Sunday, October 3, 2010

Halfway There: Picking Up Speed

It's been a great week of cycling for Mongo. After the unexpected hail and storms early in the week, the weather has turned crisp and clear and Summer is officially a memory. Mongo has managed to ride four days in a row, beginning on Thursday, and I'm feeling as strong as ever going into what is unfortunately one of the final 23/2300 Hammerfests of the year.

For many of the Smyrna Bicycles team members, this is cyclocross season. Mongo has, and could, opine for minutes on what I think of cyclocross, but I won't. It all boils down to this...There are only three reasons to race cyclocross. 1. You enjoy it. 2. You're good at it. 3. You own an ironic/expensive carbon bike with tubular wheels. Since none of these apply to me, I will happily stay on the sidelines.

I have finally gotten all of my bikes nice and quiet and running smooth. On Thursday I managed only one loop of the Hammerfest course on LPE before I got hit with some late afternoon cold drizzle combined with some scattered school buses. The going was cold, wet and slow, so I called it a day after about 30 mi of 85% effort and about 3000 ft of climbing.

On Friday I was looking forward to a brisk effort at the SBFNR. Unfortunately, the only people who showed up were Mongo, "BEH" Darelle, and a girl on a flat-bar who drove all the way from downtown to do the ride. The going was slow with lots of chatting, but it was enjoyable. The girl(I forgot her name) and I both went to high-school and college in the same city, she wasn't bad to look at, and Darelle and I pushed it hard and sprinted at the end of the ride.

Saturday morning I did hill intervals in my neighborhood. An hour and a half of climbing 7-20% grades over and over. In the end, the distance was only about 16 miles, but I pushed myself to complete exhaustion. This training has proven to give me the best results, but I'll never be a fan of going up.

Today I took my game to the Silver Comet Trail for a 40 mile spin and about five smackdowns. Mongo has ridden this trail thousands of times, so I have the ability to judge my performance at any section, at any time, based on years of data. I know when I'm riding well, and I know when I'm not...I'm definitely riding well right now. The highlight of the afternoon was taking down two TT guys right after a drawn-out effort against a dude on a Cannondale who looked exactly like Rahsaan Bahati.

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