Monday, March 5, 2012

Pinehills lives up to its name

This week's group ride was a trip OTB (that's 'over the bridge' for you mainlanders) - well, barely OTB as met at the Sagamore Park and Ride.

Quick aside - Jeff had a "shit cyclists say" moment on Friday when I was down with the stomach flu. He said "bummer, but at least you're going to get a little leaner."  My response was "don't think I didn't already think about that!"  Pffft...cyclists (rolling eyes).  Well, thanks to those couple lbs lost on the "stomach flu diet" I'm now down to about 177lbs, which I probably haven't been for 15-20 years.  I don't have a goal for what I want to get to, but I'm pretty psyched to be under 180.  And that's about 17 lbs lost since Thanksgiving.

Onto the ride. The group was just Jeff, Dan, and myself this week.  Tim's in Hawaii and Brian thinks he is (went surfing).  Jeff and Dan are way stronger riders than me, so it was to be another humbling ride.

We rode the Road from ParknRide to Ellisville, then dirt road (Old Sandwich) to Pinehills. About 10 miles I'd guess before we got to the singletrack.

Caught the trails there and were soon at the base of the first climb. Holy crap does Pinehills have some climbs!  I swear we were in New Hampshire. WTH?

The climbs were all the same in that we'd start as a group, I'd have a little bobble or mispedal and they'd get a little gap, I'd think I was maintaining that gap and then come around a corner and they'd have teleported 50 meters further up the hill and driven a stake through my heart.

I used to think I was a pretty good climber until I started riding with these guys. I do have a pretty valid excuse, though - they're stronger than me.  Well, I guess that's more of an explanation than an excuse.

Anyway, after going up and down for a while, we then crossed 3A and got into some fun technical stuff.  Then we started wondering about time and daylight, and so we hit it hard back to the cars. Made it just in time as it was starting to get dark.

Overall, I was pretty humbled on the climbs, but felt strong otherwise. I had a little more gas at the end than I did last week, so that's a good sign for my fitness.

Pinehills is excellent for climbing training, and the technical stuff is great - lots of rocks, stunts, ladders.  It's not a big area, so it'd be hard to ride it for too long without repeating trails (thus our parking so far away so we could get steady pedaling in as well).  And it's within sniffing distance of a Fukushima-style nuclear reactor that is dangerously overcapacity with spent fuel rods - ya know, if that kind of thing bothers you.

My computer busted about 12 miles into the ride, so I don't have the details, but I'd guess we did about 32 miles of mixed terrain in about 3hours 30minutes.

I always like reflecting on my training after the group rides, and try to plan for adding in a workout during the week that will improve on a weakness. I'll try to add a climbing workout at some point this week - it's just hard to find a hill like one of the many in Pinehills.  I'll figure something out.  I'm also thinking of replacing pilates class with some cycling-specific resistance workouts. I'll probably use some pilates moves, but will concentrate on the cycling-specific ones only.

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