Monday, June 4, 2007

Testing 1, 2, 3...

Yesterday's ride was an informal test of my body and mind. My two-week cold at the end of April, plus the KTR taper, then the KTR meltdown, and finally the road trip to Minden, NV had me questioning my fitness compared to this time last year. I have been riding a lot but many of my recent rides have lacked "training purpose".

I decided to get on the road bike and see where I am by riding a route that I do several times per season. The route is 78 miles and climbs Teton Pass twice for a total gain of 5800'. I try to ride the route at the same pace I would ride a 100 mile race.

Last season my two best times were 4:41:00 and 4:45:00. Obviously wind is a huge variable and over this distance it can really affect the time.

Yesterday I did the ride in 4:49:00. My initial climb up the pass felt good and my time to the top was solid. The out and back on Fall Creek Rd was a little slower but it could have been the breeze. The true test of this ride is climbing back up Teton Pass from Wilson, WY after I have 50 miles in the legs. Many parts of the climb are at a 10% grade and it is 5 miles of pain. I always forget to time my split from Wilson to the top of the pass. This would be a key piece of data for this ride so I need to write myself a note and stick it on my stem next time. The final leg is from Victor, ID to my home in Driggs and is mostly flat but the wind is a big factor here. Some days I can average 23 mph and others I can only go 15 mph. Yesterday was a 15 mph day due to a stiff headwind and tired legs.

So I learned that I am probably very close to where I was last year at this time fitness-wise. This is a little disappointing considering the early start I got this year with the addition of snow biking but I think I can make big gains in the next month. I definitely need to put more time into climbing in the next two months and this weekend will be a huge dose of that.

Steamboat has 2100' per lap! Bring it on.

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