Sunday, April 4, 2010

Summer Training for Spring Classics

This has been a most pleasant Easter weekend. Three days, three rides, one goal: get a Tall Tree rider on the podium next weekend. We've got team members racing the Tour of the Battenkill in New York, and the Clarence-Rockland Classic locally. Just about every one will be out there getting it done...Go Team Green!

Friday was long ride day, pitched as a day in the sun putting in the miles. 13 assembled and 4 ended up going long, around 155k of hilly terrain, though slightly less characteristically 'Tall Tree' than usual, as the first section of the route was the paved McGregor Lake loop. For those of us getting ready for Battenkill and the Clarence-Rockland Classic next weekend, the plan was to ride steady and avoid digging deep. Despite sunscreen, I still managed to burn. Note to self: SPF 15 does not cut it, even in April. Despite the burn, I felt good enough after the day to hope to ride well in Saturday's throwdown Neil proposed.

Saturday morning. Neil, David, Imad and I meet at 9 to roll the McGregor loop. The plan: ride tempo to the agreed upon starting point outside Aylmer, then throw down and call it done in Perkins. Neil got the pace going once we'd passed the start; it was on. Taking turns, we functioned much like a 4-man break, throwing little attackes...until the decisive climb about 15k in. Neil led, I followed, and we managed to break off Imad and David, then work together on the descent and remaining kilometers to town. Done. We all felt like we'd been racing cyclocross; good to remind ourselves what that feels like. We continued on at tempo, had a snack in Wakefield, and rode briskly home. Averaging almost 33k/hr altogether, we were all quite happy with our efforts, and finishing off with Notch rd and the Parkway was a treat too. Can't wait for Wednesday night's ride on the Parkway at 6 pm. Come on out if you are looking for a spirited ride. We'll break into a couple groups if there are riders who prefer to take it mellow.

Sunday morning. MTB ride in Kanata lakes! Neil, Anna, Imad, Pascal, David and moi, all smiles as we soaked up yet more sun and continuously commented on how dry it was. Really dry, summer dry, really. Outback yada yada, lots of other riders in the woods having a great time. We all managed to ride well for our first outing of the year on phat tires, and a few of us even pulled off certain climbs for the first time ever. Wow, it seems road fitness is handy on a mtb, who knew. I was reminded what my arms are for by their lack of strength in the rocks. Road riding alone is just not sufficient to maintain upper-body strength....

So three days, about 300k of riding, and one day of the weekend to go (apologies to those working) to deal with logistics for the weekend in New York. This has to be the best Easter weekend I've ever experienced. And I didn't even get a bunny.

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