that
. I mean, I made sure I was exerting myself (I read that as long as you maintain over 10 mph, the ride will be an effective workout), but I didn't know that I could do so much more by toning it down just a little. Wow.
That does raise this question though: what is better for cardio workouts? Endurance or exertion? Would I be better to keep up doing my usual 5 mi. while really pushing myself, or should I up it to 10 mi. or so while toning it a bit back? Logic is telling me the latter, but I don't know about these things...
Edit: Monteballer, I'm riding this exact model of Specialized Rockhopper 29er
. I was hesitant spending any big bucks at first as well, but when you get past, say, $600, you enter a whole other tier of bikes. Hell, my ~$900 Specialized is considered a beginner
bike. Honestly, I figured it was for health, and I might find another hobby I'd enjoy, so I sprang for it. The 29ers are nice, the Rockhopper especially, because they are like a blend of road and mountain bike. Lock the front fork, increase tire pressure a bit, and you have a bike that handles the streets very well. Unlock the fork, drop the pressure for some grip, and hit the trails. Honestly, however, I don't know much about that particular bike you posted. I'll leave that for someone else.