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The Season Begins...

post #1 of 60
Thread Starter 
OK, so I'm a whimp.  I didn't ride in January.  But I did get out yesterday!  21 miles at lunch, and the temp was 39 degrees or so when I started.  Today, another ride in the low 40's.

Who else is riding out there?  David, did you get the first ride on that new steed yet?

post #2 of 60
I've been riding all winter - such is life in DC.  I commute by bike year-round, as well as go on longer rides during the weekend.  I managed 240 miles and change in January (combined commuting and longer rides), and am up to 12 commuting miles for February.  Likely going to hit 250 or so for the month, barring any change in my travel and work schedules.
post #3 of 60
No riding on the new bike....it was an fleabay purchase so delivery won't be around the 15th.  I got a few ride in last month bu nothing in the last 10 days.  Next week starts the mileage buildup for BTC......
post #4 of 60
Thread Starter 
Ah, I'm waiting for March to hit the training for BTC.  I'll get 2 days a week on the bike in Feb, plus 2 days strength training and 2 days skiing.  My coach said I could wait until March when I suspect he'll insist that skiing drop down to 1 day a week.  That'll give me a weekend day to build base.

I have to say I really enjoyed my time on the bike this week.  Too bad next week is in Winnipeg, where the temperature is forecast to range between -7 and +7.  Guess it will be the stationary bike for me.  At least I discovered Spinervals, which makes the time indoors somewhat bearable.

post #5 of 60
We have to hook up and ski and hoist a few on BTC. 
post #6 of 60
Thread Starter 
post #7 of 60
We are up at Copper every weekend (he says as he will be in Steamboat next weekend and Vegas the weekend after).  Drop me a PM anytime after that you are going to be up and we can ski.
post #8 of 60

Bumped for mileage and some honesty…

I’ve been bad.  Weather excuse primarily; windy and rainy down here over a period of time of course resulting in nice snow up top has led to sporadic cycling.

Lame.  Trying harder.  Squeezed in 24 miles today, good pace, light breeze, high 50’s, partly cloudy with occasional road puddles from snow melt and road stones from lack of a long April gully washer her in HR/Lone Tree area.

Felt good today.  Need more.  Skiing all weekend.  Must find more time.  Done with update. 

Carry on smartly…

post #9 of 60
Don't sweat the late start, Don.  Y'all had some great late season conditions, so it only makes sense that the bike would play second fiddle - to a point.  ;)

Did a tidy 25 miles after work today, have another 27 planned after work tomorrow (club ride), and probably 25 or so on Thursday.  Saturday will feature the first ride on Skyline Drive of the season (likely 62 miles, possibly 75), and then 60 on Sunday for my club's big membership event.

(As you can suss from this, it means I won't be at a certain event this weekend.  I'm sending my regards for that via USPS and telephone.)
post #10 of 60
Thread Starter 
My April outdoor rides were 613 miles.  I've missed all training this week as I'm currently in London -- whirlwind trip with not even an exercise bike in the hotels I stayed at in Madrid (flew Denver to Rome to Madrid in 24 hours with 6 hours in the office working -- ugh).  Now in London and there is, purportedly, a bike in the fitness center here, so off to dinner and then an evening session for threshold training.

The weather this weekend looks iffy for riding.  Last weekend, I decided it was iffy and tried to get a last day of skiing in at A-

Basin, but the traffic was so bad coming up from Silverthorne (the pass was closed) we just bagged it and went home.  I wound up getting my ride in anyway:  57 miles in 3:20 with 3000 feet of climbing.  Sunday was more of a challenge:  5:20 for 90 miles and 7,000 feet of climbing.

My next training block (beginning this week) ramps up considerably.  I have two days of strength training (Mondays and Wednesdays), a day of threshold blocks (Tuesdays, 1 to 1.5 hours;  this week 10 minute blocks, thereafter 20 minute blocks), a 3 to 4 hour ride on Friday, a 5.5 to 7 hour ride on Saturday, and a 5+ hour ride on Sunday.  Not sure when I have time to work ...

We'll see how all this really goes.  One of the folk I know from a cycling bb is training for a 4 man RAAM team, and my training load is greater than his!  I really doubt I can do all of the training that my coach is looking for.  That being said, I'm in much better shape this year than I was in mid-season last year.  I do think that if I can manage most of this load I'll be able to complete the BTC in relatively good shape.  The tough day is the first one:  104 miles from Gunnison to Creede over Slumgullion Pass.  The big climb (with a 2 mile section at a 10% grade) comes at the end (mile 80) of the day, and the day's ride is considered to be one of the toughest in Colorado.


post #11 of 60
Thread Starter 
Got back from London yesterday afternoon, and had a 5:40 ride today:  91 miles, 6500 feet of climbing, with 3400 in 16 miles. The ride was the first loop ride I've done from my house to Ward through Raymond and back to the house.  I had to walk the last mile of the climb to Ward -- I just don't have the power to weight ratio yet to handle the 10-15% grade that comes at the end of the climb.  It was cold up top, snow on the side of the road, 20 mile an hour wind, and a few snow flakes with sun!  But the descent was pretty awesome, and the 45 minutes it took for the decent (3500 feet) allowed my legs to recover and up the power across the flats.

A nice first ride for May Day.

post #12 of 60
Mike....you are a stud!  I only got in 425 miles in April but shooting for 650 for May and 450 in the 1st two weeks of June....then a week of spinning and recovery and I'll be ready for BTC.
post #13 of 60
Nice ride, Mike!

Saturday had me riding on Skyline Drive (Shenandoah Nat'l Park), 84 miles out and back with 8,145' of climbing.  Involved 5:34 of saddle time, a bit of dehydration (the first hot and humid day in these parts this year), and a great comeback in the last 21 miles.  Also fun: the 50 mph descent from Dickey Ridge to the car.

Sunday was 51 flat-to-rolling miles in Virginia's hunt country on a warmer, more humid day.  2:26 of saddle time, lots of great county line sprints and a spirited group.  All of this is prep for the big climbing rides of the summer, starting with Mountains of Misery on the Sunday of Memorial Day weekend.  Given our long (for the Mid-Atlantic) winter, the climbing miles are a bit behind average, but all is well: training is on course to be prepared for MoM.

Keep us posted, Mike!
post #14 of 60
Thread Starter 
Nope, no stud am I.  I just have a coach who is a nut.  Sunday was a bit harder due to the fatigue from the travel and the ride on Sunday.  81 miles, 5k of climbing, 4:58.  This week is tougher, as I've got a 3-4 hour ride Friday, a 5.5-7 hour ride Saturday, and a 5+hour endurance/tempo ride Sunday.  And the weather looks iffy.

Songfta, that must have been a tough set of rides this weekend.  I arrived in DC last night and the humidity and heat were brutal.  I understand it was much worse this weekend.  This morning's ride on the stationary bike was tough given how hard it was to sleep last night and the heat.

post #15 of 60
Originally Posted by habacomike View Post

Songfta, that must have been a tough set of rides this weekend.  I arrived in DC last night and the humidity and heat were brutal.  I understand it was much worse this weekend.  This morning's ride on the stationary bike was tough given how hard it was to sleep last night and the heat.

The combined heat and humidity were certainly higher over the weekend than was the case yesterday.  That's the way the game is played out this way, and it was a shock getting used to it after growing up in SLC.  Adding to the pain this year was the sudden onset of the humid heat, so winter habits of hydration and body acclimation to the conditions made Saturday's ride a bit of a sufferfest for all of us who rode.  Granted, being up on Skyline Drive meant slightly cooler weather, though above 2,700' the foliage isn't in full effect on the trees, so there was far less shade.

Sunday was a bit more manageable because it was overcast for the morning hours, with a breeze coming from a few storms that were marching out of the Blue Ridge.  However, once they passed and the sun came out, it was very humid and hot - fine when in motion, but oppressive when stopped and not under some kind of shade.

You in town for long?
post #16 of 60
 I rode for a month with out rear derailluer because I was too lazy to replace the broken cable. I set the limit screw to keep me in an easy gear but there were still times I wanted a lower one. I think forcing myself to push a harder gear than I would normally use made me stronger and spinning on the downhills and flats with tailwind made my feet quicker, mad coffee grinder type cadences. 

Snapped a crank arm today and rode the five miles home with my shoe tied to the remaining pedal. Man, I'm glad I installed that gear cable this weekend, I would never had made it home without shifting.

I had trouble sleeping Sunday night. That was an early hot night, but last night was not 'brutal', it was very nice weather. Come on Mike, HTFU! ;)

Just kidding. You are a stud, admit it. If I wanted to increase my riding, I'd probably try to mountain bike, but I'm impressed with the road rides you and others have documented here. Ride on!
post #17 of 60
Thread Starter 
I'm regularly in DC, and have thought of shipping one of my spare bikes to my office there, but haven't done it.  I was only in DC for a day this week.  I'm feeling the need to be home to train, and it is affecting my willingness to spend time away from home.

post #18 of 60
Thread Starter 
Thanks, TR.  I'm impressed with your riding through the mechanical issues.  I broke a rear derailleur cable a few weeks ago, and it was miserable to ride the 5 miles to the bike shop to get it fixed!

post #19 of 60
Thread Starter 

I'm at the end of this overload block.  Day off tomorrow, a 3-4 hour ride Friday (if I can find time for it), then my first century of the season:  the Buena Vista Bike Fest.  It's a nice ride.  Starts in Buena Vista, goes almost to Leadville before taking a detour around Turquouise Lake, then through Leadville, around a few very nice bike paths, back to Leadville, and 45 miles of downhill pleasure back to Buena Vista (at least there's pleasure if the wind isn't in your face as it was last year, and the weather is good).  I'm looking forward to it.  Given that my weekend long training rides are already in the 80-92 mile range, I don't think it will be a problem.


How about everyone else?  Got interesting plans for the weekend?


I'm quite looking forward to my "rest" week next week.



post #20 of 60

Mike I will be in Buena Vista this weekend as well.  We are camping on Friday and Sat nights off Cottonwood Pass road.



Look for me on this beauty and say hi



post #21 of 60


Originally Posted by habacomike View Post

How about everyone else?  Got interesting plans for the weekend?


Have fun at Buena Vista!  Sounds like you'll be prepared.


I'm still building toward Mountains of Misery on the 30th, so this weekend has back-to-back long days. 


Saturday's ride will be out of Wardensville, WV, on this route.  It's a shade over 90 miles with around 8,700' of climbing, including one climb that's 1,900' over 3.5 miles with a section of 17% grind.  There's also a 6-7 mile section of packed dirt road that'll be a handling challenge (some of it involves a winding descent - crazy on a road bike, but that's life).  At least the weather should be cooperative for that, and having some steep climbs is a good prep exercise for Misery.  I'll be riding with some strong climbers, so I have my work cut out for me!


Sunday's ride will be around 78 miles, but markedly flatter and at a smooth recovery pace and leaving from my DC neighborhood.  It'll be a great way to kick off my birthday.

post #22 of 60

I will be up at 7 springs this weekend, I will probably do a bike ride from Rockwood to Confluence or Meyersdale and back.  Just for a quick little jaunt.

post #23 of 60
Thread Starter 

UGA, that is a beautiful bike.  I, on the other hand, ride a very esoteric bike.  It's a custom carbon fiber recumbent.  While there might be more than a single recumbent, look for the "Carbent" and say howdy.


Songfta, those are killer rides.  Best of luck with them.  I find it difficult to climb anything over 11% grade, especially when it comes at the end of a ride.  The Mountains of Misery ride looks like quite a challenge, particularly with that bit at mile 99 of the ride!


Pandita, enjoy your ride!

post #24 of 60

Yeah, that bit at mile 99 is a killer - click here to see an up-close breakdown of the fun that it is.  It is a sinister climb, no doubt: back when they ran the Tour DuPont/Tour du Trump, it was a Cat 1 finishing climb (and during a hotter time in the year).  Given I'm tall and "mostly legs," it's a tough climb and there's no easy way to do it.  My friend who is only 5' 4" and 130 lbs dances up these pitches; I manage, simple as that.  And I'm only riding the basic century version; the organizers have a double-metric version as well that adds in another long climb around mile 35.  I'm not at that point yet - still a bit early.


The best part of the end of Misery is the way the organizers set it up: it's like a mountaintop finish in a grand tour, with crowds, an announcer, a timing board and somebody to collect your bike when you cross the line (they don't allow people to ride down from Mountain Lake Lodge, as it's really steep and they already close off one of the two ways up for the ride).  After you finish, they hand you your equipment bag and then you can dive into lunch, or take advantage of a post-ride massage (I typically go for 25-30 minutes after a quick Action Wipes "shower").  You can cheer on your friends and then return to your car whenever.  It's a great ride, despite how early it appears in the season.

post #25 of 60
Thread Starter 
Yep, that power to weight ratio really gets me. Even though I've lost 50 lbs in the denominator and gained 40 watts in the numerator, I still need training to address both. That being said, I'm a much stronger climber this year than last. I still wouldn't dream of attacking the end of your century - good luck with that! I like our climbs out here that mostly top out at 6%, although we do have some that have 10%+. They do go on, however, for miles and miles. Mike
post #26 of 60
Thread Starter 

So, how were your weekend rides?


Mine were a mixed bag.  Friday's ride was much shorter than planned, only 34 miles but at a 20.5 mph pace.  I felt invicible, and tried to hold myself back to save something for the BVBF century on Saturday.


About that.  Um... we drove up to Buena Vista Friday night, and it was real winter as we headed through the Eisenhower tunnel.  The snow at Copper on the lower slopes was better than what was there in late December.  Got up Saturday morning, went to breakfast at 6, and watched it start to sprinkle, then sleet, then snow relatively hard.  My buddy and I started giggling at the absurdity of it, and had just reconciled ourselves to a relatively miserable day when someone came into the cafe and said the ride had been canceled due to snow, sleet, and ice on the road.  Evidently, they got 6-8 inches towards Leadville.  We jumped in the car, drove back home, and rode a century in Boulder with a climb up to Ward.  Instead of invicible, I felt mortal.


Today, I was toast.  I think it is either the fact I'm at the end of my overload block or that I  didn't fuel properly last night after finishing the century, but I simply was in pain from the get go.  So, instead of climbing to Raymond on my slacker day, I rode 64 miles of flats at 19 mph hardly ever reaching zone 2.  I have to admit I'm looking forward to rest week this week.


So, how were your weekend rides?



post #27 of 60

Sorry that the big mountain ride was snowed out, Mike.  Such is spring in the Rockies, right?


This weekend's riding for me was tough, tough, tough.


Saturday's ride out of Wardensville, WV, was extremely hard.  The final tally:


- 92.54 miles

- 6:24:25 rolling time

- 9,342' of climbing


What made the ride tougher still was that I was battling a nasty stomach bug from Thursday night through late on Friday.  That meant very little in the way of quality fueling for such a ride.  So I likely started the ride in nutrient deficit, which made the second climb of the day (the aforementioned 1,900' grind, which maxed out at 19%) a real bear.  After eating a whole turkey and cheese panini at our rest stop at mile 57, things started to improve.  That was good, because the climb after that stop included a long dirt stretch: 3 miles of uphill and almost 5 miles of downhill - all on skinny road tires.  Luckily, there were no crashes or punctures in the group, given the rough road.  By the final climbs, I was able to hammer a bit: more out-of-the-saddle stuff, dropping all but our lightweight jackrabbit of a climber.


The big plus of the ride: the scenery!  The Blue Ridge Mountains are really spectacular right now, and the big climbs led to big vistas.  Alas, no pictures this time, but this won't be the last time I take on this route.  And tiny 'ol Wardensville has its own brewery and brewpub, and they treated weary cyclists very well.


Yesterday's recovery ride was perfect: 65.5 miles at an 18 mph average pace with lots of spinning and nothing big in terms of out-of-the-saddle sprinting or climbing.  The operative word of the day was smooth: smooth cadence, smooth pace, and (mostly) smooth roads.  It was a great way to start out my birthday, that's for sure!

post #28 of 60

We camped in that snow up near the gate on Cottonwood pass.  We had about 6" on the tent in the morning.  We hung around Bongo Billy's coffee shack from 8-10 and then drove down to Salida and the weather was great (windy but super nice).  We did about 40 miles including the climb up Poncha Pass and then drank some Green Chile beer at Amica's and had some pizza.  Camped again on Sat night and then I rode up the Cottonwood pass road from BV to the gate back down and then drove back to Denver for some more intervals around CC reservoir.


I still need to get in 2 big back to back days which I haven't been able to do yet...maybe this weekend.

post #29 of 60
Thread Starter 

Happy birthday, Songfta.  Impressive rides.  I wish I was in that good of condition that I could post a 6:25 time for a ride with that amount of climbing.  I'm working on it.


UGA, sorry we didn't meet up in BV.  Best of luck on the long rides.  I've got an easy week -- a 5+ hour ride on Saturday, and only a 3-4 hour ride Sunday.  I'll probably go to Ward Saturday (3400 feet of climbing in one long 16 mile ascent), and Jamestown Sunday (1500 feet in 8 miles).  I'm looking forward to seeing how things are next week after the rest this week.



post #30 of 60

I'm slow to sign-in, but I've been riding as-much-as-possible. April saw 480 miles covered and I'm at 305 miles for the first 15 days of May.


I've got a one-day 160 mile ride planned for May and a 200 mile ride for June.




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