It isn’t like me to go a full week without updating this blog, but here we are. I followed up last Saturday’s Washington County Bicycle Club ride with a short solo effort on Sunday and a rest day on Monday. On Tuesday I did a 41-mile road ride but my legs felt like lead. With no softball on Independence Day, I did another short solo effort and rediscovered a little form. After something of a slow start on Thursday’s evening group ride, I rode pretty well and had no problems with the extreme heat. Friday’s effort was another short, punchy solo ride.
All of that set up today’s ride with the Cream City Cycle Club, leaving from UW-Washington County and wandering through Iron Ridge and Mayville. Just like last Saturday, I used my cyclocross bike to make my ride more challenging. But this time I opted for my lighter Mavic Aksium wheelset and my 700x25 Continental Gatorskin tires. The 700x30 cyclocross tires I used last week are now looking pretty worn out. I didn’t want to risk a puncture on a ride that eventually turned into my first metric century since May 28. And today’s route included a fair bit of climbing, including Schuster Drive just minutes after the start.
I probably should have gotten on the mountain bike at some point in the last week, but I wanted a break. I had the week off from work and spent a lot of time just relaxing and enjoying the Tour de France on TV. This is the first of two periods of “down time” this summer, three-week blocks without racing. I want to arrive on the starting line of the cyclocross season opener with fresh legs and nothing but enthusiasm.
In the days ahead I need to concentrate on mountain biking. My next WORS race, the Alterra Coffee Bean Classic, is just a week away. Being able to climb the ski hill at Crystal Ridge in Franklin will be the biggest key to a successful race, but I can’t afford to overlook the singletrack. I already have shown that I can outclimb most, if not all, of my series rivals, and no amount of training is going to make me a markedly better climber between now and July 15. But more practice on singletrack could yield greater confidence and better race results.