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“Rides #78 and 79: Time Trial and Birthday Loop”

From: Seth Dillingham In Response To: 6231  Cycling in August, 2008
Date Posted: Wednesday, August 13, 2008 6:31:42 PM Replies: 1
Enclosures: None.

Ride #78, A Solo Time Trial

Due mostly to Steve's and Penny's wedding on Saturday, I didn't manage to ride from Friday through Sunday. By Monday afternoon I was so full of energy I couldn't sit still, so I went out for a short one. I had time for a longer ride, but knew I shouldn't burn too much before the Tuesday night Birthday Loop ride.

Well, my enthusiasm got the better of me. Instead of riding long, I rode really hard. Like a time trial.

After exactly 22 miles my average speed was exactly 22 miles per hour! That's fast, at least for me. Unfortunately, I wasn't home yet. I had just crossed back over the Mystic River, ridden through downtown, and was turning onto River Road. I had one Gu with me, but hadn't eaten any and decided to continue home without eating it.

That was a mistake, because my speed sank like a stone over those last four miles. Still my fastest solo ride of the year, but not what I could have done if I had eaten the Gu at the halfway point as I had planned.

Stats: 26.19 miles (42.16 km) in 1h 13' 44" for an average speed of 21.31 mph (34.31 kph).

Ride #79, The Birthday Loop

Tuesday morning I had breakfast at Snoopy's with Rich, then worked from his place for a few hours (and had a small plate of pasta for lunch). On the way home I stopped at Mystic Cycle to pick up some more Gu and Power Gel, and get some chain cleaner: my bike is always a big mess after the PMC, and I wanted to clean it before the evening ride.

Corinne and Mom both sat out on the front steps and chatted with me while I cleaned the bike. Mom thought I was coating my chain with something when I was actually doing the opposite. This was all a little odd, though, as I've been washing my bike like that for years and nobody has ever, not even once, sat out there to watch me work.

Due to the chit-chat, it took me twice as long to wash the bike as it normally would. When Corinne mentioned it was 4:20, I rinsed the bike off and ran in to change my clothes. We had agreed to leave the shop at 5:00 sharp this week, so I had to leave the house by 4:40!

Well, I didn't get out until 4:45, and arrived a few minutes late. Didn't matter, because Rick (one of the partners, and the ride leader) wasn't ready yet. We left at 5:15, still earlier than last week.

We left with five (Rick, Matt, someone from Mystic Velo, the blustery older guy who's ridden with us three or four times but I still don't know his name, and myself), and rode through/around two other pace lines on River Road and Rte. 201 the way to Wintechog. Both times, we picked up a couple extra riders, but they only stayed with us for a few miles.

I was fine on Wintechog. Not fast, but I wasn't worried. Then on Rte. 2, heading to Cossaduck Hill, all the wind went out of my sails. Blustery-man set a devil's pace up the slight incline, and I stayed with them but knew I was working a lot harder than I should have.

On Cossaduck it was obvious that I was having some trouble. I wasn't last up the hill (but only barely), but I was slower than I was the last two weeks. I recovered a little on the rest of 201 (but Matt quit, so there were only four), but then Gilliver put the hurt on me again. We kept the pace down on 49 so I recovered a little again.

Wyassup Road starts with a very small, slight ascent (like 0.5% for 1/8th mile), which turns into a very slight descent and then dives into a fantastic free fall to the base of the first climb. Every week we do the same thing: Rick pulls up the baby climb, then rolls to the back to get on my wheel, even if he has to sneak in front of someone else. I told him I was feeling tired and wasn't sure I could do what he wanted.

Still, I stretched my calves and relaxed my shoulders a bit with a few rolls, to get ready. Just before we hit the dive I accelerated hard and shot past the guys in front of me (who never expect this). I hit the bottom of the hill at 51.5 mph, my fastest ever for this ride.

As I told Steve this year, I work almost as hard going down hills as I do going up. (Unfortunately, there's a limit to how fast I can pedal..) I was almost completely smoked, and it took me forever to get up that next hill. I had one of the guys in sight, still, but he was gone by the time I reached the top of the second hill. (Wyassup starts high, so it's down, up, down up, down.)

They waited for me at the end, before we crossed over Rte. 2 back onto 201. I'd recovered again, somewhat, and stayed with the other three. At the top of 201 I joked that this is the part where Rick loves to "race it," so I caught his wheel as he picked up speed. I yelled, "come on baby, go!" and he did. 30. 31. 32 mph, on relatively flat road. 33, 34. He signaled with his elbow and pulled off, and I kept the same pace... and shelled him!

He was only a hundred feet back when we turned onto Wolf's Neck. I *think* this is where the Mystic Velo rider pulled off, but maybe that wasn't until after Town Farm's steep climb. Can't quite remember.

Once we were back on River Road I told Rick that I was heading home after Oral School. I'd felt the telltale signs of cramping in my abductors, so let them ride ahead. Sure enough, I had to stop on Oral School Road to let the cramps pass: I couldn't even move my left leg for a minute.

So, in the end I left out one of the climbs, but still did over 50 miles and managed this year's best pace ~and~ my fastest descent. No complaints!

Oh, and two other things:

  • At least half of this ride was on soaking-wet, just-rained-on roads, but we never saw a drop of rain. In fact, most of the time the sky was blue and sunny!

  • I've cramped up more this year than ever before. I'd love to know what's causing it. Rick suggested I need more salt, but I can't find anybody local that carries salt tablets!

Stats: 54.27 miles (87.37 km) in 2h 45' 2" for an average speed of 19.73 mph (31.76 kph).

Oh, and here are the ride stats for

  • 6/17: 18.46 mph
  • 6/24: 18.59 mph
  • 7/1: 18.48 mph (I forgot to have lunch that day!)
  • 7/8: 18.56 mph
  • 7/15: 18.86 mph
  • 7/22: 18.94 mph
  • 7/29: 19.33 mph
  • 8/5: 18.9 mph (PMC was just before)
  • 8/12: 19.73 mph!

Maybe next week we'll finally finish at 20 mph.

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