Thursday, June 5, 2014

The Taper

Not tapir, dummy, TAPER!
Yes, this is a taper week: a period of lower training volume designed to ensure fresh legs at Saturday’s mountain bike race. But it’s not a week off. After a scheduled rest on Monday, I returned to New Fane for three full laps on Tuesday and I rode pretty well … certainly with more purpose and intensity than I showed on Sunday.

On Wednesday I went to Cedarburg for the fast Ozaukee Bike Club training ride. Ten miles in, I couldn’t stay with the leaders on the big hill on County Highway M. For the next 3.5 miles I still could see the lead group, but I couldn’t make the catch. At mile 15.5, tired of making zero progress in No Man’s Land, I stopped for 2 minutes to allow a solo chaser to reach me. We then made good progress through Newburg and down County Highway Y to Knollwood Road. Our goal was to get ahead of the leaders before they hit Blue Goose and St. Augustine, which you may recognize as the final unpaved sector of Cheesehead Roubaix. And we achieved our goal, but we cut off too much of the route and the leaders never caught us. In the end I did 33 miles at an average speed of 19.7 mph, my fastest ride so far this year. I probably had the legs to hang with the leaders for all 40+ miles of their route, if only I had stayed with them on the big hill.

Also yesterday I signed up for the Wisconsin Endurance Mountain Bike Series (WEMS). On the surface that doesn’t make a lot of sense—right now I’m committed only to Saturday’s race at Suamico and to the Northern Kettles Fall Epic at New Fane on Sep. 13. But I might do the Kewaunee Buckthorn Buster on Aug. 30, and by registering for the series I can contribute to Team Pedal Moraine’s pursuit of the team participation trophy. Whether I will compete for series points in WORS remains to be seen. Team Pedal Moraine is not in the hunt for WORS team trophies this season.

Today I did a good solo road ride. Tomorrow I won’t do much, if anything. Saturday’s race should take 2.5 to 3 hours depending on the weather. It’s going to be warm and that suits me, but it might be wet and that would slow things down.

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