Saturday, February 20, 2010


The shoes are off and the legs are resting. Today, I spent the better part of 3 hours on the bike, taking in the sights of a nearly-Spring day in NC. Coach's plan was for 50 miles at 19.5mph with three two-minutes Zone 5b intervals thrown in at 30', 60' and 90'. Apprehension doesn't begin to describe how I felt as I soft-pedaled out of the neighborhood. 50 miles, solo, with a speed avg requirement is a new thing for me, and a significant part of me wondered if I could pull it off. Needless to say, I started the day off with French Toast.

The route was not clearly planned ahead of time, although I had a rough idea of what it would take. First up was the Thursday Night World Championship loop with a short hop over to Lewisville and Grapevine Rd. The wind, out of the west today, was ever-present during the first hour and really gave me no rest. I kept the knowledge of the wind in my back pocket for later, but planned to go with what mutha nature was handing out.

The next phase included some off-road riding on Butner Mill. However, on the way there via Flint Hill Rd. (or the Enon Bypass) I ran into tons of cyclist and a few Highway Patrol. It then dawned upon me that Wake Forest Universtiy is hosting its cycling omnium this weekend. Today was the road race (apparently) and looked like tons of fun. I ended up riding most of the RR course backwards later and saw a few wasted-looking guys who were dropped from the group. Ouch. They were all from VT, by the way.

On to the dirt. I knew this might be dicey, given all of the recent rain / snowmelt. Sure enough, it was a double-whammy: Where the road was unrepaired, there was copious mud and loose soil - but where the state (or someone) had dropped new gravel, there were razor-edged stones blanketing the width of the road. Fortunately, I didn't flat and credit the new Continentals. Climbing up and out from Butner Mill was demoralizing: 6-8mph and in my granny gear. Perfect training for some of the dirt hills at the Battenkill.

Once back on Flint Hill, I regathered my strength and headed to Baltimore. Here it was time for my last Zone 5b interval of the day. For me, this means a 2-minute session with a heartrate between 174 and 178. Ugh. Again, hard but excellent training. Anyone who's ridden Baltimore knows it has a nasty hill, but the more I do these the more I relish their challenge.

By this point, I knew that I was pretty likely to get home wth the right miles and a strong average speed. Standing in my way were Grapevine, and all of the rollers on Shallowford / Country Club. Doing a few quick calculations (a la Paul Sherwin), I figured I would hit 50 miles just past the monster hill on Country Club near Jonestown. Oh man.

I was digging pretty deep up and down Country Club, but all worked out well in the end. As mentioned in the previous 'quick update' post, I met the goals Coach laid out. And, apart from a little post-ride soreness, I feel ok for now.

Quoting Coach from sometime last week: "I hope that Saturday's ride will make you glad you aren't riding again until Tueday." She was right, for the most part...


Erich said...

If you folks are curious...

Northstar Bikes said...

I am curious, and my curiosity has been quenched. Impressive riding brother...very impressive!

Erich said...

Gracias Barrissimo. Stop having pneumonia and stuff so you can go with me next time!

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