28 May 2011


Today we went on one of my favorite routes, the weather mostly cooperated and we had a super turnout. Good times.

We met a surprising amount of people at the Leschi Starbucks... including Suzie K, good for her. The goal was to get in about 85 miles with some hills at the end to simulate the queen stage of the Capitol Stage Race. We were hoping to keep it together at least for the first half of the ride.

We crossed Mercer Island and headed east on Newport Way and I noticed Brian S was gone. He had started with just one small bottle so obviously he had not intended to go very far. We also dropped Suzie on this gradual drag but Greg and I waited and pulled her back once the road flattened out.

In Issaquah Dave H got a flat and then discovered his tire was not seated properly so we had to stop twice to fix it. Suzie, Gabe T, Neal G and Audrey B used this as an opportunity to get a head start on the climb.

ASIDE – I'm sometimes amazed that Dave finishes any ride. His bikes are usually coming apart in some way or malfunctioning but he seems to win justfinethankyouverymuch in spite of this.

Climbing up to the Issaquah plateau people were able to restrain themselves so we summited together and then headed down the old Issaquah-Fall City Road. This is one of my favorite stretches of pavement – in either direction – and it's always a good place to put in a little dig if the competitive juices are flowing. Apparently they were because the minute the road tipped up Greg K went rocketing past me with Steve O and Andrew E in tow. I had to really dig to catch them and it took about 200 m but once I did they kind of eased up and when I accelerated on the last pitch I was surprised that they did not come along. Maybe it was going to be a good day?

Crossing the summit I passed the head start group and the road was dry enough for me to let go of the brakes and fly down to Fall City. I love this road!

Greg is the king of keeping the pressure on. It's like he's constantly watching his watts and as soon as they dip below 250 he gasses it. As we roll into Fall City he takes the city limit sprint (damn!) and then just keeps going. We caught him just before the turn to the fish hatchery road and in spite of my best efforts to not pull because these guys did not know what way to go I ended up leading into the climb to the falls.

My original plan was to go from the bottom but as the bottom of the climb came and went I revised my plan and resolved to give it a good effort about half way up. I had started in the front but Greg soon passed me. Andrew was on his wheel and then came Steve. As the road turned left I gathered myself and asked Steve if he was ready to go. He said yes so I shifted up, stood up and went hard. I got up to speed, sat down, shifted up one more time and finally looked back. Nothing. Shoot. I pulled into the summit parking lot gasping for air and ready for a quick pit stop.

Suzie and Audrey have had never ridden the scenic loop at the top of the falls so we headed out resolved to keep it together this time. And then it started to rain.

So far the weather had been pretty nice really, not hot or blazing sun or anything but no problems at all. It was like this cloud bank was hovering over Snoqualmie Ridge and it spit on us for the next five miles. Luckily it never rained too hard. On the steep hill Greg and I kept Suzie company and we regrouped half way down at an intersection.

I got in one more good effort on the road into Fall City where I managed to maintain 28 mph for perhaps one mile. Then we rolled through the back side of town and headed up the old Issaquah-Fall City Road. Ouch.

I was kind of hanging back with Suzie and the usual suspects were starting to gap us so I made the decision to just stay here instead of racing this climb. As we started the second pitch we caught RC R and Gabe and finished together. Nice.

After passing Lake Sammamish the person in front opted to skip Newport and take the trail west which is fine with me. It had finally started to get warm so as we hit the trail I took off my gloves and vest. And then we came to the first corner. Which was all covered in wet leaves.

I was riding next to Andrew and had no place to go. I could either slam into the rock wall or try and make the corner. I tried and failed and went down on my right side. Of course I scraped my right palm (no gloves!) and bruised my right hip but other than a slightly wacked front wheel, some new scratches and my right STI lever being pushed in my bike was fine. Luckily RC had some plain old water in a bottle so I was able to rinse my scrape and we carried on.

At Mercer Island Suzie and Steve went home and the rest of us did a lap around the island. It was a very reasonable pace and so at the end I tried to give it one more go on the rise back up to I-90 but this time my body was not having any of it. I started out in the front and ended up in 3rd quite a ways behind Greg who was dueling it out with Andrew.

Luckily(?) there was one more hill on the agenda – Madrona. I got to the top of this one first but probably only because everyone else had already shut down mentally. Then finally when we parted ways I was able to roll home as slow as I wanted.

Today is one of those days I wish I had a power meter.

Sleep 6
Waking HR  
Body Weight  
Body Fat  
Breakfast 5:30 AM – cereal
Workout Food 2 large bottles each w/3.5 scoops Perpetuem, PowerBar, flask of gel
Time of Day 8:30 AM
Workout Type endurance, hills
Weather upper 40s to mid 50s, mostly dry, light rain in the middle, sun at the end
Distance 79 miles
Time 4:57
Equipment Road Bike
39/53, 12-25
Neuvation wheels
Clothing knit shoe covers, knee warmers, Craft long sleeve undershirt, short sleeve jersey, mid weight vest, arm warmers, OR Gripper gloves, cap

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