Thursday, May 15, 2008

Ritual and Reward

Last night was another installment of the Ritual Ride with the PRC squad. I'm absolutely stunned at how quickly this ride has grown. I managed to make it to the first "pre-ride" and the first ride itself and the turnout has been nothing short of awesome. I think last night's count was around 55 riders total with at least 50% being women. If nothing else, this should tell you how sorely an event geared towards getting women involved in the sport has been missed in the area. The beautiful weather didn't hurt much either.

We took off a shade past 5:30 and did the usual rollout with the group splitting into A & B where the A group does an extra loop through part of Waterworks in order to keep the overall group a little spread out on the bike trail section plus keep us closer to arriving back as a single group. The A group wasn't attacking by any means, but the pace was nice and fast at 20-22 mph average for most of the ride. As per usual, once we hit the couple rollers outside of Orilla, I dropped off the back a bit and wasn't able to close back up by the time we hit the soccer hill. A couple red lights as we rolled back into town played in my favor though and eventually i caught the few riders left from the front of the group as we crossed Fleur. 34 miles on the legs and I felt pretty good when I hit home. Amazing how much easier it is to push skinny tires and a light frame after riding the mountain bike for a few days.

Today actually marks the 5th day in a row I've gotten to ride my bike. It's my 3rd commute in this week and I'm definitely starting to consider taking a more proactive approach to doing some commuting the rest of the summer. I've got about a 18-19 mile round trip depending on the detour I'm currently taking. Overall it runs about 35ish minutes on the mountain bike without pushing too hard. My biggest problem is that if I tried to ride slow enough to not sweat, it would take me almost an hour to ride in and that's too long. So, I'm set with taking baby wipe showers once I get in and just sweating it out once I get home.

I mainly rode in today to get a few shakedown miles on the mountain bike after tearing it mostly down on Tuesday night to clean and prep it for the race this weekend. The good news is that everything seemed spot on this morning with a new chain, greased and clean rear hub/axle, and a good general cleaning overall. I did find some loose spokes which I put a bit of tension back into. They were casualties of me tweaking the rear wheel during an endo this spring. The rim was tweaked just enough that we really had to tension one side and loosen the other. They apparently finished loosening on their own so I'll be keeping an eye on them in the future. I'll probably need to keep on the lookout for a good cheap wheel sometime this year and put this one into reserve.

I've been trying to avoid setting any goals for this weekend beyond finishing. However, I'm just too damned competitive for that idea to hold water. At least I'm going to try to set some hopefully modest goals considering my current conditioning and lack of long distance rides this year. I really would like to finish in the top half of the field which would currently mean about 30th place give or take. I'd also like to finish in under 9 hours total time out. I'm shooting to stay on the bike as much as possible and be self contained beyond a single water stop somewhere along the way. I'm carrying 70 oz of water on my back and another 24 of perpetuem fuel in my bike bottle so I figure I'll be good for 2/3 or better of the race on liquids. Obviously part of my fueling will be liquid, but I'm also planning some Clif bars, and various other goodies stuffed in somewhere. Beyond that, I'm going to try to carry a sane amount of spares and parts and keep my total pack weight under 15 pounds. We'll see how that goes. Wish me luck!

No comments: