Sunday, July 26, 2009

She like me, she really really likes

Mother nature that is. I swear that mother nature has decided that 2009 is the year of the paddler, not the cyclist. So quick update from yesterday's excitement.

Spent a couple hours at Mountainview doing a couple laps of the Ontario Cup course. Yes it's marked, no you cannot ride it, except for Thursday night. It's going to be used for the weekly series for the next 2 weeks. I would highly recommend you come and get a couple laps in before race day. Yes, it's hard again this year. Last year I heard tons of people complaining that the course was to technical and to much climbing. What is this? knitting???

I'll try and be nice and get a video preview of the course up this week. Club member have a little perk of getting a few extra days of riding in a week. We are even restricted on when we can ride because the man (insurance companies) say so. The course is awesome though. Lots of climbing lots of roots, not a lot of boring flat double track but just enough to pass. Yes the killer start hill is there again.

From there I made my way down to Hardwood to through water bottles and motivational comments at my coach and her boyfriend. It was fun being on the other side of the bottle. No I do not plan on doing that to often. For those that asked, lots did. The summer 8 hour was never even on the c list of races for this year. Of course I kinda wish I could have raced.

So the Mother Nature side of it. It was fine all morning for my ride and for the start of the race. mid day things were perfect. 3 pm the sky's changed a little. 3:30 it was death from above. The rain came. Mother nature basically said that's it boys and girls. Of course people didn't listen. So by 4:30 the rain intensified. She is mean isn't she. The announcement came across saying last rider out at 5:15 finish cut off at 6. Another race shut down early.

Heather ended up number in the women's and Jason 3rd in Single speed. It was awesome to see them do well. Celebrating dinner at 9, home and a sleep by 10.

Onto today. The weather report showed the same. Rain, thunderstorms, hail?, tornado's, hurricanes? small imported cars falling? Ok way to far, lets just say it's looked like crap again. Woo hoo I have a 5 hour ride to do. The three of us were sitting in the living room at 6:30am drinking coffee talking about yesterday's race. Hey the sun is out. Heather, Jason, just lock the door when you leave. I'm heading out early.

I had a route planned out a few days ago for this ride. Nope not happening. I needed to go by way that I had a bail out fast return to the house type route. I have no problem with light rain, hell even mild rain but if we get anything like yesterday being out on the road was going to suck . Oh did I mention that aluminum and lighting don't mix well.

I was on the bike just by 7:30 and decided to head out towards Awenda Park. Great loop and it's been a while since I've been up that way. I've been on this kick of riding road that have next to no traffic. Best way to do that in busy areas. Start riding before anyone is up. Coming through Midland things were still calm.

Of course I can always see those nasty clouds off in the distance. Made my way through Penetang and up Champlain road. I had a couple options on time/distance. Things are still dry go, full loop. Great addition to the loop. There is now a store in Sawlog bay. A quick stop in to top up fluids and I made my way into the Park. I opted for the direction that has more steady climbs then false flats.

Yes this is uphill.
Stopped for a minute or two here. I xc ski and snowshoe around this lake normally. I can't remember the last time I saw it like this.

If I didn't have an agenda this is a place that I could sit and relax. Hmmm rest day hang out??
Back on the bike I headed to another area of Awenda I only usually see in the winter. Headed to the beach, why because of this sign.

I did go slower going back up but come on. When you see that sign what would you do??? Ok so maybe I'm more immature than you. I only hit the low 70's. I guess they are concerned of beach cruisers getting speed wobble.

Came through the park and still dry. Woo hoo. Head west towards the nasty weather. Coming through Lafontaine I knew I was starting to push my luck. The clouds heading south were far from the colours that bring out rainbows and butterflies.

My camera does not do justice.

This is from the top of an amazing climb on the 15th concession. Same thing about the camera. Unfortunately the normal day off of a fast decent was shut down. The road is in serious need of repaving. It felt more like flash backs to my alpine ski racing days on the worst laid out slalom course.

Started making my way back towards the house. Still dry, minus sweat. Legs are feeling really good. Took my happy highway way bypass, the rail trail. As I roiled back into Waubaushene I was at 4.5 hours. I could see the clouds to the left of me and the clouds to the right of me. No clouds in front of me. Ya you know this is going to turn bad. I figured I could do the loop up to Port Severn and cool down on the return. That would hit exactly 5 hours. Maybe I could do all this before the rain comes. Ya

I made it to Port Severn, started back towards the house, shifted into the small chain ring. I swear my HR monitor, my shift and the rain all hit at exactly 4:45.

Of course this was not calm nice light rain. Mother Nature was nice enough to give me the warning. She lightly hinted to start your cool down at 4:30. Ya I didn't listen. So she stopped with being subtle. Mr Spak your ride is done now! In 15 minutes I was soaked to the bone. I was overall very content. Rolled into the driveway with 5 hours on the monitor. Legs felt amazing the whole ride. I felt zero drop in speed and strength. The section up to Port Severn I was pushing mid 30km/h still staying in the mid zone 2.

I have a couple weeks with no races, next ramp up is for the Mountainview 9 hour but the big focus is now the 24 hour of Hanson Hills. Support is arranged, holidays booked, passport enroute. Let's just hope that Mother nature continues to really like me for the rest of the season. S

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