Monday, February 11, 2008

Weekend of Long Rides and Gail Force Winds


Was about 15 sec late getting to the intersection of River and Goldsboro. The 7am ride was just going across River Rd as I was coming over the hill on River. Ugh. Even though I wasn't really warmed up yet, I had to put in a big effort to latch onto the tail end before they turned up Mass. My HR was higher than I wanted, but I was able to keep pace as we headed up Mass. Going down Sangamore was fast and as we turned on the MacArthur the pace kicked up super fast for the next mile. Being at the back I could see lots of gaps forming, and the group starting to splinter. Randy was leading one of the splinter groups, but no one was pulling through. I made my way up to help out, but my legs still weren't completely warmed up and we weren't able to bridge back up to the front group. Our groupetto of about 15 riders rolled along CB at a steady pace, but no where near what the front group was doing. We went up Anglers pretty hard, but went pretty slow down into the park. We kept a good steady pace coming out of the park.

I went with a large group of DC Velo riders out towards Poolesville, but only a handful of us kept going to Sugarloaf (Jason, Ryan, Shannon, Nick, Steve from Coppi, and TomH). We kept a pretty calm tempo on the way out, and my legs never felt like they loosened up at this pace. As we got close to Sugarloaf, TomH took off and Shannon pursued. Nick then took off and I sat on his wheel as we went up and down the rollers before the big climb. My legs felt really heavy and my HR was up there as I got to the base of Sugarloaf. I tried keeping pace with Jason but my legs felt like cement, so I rode at my own pace.

On the way back, Nick wasn't feeling too good, and started bonking big time as we neared the turn onto River. I remember riding past him and he looked so pale, almost like a ghost. I think I'll re-name him Agent Casper.

The 10am ride was coming through and a couple (Jason, Shannon, Tom) of us latched on. The pace was much faster and required a lot more high intensity efforts, and my legs started feeling a lot better. Although I could feel some signs of cramping especially when standing.

Total for the day was about 90 miles.

Since the weather dudes were saying how crappy it was going to be on Sunday morning, I decided to imbibe in a lot of wine during our Sat evening dinner party. I woke up Sunday around 11am and felt like crap, not really hung over, but feeling really tired. After getting all the usually feline feeding chores done, I started thinking about heading out for a solo L2 ride.

Around 1:30, I headed down to Haines Pt via MacArthur, and Georgetown. Since I was riding with a tail wind I really couldn't feel how gusty it was, but once I got past G'town and along the path next to the Potomac, I started feeling the gusts coming from the side. It was F'ing windy and at one point as I about to go under one of the underpasses, a gust of wind catapulted me into the guard railing. Fortunately, I had slowed down before this happened, but not enough to prevent my crash. I bent the crap out of my handlebars, but was able to twist them back into alignment. Small paint scratch on the front fork, but you really can't see it. After this, I was pretty cautious as I faught the gusts to HP.

Once at HP, the MD/DC side was super fast with a tailwind but as soon as you started going through the corner near the Awakening the wind was no longer a tail wind, and you were fighting for your life to stay upright. I've never felt winds this strong but it provided great tension training. I think I averaged only about 14-15 MPH on the VA side without going into red zone. I definitely could have pushed harder if I wanted. I only did three laps, before staring my way home.

Now I was riding into a roaring headwind along the Potomac and a couple times had to stop to allow some of the gusts to subside. As I got to G'town, I thought going up the bike path would be less windy than MacArthur and decided to take the path. It was like a wind tunnel, and I crept along at a modest 15-17 MPH.

All in all, the Sunday ride was 2.5 hours at an easy pace.
Just what I needed.


Kyle Jones said...

Sorry about the crash, and now for the zinger. Ray aren't you used to riding the back trying to close gaps? Good to see you practice doing that outside of races. Hopefully you get used to it when I show up. Just being a 8===D~~~~

RayMan said...

Kyle, you crack me up. I can't wait to race with you this year.
Are you planning on doing any TradeZone races?

Kyle Jones said...

Nope I am not doing Tradezone. My coach wants me to go ride hills in zone 1-4. So I am thinking of doing skyline. Never done it but will go out once/twice if weather is good. He will have me do Cold Toes. Right after my teams training camp. But will tell you I was pissed this morning because UMD said it was opening up registration at 8 am. I got up and found out they moved it to a day I am going to have a problem registering on. M-Fers did this last year I think.

Phyliss said...

Well written article.