Monday, May 11, 2009

Climb Climb Climb!!!

The dentist decided as long as she was going to replace one metal filing that was getting old, she could replace three others that were equally old. I was fine while my mouth was numb, but after that wore off I had a pounding headache that managed to cut through Tylenol and Advil. I also learned today that I have no fetish that involves two women shoving four things into my mouth at once. No thank you.

Eryn and I counted up her money for the DSi she wanted. I told her if she paid for half - about $100 (tax, screen covers, first game), I'd pay for half. She misses out on those sorts of arrangements because she's an only child, although she comes out ahead in not having to fight over the timesharing. We counted up her change last night and after running it through the bank counter today, it came out to be $99.66 because a.) we'd counted wrong by 1 cent and b.) we had $0.35 in Canadian money.

It's a pretty nice little machine and can take 410 pictures (modifiable) without a memory card through two different cameras and can hook to our internet connection. For her first game, Eryn bought National Geographic's Ponys, allowing her to raise her own pony. Someone will have to tell me what I should buy to amuse myself whenever she "misplaces" the machine.

So...on to the main subject. Climbing. After pedaling the MS60 and realizing I was tired, I thought, "I wonder how that compares to RAGBRAI on its worst day?" So I went out to and took a look at the MS60. Checking the elevation revealed climb between -1% and 1% with an ascent of 702 feet and descent of 702 feet. Ok...good baseline.

Next I scoped out the RAGBRAI 2009 site. Day 2 is the hilliest and listed 72.6 miles with 5,096 feet of climb. 5,096 feet! That was 7 times what I'd done on the MS60 in almost the same distance. Terrifying! But it occurred to me that MapMyRide and RAGBRAI might have different terminology, so I did a search for RAGBRAI 2009 Day 2 on MapMyRide for an apples to apples comparison. WAY better. But still, 1906' ascent, 1663' descent, between -2% and 2%. Ugh. Still three times the climb and from the looks of the elevation profile, the last 2/3 of the ride would trend uphill for the most part.

This scares me. That's a lot of climb. I can do 72.6 miles. I'm not sure I can do 72.6 miles uphill into the wind. So I thought I'd look for an appropriate training route in the neighborhood.

Here's Cliff, Pilot Knob, McAndrew's, Blackhawk (actually, reverse that). 7.59 miles, 194' of ascent between -2% and 2%. To get to what I'm doing on RAGBRAI, I'd have to loop it 10 times. If you're familiar with that route, you'll appreciate how daunting that is. It's going to be my morning training route. The eventual goal is to make it through the route twice in an hour (16 miles) before work. We'll see how long I can keep that up before timing myself against myself gets boring. I only have 58 days or so until RAGBRAI, so I'm hoping I can hold out that long.

To alleviate the boredom, I suspect I'll need to tackle Gears, Tears and Fears on the weekends. This is probably the ride that will get me ready for RAGBRAI. It's between -5% and 5% and 1283' of ascent over 32.35 miles. It's the ride that got me to retire my steel framed Bianchi in favor of a sporty new road bike. When I got midway up a hill in St. Paul and found myself literally in stasis (literally - trapped without moving forward or backward, all my effort pushing forward on the pedals toward the sole purpose of remaining absolutely stationary), I knew it was time for a new bike. So twice around that ride should be equivalent to Day 2 of RAGBRAI, if not a little more challenging because the hills are steeper, specifically picked out for difficulty, rather than a gradual climb out of some river valley.

Ooooo...I'm so excited about burning out my knees. That seems like it's going to be fun. Kyle, I could loan you The Brike, which requires no arms whatsoever. Then you could ride. Eh?

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