We are pretty caught up with things at work right now so I put in to work a half night (8pm-1am) rather than the normal shift. I also have the same shift tomorrow with the balance of that 10 hrs taking place Friday. This week's schedule should really let me get some training in. I knew I wanted to get up to Lebanon Hills and ride some singletrack on one of the days and decided that should probably be my "rest" day on Thursday. I believe Eric and maybe Corey will be coming with for that trip.
Got out the door today around 10:30 with the monocog setup 38x17 fixed (tomicog) with the Nokian 294s. I had gone for a 90 minute recovery ride on it setup that way yesterday and things had worked well enough that I felt comfortable going for a long(ish) ride. The weather was gorgeous with plenty of warmth to actually be comfortable riding and no wind. I started off down my "time trial" loop (hilly 20 mile pavement loop from my house) and then took the first exit onto gravel. Lots of turns and 20 miles later I was at the Douglas Trail trailhead.
I wasn't sure what to expect, and suspected I wouldn't have enough "float" or easy enough gearing for the trail. However, conditions along the snowmobile trail were awesome! I was able to maintain a 12 mph or so average for the 13.xx miles out the the A&W in Pine Island. Crushed a mushroom/onion burger and fry combo and a couple of diet rootbeers and got back at it (sure was nice to be able to stop without the shiver "waves" attacking, what a difference 5 degrees can make). I thought about flipping my rear wheel to the 18t free side, but figured I could do it en route if necessary. The return trip down the trail was even faster than the out and I made it back to the Rochester trailhead around 2:30pm with 46 miles on the clock (well, actually 33.34 because that's where the computer had froze). Cut through and around the city a bit on bike paths (half-plowed bike paths count as "offroad" right?), then tackled the big climb back to the house. Ended up right in the 63-64 mile range in 5.5 hrs of actual riding. By far the longest I've ever ridden "fixed".
The take home message today was how much the conditions can affect things. I had ridden fixed on what should have been a harder route, but had maintained a much faster pace than I was able to last Friday. Significant cold, a little wind and loaded panniers, well, suck! I have new hope that I'll be able to get in a real century before the end of the month! Although, I still think the way that is most likely to happen is by riding the Mamasita.
I know I have a long way to go (and it will just take time) in order to be really competitive in endurance events, but I am determined to be as prepared as I can be this year (and that starts with CIRREM in 7 weeks). At the very least I already know I can ride a metic century in about any conditions, on a much slower bike than I'll be racing on and without gears. I'd love to come out and really surprise people! (although, if you are reading this maybe you won't be so surprised). A better question will be whether or not my new "gravel" bike will be done in time, or even if it will be appropriate vs. the Mamasita for the conditions. I've decided to christen it the 'black sheep' for various reasons I won't get into.
No pictures from today- probably snap some tomorrow at Leb.
Trail Work, Rain, and a Ride? - As much as I like to get a spin in the day after a hard effort I just didn't have time yesterday. I could have gotten up early to get a spin in but I didn...
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