Sunday, May 20, 2007

We got one in!! And just before the rain came back

It was a ride of many firsts today.

1) It was Andy's first ride around Barkhamsted this year. Only a plus that it was 'the hard way.'
2) It was the first time using our new Garmin tool. Very cool. Hit the link above to get Andy's data. Calories burned, mileage we rode, elevation chart... It's a doosey of a ride from this direction!
3) It was our first ride together this year DOING our Barkhamsted loop. We usually would ride this once a week last year. I missed that and was happy we got to do it today together.

I was lamenting the rain ala the previous post when I looked outside and saw a blue sky!! Holy crap! I hit the computer, posted a ride to our Cycling/Triathlon groups site and started making calls. Baby sitter was on stand-by so we were set.

Alan Grant showed up and Theirry came as well so the four of us headed off for 'the loop'.

We warmed up until Westfield rd and we all actually took it easy going at our own steadypace. We were seperated but not by too much.

Water St went well and we headed toward East Hartland up Hartland Rd. I stayed with Andy for most of the climb and worked to catch up to Alan and Theirry who were up the rd. I was using this ride as a strength ride rather then a conditioning workout. I used the big ring up this climb and was able to catch both Alan and Theirry before the top but my thighs were burning. Ouch!

Bob Johnson, a friend mentioned in other posts has a saying with me. "It ain't a hill if you can do it in your big ring." That would be a theme as the ride progressed between Alan and I.

I rode with Andy down the next hill while Theirry and Alan got the jump on us and were Gone down the 3 mile descent. Andy and I went across the bottom and headed for the climb. Alan was no where in site and theirry was already up and going around the first corner. This is stiff little climb of about a mile with a couple of slow turns. You think you are at the top and it goes around the bend and keeps going up. We both got inot a groove, Andy and I and we took off after them. I got Theirry on one of the last steeper sections before the last turn. As I passed I hit the gas by clicking to a harder gear and standing up. I was now racing for Alan but I knew I was running out of climb. I got to the last, the real last corner where it flattens out and Alan was just getting there. Damn, missed him.

I yelled to Alan to turn and we would sweep down for Andrea. I had no idea how she was doing on the climb and thought maybe we would have to go down quit a bit to get her. We turned and headed down and before we hit the full turn she rounded the corner. Wow! Seems Andy had hit the gas a well. Later she said she didn't mind that climb. Climbs are always easier when you know the climb and have 'made you peace with it' or at least come to some mutual understanding. She climbed this one really well and especially for the first ride of the year on it.

We rode out to Riverton and along the scenic farmington river through People's Forrest. At this point I was already teasing Alan that I KNEW the stiff chopper over the bridge was 'not' a hill, and the veritable 'climb' to the Savoy Dam was also 'not' a hill. Code words translated as "Ride it in your big ring you over grown giant!" Alan stands roughly 6'5" or 6". His bike looks like something out of Monster Garage and I swear I can look bewteen his legs instead of over his shoulder to see what's in front of him. I'm 5'7" when stretching up. Needless to say we make a great Mutt and Jeff.

Alan did the first one after the bridge and attempted the second. But the big guy dropped off the big ring mid way up. I know the climb and just by accident, on a ride with Bob Johnson, did I discover that I could ride it in MY big ring. Now I have to every time. (It's a guy thing)

We regrouped on the dam. For anyone that lives out in western CT or Ma. This is a really great site. The Savoy dam on rt 318. Beautiful lakes on either side for the Barkhamsted Resevoir. I promised my wife today that we would one day swim across the lower lake at some point this year. It looks too beautiful not to.

Now I had been toying with wether to see how strong my legs were today. I mentioned to Alan I thought that maybe, just maybe, Rt 219 up from the dam was 'not' a hill. Alan thought a moment and considered the climb in his head. "I think you may be right. I could see it."

Okay, I KNOW Bob Johnson can do it. So realistically I KNOW I can do it to but I have no idea if I can go at a steady pace to warrant climbing in my big chain ring. If I'm going 2 MPH and about to tip over it kind of defeats the purpose of doing it right? I can see it now..."Yeah, it took me an hour to climb that darn hill...but I did it in my Big Ring!" Nah.

Well I started the hill in the big ring and quickly distanced myself from Theirry. I was over the first stiff chopper and on the steady part of the climb. I was in my 55X23 and feeling smooth. I stoof and went to my 21 and kept powering up. I sat and didn't drop gear. When I hit the plateau I went to my 19. I finally hit the top still in my 55X19 and some distance from the second place Alan. Theirry came in next afollwed shortly by Andy.

We raced down 219 to 20 and saw a huge thunderhead. Racing to beat the storm we wnt over Day Rd by the old Charter Oak tree. This is another amazing site. This oak tree is over 400 years old and has branches that have dipped down and become rooted themselves. I'm always thankful for the amazing sites that riding has afforded me.

Theirry flatted on 189 and we went a bit up the road and changed it. The sky was BLACK above us. Damn, I jsut cleaned my bike!! Not again! Andrea used her awesome powers and made sure we didn't get rained on. "Nope." she said. "It's going over us not on us." She was right!

We finally headed down Loomis St to 57 and home. hopefully the link will open for you all but if not we got about 58 miles and almost 5000 feet of climbing. A great ride at a good sub 4 hour clip. Not too shabby for a rain day ride.


Kanani said...

You inspire me.

Okay, so I fell off the yoga wagon. But I'm back on. My left foot hurt like hell the other day while doing some stretching in there.

Anyway, T,TH, Sa & are yoga days. The other days are swimimng, abs and weights.

I am 47 and super paranoid about becoming a 60 year old flabboid.
I just hope this damned June gloom (weather) goes away soon.

Kanani said...

Hey matty,
Would you tell Mr. Rock Star over there (John) that his last post was really good, and that I've been telling parents to do just that for years?

It was a relief when I uncovered my son's father's strain of depression, mental hosptial stays and his his grandmother's diary which read like a person going down a cesspit of craziness. Not because it was pleasant, no. But because all of these people were very accomplished as well. And that morsel gave me hope, still does.

Ok. Rock on.