The BFNIC Spring Metric Classic ride was yesterday. It was up in the lovely Crystal Lake area, which means hills. Yes we have some here in Illinois. We don't have any around my riding grounds, but they do up yonder. Hum, that seems like excuse number one? Here go two and three:
- See Above ^
- Prior to this I had only three rides for 118 miles.
- No trainer for me means no riding legs at this point in my season.
The weather was great. The ride and route were very well planned out. It was great seeing the other BFNIC'ers for the first time this year!!
Now the suffering. As this group normally goes (fast) we started out briskly. Especially considering it was the second thirty mile loop that included the hills. We bolted out of the start consistently in the 17 to 21 mph range like it was late season. This pace was cool with me at first, but I did pay later in the ride for it. Plus, I was struggling with finding the right gear. I like to spin, but today I was trying to ride mostly in the big ring with less spinning. I just couldn't find my sweat spot.
After the first thirty'ish mile loop the legs were burning. I regrouped at the stop and things went well until the hills around mile 60'ish. While I couldn't hang at the front I was still maintaining a nice effort up to this point. The last hill at mile 65 finished me. I have limited cycling experience, 1 year for 2500 miles, and none with 15% grades! I think my main missteps were standing too early and not attempting the "serpent weave" back and forth across the rode. See, at the steepest part I was already standing to keep the cranks turning. The legs basically wanted nothing to do with this and shut down. I had to stop and unclip before I likely fell over due to lack of movement.
I felt a bit bummed about having to stop. I mean I am in the best shape of my life, as the saying goes. I am lighter, stronger, and more fit then ever. I think my actions show I may be a bit smarter too. It's early in the season. I just didn't have the legs and more importantly the technique to tackle that hill at mile 65.
I think I may be back to this Bull Valley and that 15% grade. This ride was only 2800 feet of elevation gain. I have one slated for June with over 10,000 feet!
69.29 miles / 4:02:24 ride time / 17.2 mph avg with 34.5 max / 125 avg HR / 65 rpm avg with 115 max / 3300 calories burnt.
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