Thursday, February 28, 2008

finally getting to it

It struck me how this blog was supposed to be about cycling, yet to this point there has been absolutely _NO_ monologue about cycling.

Today, I will change that.

I recently came back from a week long trip to the mountains of north georgia, ostensibly a winter training camp. Seven men drove in a 25' motor home for 15 hours to a luxury cabin in the appalachian mountains, stayed for the week, then did the return trip.

We had:

A notorious and successful cat 3 (almost cat 2) who is possibly my regions best and most prolific race promoter.

Four master/3s of various abilities

A cat 1 and former member of the Junior National Team, albeit non-active for the past few years.


Here's how the days of riding broke down:

Day Total Time Distance Avg. speed Elevation gain

1 2:16 35.69 15.7 4307

2 5:28 79.91 14.6 7560

3 4:20 66.13 15.2 7520

4 6:00 76.01 12.7 10998

5 3:33 54.75 15.4 5624

6 2:31 35.44 14 4422

Total 24:08:00 347.93 40431

Yup, that's right, 40 thousand feet of climbing in 6 days, almost 11000 of it in one 76 mile day.

To be fair, I didn't ride the last day, so I _only_ got 36,000 feet in.


I ended up straining my achilles' tendon on day 5. I certainly wasn't just that one day that did it, as I could feel it after the 11000 foot day. But it was enough to hobble me off the bike. It's been a week, and after resting and icing the ankle, I no longer have any pain for the first time. I'm going to try the stationary trainer tonight and see if it holds up.

Over the past 20 years, I experienced several recurring maladies which have conspired to keep me off the bike for a time that were _not_ results of crashes. Neck, shoulder, elbows, hands, back, knees, toes, quadriceps, even penile numbness, have all occurred more than once. Never have I had my achilles tendon flair up. And on this trip, I had slight cramping of the quads, but none of the other afore-mentioned pains, except for the achilles' tendon, which has never happened before.

These are two pictures of the driveway:

Come to find out it's about a 43 % pitch, No, that's not a typo, it's a 4, followed by a 3, the percent. Imagine riding 'home' to that after a 76 mile ride and 11000 feet of climbing.

Day two was the worst. Cold and rainy. I've never shivered that much on the bike. The only saving grace that day was being able to climb, since that warmed us up.

Here is the profile of the monster day (day 4):

Stats: 6:00 hours actual riding time
76.01 miles
10998 feet of climbing.

There was only one day where the temperature was appreciably above 50. That was day one and it was fucking beautiful, ~70, high thin clouds, no wind. The best we were able to muster after that was cloudy and in the 40's.

It was overall a good time and we had fun. There was only one minor incident of people nerves flaring which was quickly resolved with apologies. And then there was the 'Boiled Egg Incident'.

One of the guys has a penchant for hard boiled eggs after a long ride. Whatever.

So on day 5 he puts a pot on the stove in the morning with 1/2 a dozen eggs in it.

Then we leave.

For over 4 hours.

We come back to a house filled with smoke, and exploded eggs _everywhere_. Some of the hard boiled bits landed a good 20 feet from the stove.

Of course, the guy whose name the house was in went ballistic. The rest of us pretty much waited outside until the yelling stopped. We were all laughing about it a few hours later.

I was clearly the least fit of the group. There was only one guy I was able to consistently beat to the tops of the climbs, and even then he stayed with the leaders a few times and beat me to the top. He weighs 215, I weigh 140. I suck.

Well, The better weather is approaching, and I'll be able to start riding to work in the next couple of weeks. That's the best training of all for me.

More on riding in the coming weeks!!!


solobreak said...

You surpassed my February total for on the bike hours in just six days. Sounds like fun, but a bit early in the year for North Georgia. You'll bounce back...

zencycle said...

I passed my january and february miles my 2007 climbing in 6 days