Monday, April 20, 2015

Week 16

Date
April 18, 2015

Distance
200 miles

Strava Link
Week 16

Route Map/Profile

Weather

Ride Report 

The weather was nice and there was no wind to worry about, so I decided to do a double this weekend. The route was flat and simple: an out-and-back on 395. My main goal for the day was to beat 12 hours.

Things were going pretty well early and I was on pace to reach the goal. Then I got a flat tire around mile 70. It took me about 10 minutes to fix the flat and get rolling again. 10 minutes is pretty slow, isn't it? I guess I never realized how slow I was until I started riding with GPS and could see exactly how long I was stopping. The slow tube change meant that my first hundred miles took 6:01:14. That's close enough to a 12-hour pace, but it's tough to ride the second hundred miles at the same pace as the first hundred miles.

Near the turnaround point
I rode the second half about as fast as I could without blowing up. I was fighting a little bit of a crosswind, but nothing too serious. Things were really touch and go up until the last 30 minutes. By that point I only had to maintain a 15mph average for 30 minutes, so I relaxed and slowed down a little. The pressure to break 12 hours ended up being a good thing. It kept my mind occupied and made the time pass faster.

I ended up finishing in 11:48 with 25 minutes of stopped time. I'm pretty happy with that result. I've been doing a lot of back-to-back days this year, but haven't really done a single long ride. My legs felt dead Saturday night and Sunday morning, but I was able to squeeze in 100 miles on Sunday and felt better than expected.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Week 15

Date
April 12, 2015

Distance
103 miles

Strava Link
Week 15

Route Map/Profile

Weather

Ride Report 

I did another back-to-back and this was the second day. My legs didn't feel so great before the ride, but they loosened up pretty quickly. I had a decent speed going on the first half of the ride and then things slowed down on the ~30 mile stretch of US 50. It was one of those days when I felt like I had a headwind in both directions.

50

Monday, April 6, 2015

Week 14

Date
April 6, 2015

Distance
103 miles

Strava Link
Week 14

Route Map/Profile

Weather

Ride Report 

It was a cold and windy weekend, but I managed to fit in back-to-back centuries. Saturday was in the 10-25mph wind range, but the wind didn't really pick up until around 11:00 or so, allowing me a few hours to relax a little. Sunday was a different story. I woke up around 6:00 and the wind was already blowing hard. Sunday's winds were more in the 20-30mph range. I did laps around Washoe lake so I wouldn't have to spend too much time at once riding into the wind.

The disappearing Washoe Lake
Washoe Lake is disappearing before our eyes and is supposed to be completely dry by summer. Here's a picture from a similar spot in December, 2012.

Washoe lake, December 2012

Monday, March 30, 2015

Week 13

Date
March 29, 2015

Distance
127 miles

Strava Link
Week 13

Route Map/Profile

Weather

Ride Report 

I had a big week last week, so I took things pretty easy this week. I did two recovery rides plus one day off, and then on Thursday I was feeling frisky and did a short but solid ride. I went easy on Friday and then rode full gas up Geiger on Saturday. I wasn't too happy with the results up Geiger. I was hoping to be about a minute faster.

I expected to feel good on Sunday. With the warm weather it almost felt like summer out there, so I did a summer-like route. I started with Geiger Grade, then down 6 Mile Canyon and back up the truck route to Virginia City. After that I decided to climb Mt. Rose for the first time this year. I don't know what it was, but I didn't feel good at all on Mt. Rose. I'm not sure if I'm not 100% recovered from last week or if I'm simply not in good climbing shape yet this year. I felt more sore than normal after the ride, too. I'll take it easy again next week and see how I feel.

Meanwhile, there was a pretty good crowd at the lake and people were out there in bathing suits. It was another beautiful day for a ride.


Monday, March 23, 2015

Week 12

Date
March 20, 2015

Distance
122 miles

Strava Link
Week 12

Route Map/Profile

Weather

Ride Report 
I was able to squeeze in a 4-day Petoji training block. I was hoping to average 110 miles per day, but mostly by accident I ended up averaging 119 miles per day. On the first day the weather was great and I ended up riding 125 miles. This ride was the second day, and since the weather was still good (a little windy) I decided to climb US 50 for the first time this year and take a quick look at Lake Tahoe.


I know it's just a bad cell phone picture, but you can probably see that there's hardly any snow left. I was down in Markleeville yesterday and Monitor Pass is already open. I'm tempted to go ride it next weekend.

I ramped things down a little on the last two days with shorter rides and not as much climbing (Day 3, Day 4). That was more due to the wind than anything else. The wind hit me on day 3, but I started early on day 4 and missed the worst of it.

My legs felt pretty good. I'm starting to learn how to pace myself for these multiple long days. I just have to accept riding at a slightly slower pace. The biggest thing is to pace myself on the climbs. My instinct is to ride the climbs hard, but I was doing a pretty good job this week of riding the climbs at a more relaxed pace. I rode hard up a short climb on the 4th day and it took a lot more out of me than I expected. 4 days may sound like a lot, but it's not even 20% of what I'll need to do in August. Pacing will become even more important.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Week 11

Date
March 14, 2015

Distance
101 miles

Strava Link
Week 11

Route Map/Profile

Weather

Ride Report 

I had a 3-day weekend, so I couldn't resist going to Death Valley. My climbing needs some work, so I did some repeats on a nice quiet climb just outside the park. I ended up doing 7 hours worth of repeats, which was just short of 15,000 feet.






I took a long break (I actually fell asleep) and rode the extra miles to hit 100. I needed a ride like this because I'm definitely not in very good shape right now. I felt like I started the day at a conservative pace, but I seemed to hit a wall around the 4-hour mark. My legs were dead by the end of the day, but I went ahead and did 100 miles and 9,500 feet the next day, which ended up being at a snail's pace. But hey, 25,000 feet is a good weekend of training and there's never a bad time in Death Valley. It was the perfect time of year to be there- flowers were blooming and the temperatures were warm but not quite hot yet.

I'm off Thursday and Friday, so I'm going to do a 4-day block of Petoji training from Thursday-Sunday. I'm hoping to average 110/day for those 4 days.

Monday, March 9, 2015

Week 10

Date
March 7, 2015

Distance
102 miles

Strava Link
Week 10

Route Map/Profile

Weather

Ride Report 

What a difference a week makes. The temperature jumped about 25 degrees and the weather was fantastic. I took advantage of the warm, sunny skies and did a little climbing. I did 2 laps of Six Mile Canyon plus the Virginia City Truck Route.

Unfortunately, NV 342 is closed until summer and all traffic is being diverted to NV 341 (the truck route). This is bad news because (a) 342 has a nice climb with a steep section that makes for a good test and (b) 341 used to be a super quiet road, but now it has more traffic. 341 is probably my favorite descent in the area, and the low traffic was one of the main reasons why.






Next week could be a big one. Stay tuned.