Saturday, April 2, 2011

Help Me, Ronde

I’m back from my trip to eastern Pennsylvania, seven days during which the weather was a disappointment but the opportunity to see family and friends outweighed all other concerns.  Three of the seven days were consumed almost entirely by driving a grand total of 2,150 miles.  I got to ride my bike on two of the remaining four days.  On Tuesday I did 30 miles of road riding and on Wednesday I rode 20 miles on the Perkiomen Trail.  That ride was supposed to be a lot longer, but I found the trail closed just south of Schwenksville PA.  There was a big fence across the trail and signs announcing its temporary closure—a seasonal thing, I guess, to allow the trail to dry out after the snow melts.  I had ridden the trail before but only in summer, so I wasn’t aware of this provision.  It was disappointing to turn around but there was no choice.  The trail did provide the challenge of an unpaved, 1/3-mile, 12 percent hill climb, which is quite unlike anything I’ve ever seen on another recreation trail.  My heart rate jumped up to 92 percent, but I rode up.  I bet most people walk it.

That little victory sustained me through the rainy washout that was Thursday, and then yesterday I drove back to the Midwest.  Today I promised myself I would make an effort and get back into a training mindset.  I did 25 miles—half of them into a stiff NW wind—with an average heart rate at 76 percent.  My route took me through Glacial Blue Hills for the first time this year.  In anticipation of an all-day rain, the plan for tomorrow is a two-hour trainer ride during the Versus broadcast of the Ronde van Vlaanderen.  Watching Cancellara, Boonen, Gilbert, et al., as they suffer on the climbs and cobbles will be my inspiration.  I don’t yet feel confident that I will ride well in my own metric century, Cheesehead Roubaix, in just two more weeks.  I need to build mileage and hit some hills in the meantime.

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