It was the best of weather it was the worst of weather, is that a copyright infringement? The weekend was a blur, Saturday was action packed and Sunday well, that was just caused by the wind. I found myself in old stomping grounds of Albion Hills on Saturday to cheer Shannon on during her 1/2 marathon trail run. Of course I would be sneaking in some of my own training as well. The weather, perfect, no wind, sun, warm, I don't think we have had that combination together in a long time. Shannon did great at her run, I've learned that it is almost impossible to chase runners around a trail. There course would have made an awesome loop for an O-cup.
For me, it was multiple vomit paced sessions on the to do list. To say that my body still doesn't like these is the truth. I did get to rip through a couple new trails though including a new one that will probably be used for Summer Solstice, it shares the name. Once the traffic get on it, woo hoo, will be fun. Great day in the sun, lots of additional things done, by the end of the day the craving for sleep was high. I knew what Sunday would bring.
Welcome to the adventures of Tristan and Matt. This was 24 hour tag team training ride. No killing each other but no letting the other slack off. The route, Orillia to Mansfield, cheer on some AWI members, taught some others then ride back. So for the first time ever I was later than Tristan, somehow I gaped and forgot all my bottles, 5 minutes into the drive I was u turning. I expect him to revel in this for years to come. Unlike the day before where everything was rainbows and butterflies and roads made of chocolate, today brought dark colored clouds and crazy winds mixed with what felt like continually changing temperatures.
Things were sane coming out of Orillia, stayed sane along Old Barrie road where we waved at a few very pleasant people in their cars who were kind enough to honk at us with support of our long journey ahead, how did they know? As we came through Midhurst and made the left up Wilson we finally got the full force feeling of the wind, full on. It was going to be a tough day. Headwinds are controllable, it also usually means tail winds, well today it was going to nail us from the side for about 85 percent of the ride. Nothing like leaning into the wind for hours on end. We continued along with little concern for much else but wind and the wonderful noise starting out of my rear wheel. Yes my power tap wheel, as we went through Angus it was developing a wonderful tinging sound of loosening spokes. I've heard this before and like before I of course didn't have a tool to solve the problem. Who would??? At this point it would last, we hoped.
Executive decision was to take a route through the Army Base. We knew there was a road over to Lyle, we knew it was closed, what we didn't know was how was the road closed? A short time later we found out, a big ass fence. The words out of Tristan's mouth were, ummm, well can't be repeated here. A quick glance around, a wander behind the building and I was on the other side of the fence. I opted for the low, not recorded on video camera fence. Tristan decided on a different approach and risked his ability to reproduce at a later date while scaling the gate. For the next few minutes I waited for Military Police to chase us down. Luckily we seemed to evade them.
Out in the open farm lands round what ever of blasting side winds again began taking it's toll. One strong gust I watched Tristan drift right, he kept going and going and going, right off the road, and going and going. His pretty deep dish wheels were probably not the best choice for the day but as he said, they look sweet. Yes, road riding is all about looks not common sense??? We finally made it to Mansfield, roughly 3 hours after we left. A huge suck up to Havy at Norco and my wheel was back to normal. Some cheering was done for two laps as we did everything we could to stay warm and hidden from the wind. At the halfway mark of our ride we knew what was still ahead.
2nd time around for the elites and we called it a day and started with the long climb out of the valley, we opted to go around the base on the return trip. The chances of us getting caught crawling back into an army base where a little to high. What it did mean was a couple sections with a rocking tail wind. Aww the wind, it was starting to get to us. More mentally, you could never relax, if you did this was when it seemed to hit the hardest and push you either into on coming traffic or the ditch. We motored along with a quick refueling in Angus where we managed to avoid a short downpour under the cover of a gas station's overhanging. On to Barrie which included a great 80km/h decent to Snow Valley Road. Getting closer, the final run along Old Barrie road started to show where the legs were at. Funny thing was I began to feel better, still sore but controlled the pace a little. There was the town sign, Orillia, we were home free, all down hill from here.
Rolled back to the place we started from many hours earlier, 170 km, averaging 193 watts, 6ish hours of riding with 4500 feet of climbing, 1 warped wheel, 1 giant sail, 2 wanders off the road, 5 pee breaks. Besides the wind we were lucky, we never got more than a short blast of light rain, we saw the sun a couple times during the ride, we didn't freeze, drown or get arrested. I'd say it was a pretty successful day and some great prep for next month's attempt at a repeat win. I'm into a recovery week, it's needed. Check out the AWI Racing site, there should be some race reports up.