BlogWHAT? Not much to say lately. Been trying to do longer rides than in the past, and ride more, of course. I was doing pretty well until April, then somehow, after the nice weather we had for Ronde de Rosey, I fell off the wagon. Once I get one day in shorts and short sleeves, 40 degrees does not seem warm anymore.
Having not really ridden since Rosey (well, I rode that Tuesday with Curtis, but then nothing for 2 weeks), I felt obliged to try to get long miles with Chris Milliman at his cool sounding UV Epic. 90 miles, 9k feet of climbing, on dirt. Now, I was pretty sure I could not complete the course, but I needed long hours so I figured worst case I bail along the way and get back to Hanover.
Needless to say, the weather was truly EPIC (and I don’t use the word) and my legs were total SHITE. Maybe that run on the hotel treadmill in between four days of walking around Boston was not the best prep.
All I remember is shivering, and in retrospect, that Vermarc thermal jacket IS NOT WATER PROOF. Duh. I never, ever, EVER ride in the rain cause, duh, I am a CAT 4, I DON’T HAVE TO! So I never really realized that is not even really water resistant. Its super warm in a sponge-like way. Checking the photos, I was the only one not in a rain cape. Big mistake. My legs/feet were fine. My hands were ice bricks, even though I had three pair of gloves on me, one neoprene. It didn’t help.
Here is how Chris wrapped up the ride:
It was the hardest UVE so far, and it only last 25 miles.
What started as a light sprinkle in the early morning was, by our 8 AM departe, a pretty steady wet snow with 36° temps. But 15 of the stupidest riders in North America weren’t going to let a good morning go to waste, so off we went into the cold and wet. All riders’ feet were soaked within a mile and hands followed quickly after.
The first climb of the day had half the riders off their bikes and walking, the combination of 2″ deep snow and wet sand proving too much for road tires. The second, and what turned out to be last, climb was great except that as the elevation rose so did the depth of the snow. With two riders going down on the descent to Beaver Meadow Rd, one twice (ahem, Jerry), calling it a day was not a hard decision to make. (Notice in the picture the minivan in the background, it couldn’t get up the hill we’d just come down.)
It wasn’t just that it was cold and wet, which it definitely was, but the road conditions were getting unrideable at a rapid rate. So we all live to ride another day, no doubt bummed out that long car rides had not netted a better ride. But nature plays the trump card every time.
Oh right, I forgot…on the first hill, we all fell over riding up in the snow, spinning out. That effed my dura ace pedals and I was unable to clip in from that point forward. Oddly, who knew (no really who knew) riding unclipped on steep slippery downhills on fat slicks is really hard. I think I can ride a bike, but I wiped out TWICE. The snow/mud/ice packed those damn pedals so hard I just could not get back in, no matter how much cleaning and banging I did. So I just kept wiping out. Also could not get UP the hills cause I could do much pedaling. It was not ideal and I did not “represent” very well, being OTB as usual.
In the end, we got about 20 miles and maybe 2k of climbing.
Pictures or it never happened: