|Today's route, done counter-clockwise.|
This was a stressful week but I have come out of it in a stronger position. I mentioned on Monday that I needed to find a new vehicle to replace the old minivan that was crumbling beneath me. Yesterday I found that new vehicle. The transaction is already done, the new car is resting in my garage, and the old minivan is now the dealership’s problem. I have gone back to a 4-door sedan after nearly 6 years. When I acquired the minivan in October 2013, I was working from home. Its lousy fuel economy didn’t matter because I didn’t drive very much. But for the last 4 years I have been commuting more than 300 miles per week. The new car will cut my fuel consumption by about 50 percent, and that’s a big deal. Seriously: that’s more than $1,000 a year at current prices.
Of course, the new car won’t be as capable as a mobile bike race headquarters, It did, however, come with a trailer hitch, so I’m pairing that with a new bike rack. Loading and unloading won’t be as convenient as simply throwing everything into the back of the van, but it will be more than acceptable to me and a far better solution, I think, than putting bikes on top of the car.
The Little Apple 100 gravel road race in Manhattan IL is coming up next Sunday. That may be the first test of the new bike rack, which I had to order and whose timely delivery is not guaranteed. Today I worked on delivering myself to the race in good enough form to make an impression. I did a solo metric century—just my third ride at that distance this season—and experienced a pretty big performance drop at mile 54. It wasn’t a proper bonk, but I probably should have had some calories during the ride. This week I'll formulate a nutrition and hydration strategy for next Sunday. I’ll also make a contingency plan for bike transportation if the new rack doesn’t arrive in time. I do still have the trunk rack I used back in my Corolla/Taurus days, and there’s still a chance that I can convince somebody else to drive.
Today’s effort brought my totals for the week to 11.5 hours and 202 miles. In spite of car shopping and other distractions, it was the big week I wanted. My training volume will go way down in the week ahead, as I don’t want to arrive at next Sunday’s race with no snap in my legs. I couple of full-stop rest days on Tuesday and Wednesday should help me to unload some accumulated fatigue.