Sunday, January 20, 2008

A 3 county tour, a 3 county tour.

And nearly a 3 hour tour as well. We sit squarely on the edge of Boulder, Weld and Larimer counties which means that on a good day in the saddle I can be found in all 3 at some point. Today was 40ish degrees, which is a freaking heat wave these days, so I was determined to get in some actual outdoors riding time. Talk of going to Pueblo, CO with The Punisher and a huge group from fell through this morning after much debate, which left me to my own devices.

I bundled up with a couple of layers, skull cap under the helmet, ear cover, winter gloves and most importantly my new neoprene booties to help try and keep my toes warm.

Grabbed Nancy the Niner and headed out east of town for some solitude in the form of dirt roads. I didn't really have any agenda or plan when I took off, but as usual while riding solo, my mind was working as I crunched numbers in my head about distance, time, pace and direction. I finally decided that my goal would be to get in 2+ hours, which at my typical average singlespeed pace in the 13-14mph range, would put me at 27-28 miles. Well that was too close to 30 miles to not round up, so I did.

Going east was doubly hard as it was into the wind, which really sucks with one gear, and away from the sun. Thankfully Jill advised me to grab a windbreaker as I was set to leave, otherwise I would have been frozen and back a whole lot earlier. I wasn't a mile from the house when I pulled over to put the windbreaker on, as I was already quite chilly.

I rambled east till I crossed under I-25 (FYI - I was on a closed service road not I-25), which served as a quick reminder that I was intending to stay away from the masses. So I started heading north, deciding to check out the hamlet of Mead. I'd seen the road signs for the last 3 years, and today was the day I'd investigate the draws of Mead. Well there weren't any really, so I just continued meandering generally north and now back to the west traveling on dirt roads as much as possible.

I was 1:45 in when I looked up the road and realized I was nearing Berthoud, quite a bit north of where I thought I was. About this time I started the push back towards the house. A couple of short, but steep climbs coupled with the 2 hours I had put in and I was getting pretty warm (as long as I wasn't headed east into the wind).

By the time I got back to Highway 66, I was pretty tired and showing the effects of a long day in the saddle (for this time of the year). My shoulders were hurting a bit from the miles of washboard roads on a rigid bike, my lower back was feeling strained from the 2.5+ hours and I was ready to be home. Thankfully I was still turning the pedals pretty well and home was west, giving me the wind at my back most of the time.

Arriving home I quickly got out of all the gear, as I was burning up. My Smartwool base layer was drenched, my vest was wet and it was evident that I hadn't been drinking enough water. The good news was that its January, and I had just put in a solid effort.

I put in 2:32 time wise, covering 34.2 miles with 1600+ feet of elevation change. A personal best in terms of distance and time on the Niner, and left me thinking about building to 50+ miles in the next month or two. While I initially had been thinking that my trainer time hadn't been working, as the ride continued I think it showed that it did. My speed remained very constant through the ride, with it only dipping a bit on the longest climb of the day.

Full stats can be seen here...

Very glad I got out today. Time will tell where my fitness really is, but its January and I've got a lot of time to build on my current level. We've had a cold, snowy winter thus far and the fact that I have any fitness base at all right now is a tribute to my ability to spend a lot of time on the trainer.

So onto another week of work, and look for some bike updates coming soon. New developments such as a new frame to be built up, Nancy gets some new pedals and I'm finally going to get a real road shoe/pedal setup. Who'd have thunk it?

1 comment:

Perry said...

Okay Gilligan...guess its good you had the GPS with you--he would have really been happy to have that--at least who know what the professor would have done with it? Nice ride--wish I had gotten back early enough to join you. Ski was great and I settled for a night ride--but it was way shorter than your 3 hour tour. Lights work though for sure! I think I am going to keep flares in my dueter now when I ride with you....