23 January, 2011

A full weekend of snowy rides

Saturday, I already wrote about. Pretty sure I shouldn't have stood for 2+ hours at the get together last night while wearing 4" heals. OK, OK  I'm not so smart at times!  :)

I was a little concerned I might not sleep well. Sometimes, after a tough effort like the TT I wake up all night or just wake up and can't get back to sleep. But last night I slept all night with only one brief interruption. AND I slept til 8!  Which was icing on top.

Drove up to Deam lake to ride the fire roads with another large group. Yeah, last week I wrote that I didn't think I'd go back. I changed my mind! After the hike a bike yesterday all I could think is that I need more time riding my mtn bike. Especially with the Death March in less than 7 weeks now.

Riding today was tough. Just the ride on the paved road (covered with snow and ice) was treacherous. One cyclist fell that I saw. While I don't mind falling in snow, I don't like falling on a paved road, ever! Once we got on the trails I was feeling pretty good. We were all together. The snow was tough to maneuver in, but we all seemed to be experiencing the same problems. There are a couple of steep descents not too far from the beginning of the ride. This is where I started lagging behind. The first one was about 4 inches of snow over loose gravel. The second one was more snow, less gravel. But longer and at the bottom there is a curve to the left and a creek to cross. I did ok, but as I said i started lagging behind. Had to push the bike on several ascents where I just couldn't keep traction. Came to the second creek which was also at the bottom of a descent. Think I took the wrong line, slowed too much and endo'd over the creek. At least I didn't get my feet wet! 

We regrouped a couple of times. Each was at the top of a hill. I was feeling ok that I wasn't that far back each time, seeing other still pushing their bikes up the hill. After the second regroup I stayed with everyone for a while. I was trying to get close to catch some conversations, but never quite heard any of them. Started getting all wrapped up into wanting to ride with and be a part of the group and what everyone was chatting about. As the trail started to increase in steepness I found myself chasing. Trying to get on someones wheel. But in the snow, it's crazy because everyone is fishtailing so you don't want to be too close. They gradually pulled away. Others passed me. I was anxious and started to get too worked up about all that. So, I got off my bike and talked to myself for a few minutes. Today I came to ride. I knew that after yesterday my legs would be pretty tired. My goal was to have fun riding in the woods with nature. So, I rode when I could at my pace. I pushed when I needed and concentrated on staying relaxed and not so tense with pushing the bike. 

I got to the top of the trail at the road and the RC was waiting. He got me to follow him to the out and back where everyone else had gone. But being on pavement, picking up speed and not having the woods for protection I got very cold. So I told him to go on and catch them. That he and the rest should have a good time today. I was heading back down. He wanted me to stay and ride with him. But when I insisted he said to be careful going back down the hill. I was. There was a short part where a truck or atv had ridden and put in good tracks (just like the last part of the uphill trail). But once I crossed the barricade there were only bike tracks. I tried to stay in the tracks and kept slipping and sliding. Then I rode in the deep snow where the traction was great but took much more power and energy to keep moving. I walked some and rode some. I took time and looked around, checked out some animal tracks, listened to sounds of the woods. At one point I ran into another group of mtn bikers coming up the hill. They were pretty tired. I flew down a couple of the descents, stayed relaxed and concentrated on keeping the wheel straight. Not an easy task. Once I got back to the paved road I started having lots of slipping. So I finally just pushed the bike most of the way back to the van.

All the hard riding this month was nothing compared to the frozen TT I did @ CX Nats on a cross bike. Here's a pic. I was pretty puckered up the whole time that race.

This was a good weekend in cold and snowy conditions. My legs are toast and the rest of me is wiped out. I was a bit disappointed when I got into my hot bath to find it wasn't and there was no hot but only lukewarm water. The maintenance man just called to say it would be fixed tonight. yeay! Hate he has to come out on Sunday, but glad it will be fixed.

I need more work, but it's January and I should be enjoying myself. Will focus on the things coach tells me when he thinks it's the right time. I need to find a way to get more base miles. Guess that's up to the weather though. And my butt needs to finish healing. It still hurts when I ride, uphill especially. I am fortunate to be able to get out and ride and have fun as much as I do. 

Local junior cyclist I mentioned yesterday raced this morning. The World cup is next weekend. But today he came in 25th and I think was the #1 American in the junior race. So proud of him!

Have to work 5 days this week. I'm sure they will go fast. Hope everyone stays healthy and gets in some fun!

peace to all

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