Sunday, April 20, 2008

Training Week 11 - 65 miles planned out of Boxboro, MA

Okay, here we are at week 11, so it is high time we are putting in some serious miles, and getting some reasonable hill-climbing into our workouts. As I check with last year's schedule by comparison, we were ready to do a mini-Tahoe at Franconia Notch, NH by April 28, 2007. This year, the Frank-Notch ride is scheduled for next week Saturday (April 26), which means we are right on schedule--at least for training plans! Now what am I really ready to do?

I finally get a photo of ME taken on one of these rides!

If this week's workout is any indication, I should be fine at Franconia Notch on the 26th, but I'd feel a lot better if I'd gotten in some serious work on the Arlington Round House hills during the week before. I've never gotten there yet this year. So, this week I mean to get there at least once per day, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and maybe Friday morning. So, I'll need to check back in here daily this week, to tell you what I did, and to post some pics of the work as proof.

At the start of the ride, we were all focussed on the hot sun and the need for lots of food and water.

No need to prove we were out on Saturday (for the first time this year I get a Saturday bike ride outdoors). The sun was out and the weather was even a little bit hot. I had to shed my yellow wind shell, and dump my middle layer jacket in order to stay cool. I even needed extra water for my Camelpack. The bike needs a little touch-up in the rear-dérailleur tuning, since it was hanging up on the sixth gear when raising (but not dropping).

I have been promising you all photos of the Wachusett Reservoir near Clinton, MA, and now I finally have some. See more of them in my photo album for this ride, which includes more than seventy shots, and linked below.

We had plenty to do to keep up with the lead crew this time, as Steve Mauro and his son J.C. were joining us, and about nothing non-mechanical can slow them down. With the sun out, the reservoir lake was very lovely, and I would have stopped for more pictures. Only thing, we had such a head of steam getting around and over the lake that I didn't want to stop too frequently and wind up getting behind. Again, I suspect I'm not getting adequate cross-training and mid-week riding to cover me for these long weekend treks without needing to play catch-up when I'm winded.

But I never really got winded, which means I'm getting too used to the Res trail. I need a change, so I'm hoping we opt for Franconia next weekend, and I'm hoping I can get to Arlington Heights for some hill drills this week. I probably need humbling, and Franconia Notch will be just the trick.
Here is the enormous dam that holds up most of the water in the Res. You are seeing the back side of the thing, which must be about 125 feet tall, though I haven't checked the official numbers. Too bad we aren't allowed to walk across the top of it, which would make for a great photo-op.

Steve and J.C. finally did suffer a flat tire that took a lot of work to get fixed. Steve decided to use a new tire, I think, and there was some trouble getting the assembly together, which caused a short delay in their finishing. Luckily we were most of the way done and heading back from Clinton by that time. On-the-road maintenance is tough, and we all have to be prepared to do it, even though we mean to avoid breakdowns at Tahoe. New tires were a good idea for me this past week (see week 10 below). Now I just need some minor fixes to be fully ready for the trip, at least mechanically.

BTW I did make it down the Rte 111 hill this time with a max speed of 39 mph, and no irregularities, though I did not try to maximize the speed. Traffic was a little heavy at the time, though no one passed me going downhill. I suspect I could have made 45 mph if I had tucked more and just lennerrip, and that is about as fast as I want to go in traffic the way people drive around here. Also, the drivers this week were much more pleasant. Either it was the weather, their tax returns, or just that we looked prettier out there this week. Thanks to the local drivers.

Check out my photo album at 20080419 Training for more pics of this lovely 64.1-mile training ride.

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