Saturday, May 07, 2005

35 miles

on my Trek mountain bike might almost be enough to kill me this early in the year (that's from my house, around Lake Harriet, and back). Yeah, I did 32 for the Ironman, but I took that at a nice, slow pace, whereas I hammered it a bit yesterday, in part, thanks to a woman in a purple tank near Lake Harriet who seemed to be doing a nice easy pace just a little faster than I was going, but was actually tooling along around 17-18 mph on average. If you're behind someone and they don't seem to be expending any effort at all and they're hitting 17-18 on a mountain bike, you know they're in good form. When I hit 17-18 for an extended period (when I'm not in shape), it shows - some wobbling, some visible strain in the legs, panting - all very ugly. It also didn't help that I didn't get off the bike until mile 24 for a few minutes (grabbed a DQ cone - but before you judge, I had intended to find a burrito) and that once I hit the parking lot below Fort Snelling, it's pretty much uphill for the next 6-7 miles. The area right there is beautiful, but when you're on the Mendota Bridge you can see exactly how far up you've climbed and how far you're going to climb (twice) and, unless you cherish your hill time, it's a little disheartening. When I got home I had to pop advil and tylenol and soak my legs - I don't think I've felt that close to bonking in a long time.

The good news - it's 10 miles, almost exactly, to the Nokomis coffee shop, which is where the Done by One TCBC ride starts on Saturday mornings - so if I'm capable of a 50 mile ride, I can bike there, bike 25-30 miles, and bike home, all without a car and all, presumably, by 2:00 p.m. on a Saturday at the latest. I hate driving a car to where I'm going to bike - seems like a waste of biking time. 50 miles and all of Saturday morning might seem a little excessive, but I'm hoping to do a century at some point this year (maybe Weekend on Wheels or el Tour de Tucson), so the general rule is you have to be able to do a strong half century.


Anonymous said...

I was thinking we should plan rides together-We could meet at fort snelling and explore those tracks (on mountain, of course). Fort snelling seems like half way, yes? Or we could meet for coffee/ice cream near the lakes. What do ya say?

Scooter said...

I thought about that while I was biking up there, actually - next time I head that direction, I'll let you know. We could actually meet at Hiawatha Park and go from there. Hit the lakes, or head back toward the trails into St. Paul - lots of places to go from there and lots of access to coffee shops/burritos. Katie gave me a bunch of coupons for various coffee shops, so I'm going to put them in my bike bag so I have places to target when I'm out riding.