|Time||Total – 4 hours |
|Breakfast||6:00 AM – cereal, banana|
|Workout Food||2 large bottles each w/3 scoops Perpetuem, flask of gel|
|Weather||low 40s to mid 40s, rain at the start, some sun by the end, lots of wind|
|Clothing||Sugoi shoe covers, Roubaix knickers, Roubaix leg warmers, Craft long sleeve undershirt, heavy long sleeve jersey, Curve raincoat, Polypropylene liners, OR Gripper gloves, OR lobster overmits, cap|
I never get tired of saying this: weather window.
At 7 and 7:30 this morning it looked absolutely terrible outside. 40 mph winds and sideways rain and 40 degrees. Yikes. But I was SO determined to ride outdoors today... and I had just received my new uber raincoat so I slowly went downstairs to get changed with what must have been a determined look on my face.
By the time I went back upstairs to fill my bottles it had improved dramatically. The rain had almost stopped and there was much more light out than previously. Nice. I put on an insane amount of layers and hit the road. By the time I got down to Leschi it had improved even more. It was going to be a good day.
In attendance were Greg K, Tim F, Andrew, Jed B, Dean J. In general the crowd at the Leschi Starbucks was really small. The wind was out of the SSE so all the way down to Renton it was kinda brutal. My legs were feeling like it was going to be a while before they warmed up today as well which was not helping any. But the direction was consistent so I got busy figuring out a route that would take advantage of this on the return trip.
I have not ridden on Jones Road in ages. It has lots of those tiny rises that are no big deal unless you are close to your limit trying to stay connected to the wheel in front of you. Then it sucks. Today it was covered in pine boughs and pine cones. We kept smelling 'Christmas' all the way to the highway. I felt like I could pull for a fair but but then my legs would cave and I had to run for a wheel. As we turned left on Cedar Lake we passed a group of ByrneInvent riders and Andrew (as is his nature apparently) went to the front and started to pull away up the hill. I closed the gap and tried to push it to the top and did not die this time. Better.
As we hit the flats the shoulder was almost entirely obscured with pine branches. It looked really cool to see all that green. The only problem was we had to ride in the road instead of on the shoulder. At least there was not much traffic. I got in another long pull here and then Andrew took over with an equally long stint at the front – go Andrew.
As we headed up Tiger Andrew started to pull ahead so I figured I would try and hang. Last week his left me for dead on all the climbs but I felt a little better today. The guy is at least 30 lb lighter than me so I had no illusions but I was in the mood for an effort so dug in. Slowly we pulled away from everyone else. There was a gap behind us, then came Greg, another larger gap and then everyone else.
Andrew was breathing loudly! Usually it's me that is sucking wind like mad but he does me one better. Just after making it over the steep pitches I looked back and there was Greg! That guy can close a gap in no time flat. Since the road was flattening out I shifted up and stood up and did my best to 'sprint' away from Greg and Andrew. Ouch...! It must have looked like super slow-mo. Andrew had no trouble staying with me and a few seconds later Greg come roaring past me and I yelled at Andrew to go with that. He did. I could not. But after slowing for a few seconds I felt somewhat recovered and managed to shift up again and increase my speed. And then I caught them and even managed to squirt past and create a very short-lived gap myself. Whew, that was a hard hill.
Riding back on Issaquah-Hobart was a dream. We had a roaring tailwind and the road surface is fine. By this time Jed was suffering some so I tried to encourage him. It is no fun to get left behind ever but especially this far from home.
We turned left on May Valley and kept up the spirited pulling. There were a couple of times that I had to give Jed a push to get him back on a wheel but we stuck together. Tim was starting to falter just a bit by now as well. Not Andrew, that guy is doing just fine. If he can combine this strength with racing smarts he will do very well.
We opted for a 'hot' (read: very tepid) lap of Mercer Island and it was one of the slowest I have ever done. Which was pretty much okay with all of us. Tim and Jed came off twice and the second time they were gone. Luckily it was close to the end.
On the last incline Andrew went to the front and I figured why not? I had to close a small gap to get on his wheel and immediately my legs shut down. It was comical how suddenly it happened. Lights out for Martin. Andrew just kept dancing on the pedals out of the saddle all the way to the bridge. Way to go.
Everyone except for Greg and I went through the pedestrian tunnel so we rode for just a bit longer and chatted. It was a nice way to cool down. I need more of this for sure.
I had SO much clothing on... When I got to Rainier I took off my overmits and when I got to Renton I took off my raincoat and when I got to Cedar Grove I took off my glove liners. But no complaints here – WAY better than getting decimated by biblical floods and winds. The Cedar River was pretty damn high today. As we left the Renton airport and crossed the main road you could see the water was just inches below the walking path next to the river. At the top of Tiger we got dusted by a few snow flakes, it was really pretty actually. Exciting stuff.