Sunday, July 22, 2012

Two weekends of Training Rides - Saturday, 14 and 21 July

The last two weekends have been great. They've also been wet. For the second time in a week, I am putting on sopping wet shoes for a Sunday ride, after they've been (literally) chilling over a floor vent.

I am also OK with this.

Last weekend I rode with mentee and new participant A, who started the season guns a-blazin'. She is  strong and powerful and has great handling skills, and with a bike that fit who knows what she could do. We rode with anOTHer new participant, B, up in Cartersville, the flattish and fast BBC 48 route. We ended up doing 50, however, because in the rain we weren't able to see the road markings on the way back and just rode the route backward instead. The extra 2 miles weren't a big deal, but the buckets of rain we had for half the ride were. It was A's first time riding in a downpour, and besides the fact that our legs were getting tight from the chill (and that we were reading road markings backward), it was only the stinging of the rain hitting our eyeballs that dampened (ha!) our spirits. The ride was GREAT.

Thankfully, Strava recorded the whole thing, as my computer gave up the ghost (I killed it) when it started raining. Given that we were WAY slow on the way back in, the average speed of 15.0mph is impressive.

Details can be found here.


This weekend the team found itself back in the Gaps, and I found myself riding with survivor and alum A and my trusty sidekick D. The day started out hot, humid, and sunny, so the shade of Wolfpen Gap was more than welcome (if the grade itself wasn't). I was feeling GREAT after warming up, but A had never ridden the route in the counter-clockwise direction before and D was coming off a couple weeks of not riding much. I took the opportunity to ride up ahead of them and then descend back to where they were a few times on Neel's and Wolfpen. They looked great, and steady paces prevailed. We made it across Neel's and Wolfpen without incident, when about a mile from Suches I looked ahead and saw a big cloud of fog. As I was saying "That doesn't look promising" the sky opened up and we were caught in a downpour. We hunkered down under shelter provided by the gas station at Suches, listening for thunder in the distance (we heard it).

I knew that my brakes were already soft from the water and that I was not interested in the descent from Woody's (my favorite part of the whole ride, dammit) in the torrents of rain we were experiencing, and convinced (in a manner) D and A to ride to the top of Woody's and assess the situation from there. Well, the sky continued to piss all over us, and we hitched a ride in the bed of the SAG truck (thanks, K!) back to the start. We saw A (see last week's summary) and R, both completing their first ever gaps experience) about four miles from the finish, meaning that they BOOKED it down the hill (we were at the top with them).

I think everyone, with the exception of M, had a great experience yesterday. So proud of our team!

Maximum speed: 40.02 mph
Average speed: 9.78 mph
Distance: 30.81 mi
Time: 3.09.13
Climb: 3,954'

Details and map here.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Training Ride - Saturday, 7 July

We had a 40 mile ride in PTC last weekend, which is one of my favorite places to ride. Flat, fast, fun. I love it. I LRd with the ever enjoyable M, who got me so caught up in her story that we completely blew past a turn and added a couple extra miles. Even with that additional mileage (not even noticeable), we had a great ride. It was a hot day, but started off cool and wet after an evening rain, so it didn't really heat up until later in the day.

I don't have much to say except the usual about just how inspiring I find this woman. That's probably getting old by now, but every weekend I leave the ride awe-struck.

Stats (from Strava because I foolishly deleted all my text messages from my phone without transferring stats first):

Maximum speed:  36.4 mph
Average speed: 12.5 mph
Distance: 38.7 mi
Time: 3.05.05

Details and map can be found here.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Training Ride - Saturday, 30 June

Shaaaaaame on me. Shame on me for not updating here this week. I didn't have anything to say on the 23rd, because I missed that GTR. My dear friend V and I had registered for an Olympic distance tri, and despite our severe training drought, we went and competed on one of the hottest days we've had. V came in second for her group! I'm so proud of her! Next time, though, we train. I had a good day, too, despite the three days of stiff legs and arms that immediately followed. There might have been a correlation.

Anyway, I then took most of that week off, except for Brookhaven loops (it was 100F that night, so really it was Brookhaven LOOP). Last weekend was predicted to be a scorcher, and they were right. The grass, while not brown, was crunchy and dry and poked my toesies as I watered my "garden". The sun was hot and high. The temperature was like the sun: we hit 105F (according to my car, while I was moving), breaking Atlanta's ALL TIME heat record. I found it a little hard to believe that 105 was only the hottest it's ever been here, because temps of over 100F are not unheard of, and 105 isn't that much higher when you're talking about a city that, despite some good attempts, considers concrete to be landscaping.

That said, it was a DRY heat, so instead of the usual swampy-sauna days we had oven days. And it was good, because they were over quickly. Saturday's ride was supposed to be 35 mi, but as we were in Sandy Springs (HILLY), we had a 31mi route. And, as a road on that route was closed and torn up, we ended up with a 27.5 mile route, which despite our standing around trying to figure out what to do about the closure, still got us in before the day got too hot (it was still in the upper nineties/low 100s when we rolled in -- in the South, heat is relative).


Maximum speed: 41.9 mph
Average speed: 12.6 mph
Distance: 27.46 mi
Time: 2.10.13

I was going to post my elevation, but I couldn't connect with Strava on Saturday so I don't have those details. I am REALLY proud of the team: it was a blistering hot ride, but everyone did great, reported a good ride, and came in all (sweaty) smiles.


I rode on Sunday, too, in similar conditions (the sky was mercifully hazy, keeping some of the sun's heat off us in the morning), but the usual KSR. I forgot to turn Strava back on after the rest at the park. I am kicking myself for that, because I even told C, on the way out, "I think I forgot to turn Strava back on", but then mis-remembered starting it again and ended up with nothing for the second half. No matter, it was still a great ride. I had the A-group in my sight most of the time on the way out, with no small thanks to J for letting me suck his wheel, and felt good, if sticky, the whole time.


Maximum speed: 31.7 mph
Average speed: 14.5 mph
Distance: 27.36 mi
Time: 1.52.25