Recently I've been struggling with getting good base miles done to
prepare for bigger events. I was able to get through the Desperado Dual
in August ok, but it was tough. The 40k state time trial championships
really showed how much my lack of training has impacted my performance.
And this weekend's Durango Fall Blaze 100 mile benefit ride was as hard
as I expected!
I rode alone up the next major climb and the out and back to Vallecito Dam. The route is really scenic, but I caught myself working harder than I should have a few times and had to remind myself that Leo and Dad wouldn't be back from their train trip, so what the heck was my rush?!? Outside of Bayfield a tandem with two single bikes went by and the stoker invited me to jump on their line. The route was slightly downhill, so I was going 23-25 mph when they went by, but they were maintaining 28. We were flying! It was great! We hit a stop light so I rode up next to the tandem to complement them on their strength. I stayed with them to the rest stop in Bayfield, but I didn't stay too long and didn't see them again.
After Bayfield the route climbed up to the top of a mesa and that's where the wind really picked up. A guy on a time trial bike went by, so I jumped on his wheel. He pulled me until I started to feel guilty (and his speed started to drop off), so I went to the front. But I was only there a couple minutes before my heart rate popped up to 187, so I apologized for not being able to pull too long and dropped behind him again. When we hit the next climb, I couldn't stay with him and let him go. The wind was pretty strong through that section and I just plugged away. A group of three past, but I didn't even try to jump on the last wheel. Luckily the course is a loop, so that headwind became a cross wind and finally turned into a very nice tail wind!
There was one section of road under construction so there was a detour through some farm land. The road wasn't pavement, but it also wasn't dirt. It was almost like a dirt road that had been packed down and chip sealed. Interesting. I went relatively slowly through the detour and enjoyed that section quite a bit. Near the end a couple riders past and one said "This road sucks!" He was going quite a bit faster than me, so I imagine he was hitting a lot more pot holes. I avoided all the bad sections of road, so I said "I think its ... quaint!" He laughed at that and continued past me.
I kept those two guys in sight during the last long climb and got into my tightest tuck for the final descent. I past both of them at a high rate of speed. It was pretty fun! Then I hit that last significant climb going back up to the college. The hill was as hard as it looked when we drove up it for the start! There was one guy stopped halfway up trying to rub a cramp out of his leg. I can't imagine trying to get started again on that hill. My polar showed 7-14% grades! I certainly felt that after 100 miles of riding!
They had a good potato bar setup at the finish with free beer to all riders. Tom and his wife were hanging out by the potato bar chatting with a few folks. He seemed like a nice guy, but I didn't bother him. So, some ride stats... 102 miles in 5 hours 57 minutes. I don't know where it happened, but my polar shows a max heart rate of 196 and an average of 159. I burned 5,464 calories during the ride. Max speed was 47.2 mph with an average of 17.1. So, overall, I did better than I expected.
The hotel had a fridge, so I had cold Guinness waiting for me when I got back and enjoyed some beer while I waited for Leo and dad to get back from the train trip. Then next morning Leo and I went back to AZ via Cortez and dad headed back to Gallup via Farmington. When I got home I learned where I got my high tolerance for pain. Dad called and told me about his ride home. He stopped in Farmington, but when he put his foot down he slipped on some gravel and his 800+ pound Harley fell on him snapping the tibia in his leg! OUCH! He knew it hurt, but didn't know at that point it was broken. Someone helped him get his bike upright again and he rode for 2 hours back to Gallup! Tough old bas..... err.... never mind! LOL! So he'll be in a cast (and off his bike) for about 8 weeks. That sucks.
Thanks again to Leo for taking the time to make the trip with me!
It sure is nice to have company on long drives! :-)
Copyright © 2007 by Mike Enfield. All rights
Revised: 04/06/09 11:29:47 -0700.