Ice Ride

Ice Ride

So I took my Epic out today for it’s inaugural ride for the 2013 season. It was a welcome return of both suspension and gears.  It was a bright sunny day over in my neck of the woods, but the temperature was hovering right around freezing and there was a pretty stiff North West wind so I bundled up pretty good. With the Barry-Roubaix now 3 weeks away, it was time to find out where I stood in my preparations.

I wasn’t sure what kind of shape I was going to be in after not having a great winter of getting outside for rides. Last year’s abnormally warm winter put me (as well as many other Michigan riders) in great shape for the spring race season. I planned out a 42 mile route that included my well traveled Lakeshore Drive gravel shoulder routine as well as the gravel road route that I found last fall. As soon as I started heading out to the big lake, I knew I was going to be in for a challenge. Here’s the link to my Strava:

http://app.strava.com/activities/43044286

The bike path out to the lake is now 70-80% clear, but with my Epic the little bit of snow didn’t bother me or present much of a problem. With the sun beating down on it, the covered areas were pretty soft without any ice. Then heading north on Lakeshore Drive, the wind and conditions became a real factor. I always hop off the bike path at that point and jump over to the shoulder for the gravel training, which was a real mess. Some areas were totally clear and dried out; some areas were still snow covered, but hard-packed; and some areas were so soupy from snow melting that I felt like I was dragging a couple of riders with me. Add in the headwind and I started to become pretty discouraged at the speed I was carrying. I started fighting my typical mental battles around cutting my planned route short, coming up with every logical, acceptable excuse in the book on why it would be o.k. if I couldn’t complete my plan today.

I won at that point and continued on. I found out, though, that this would not be the worst of the work. After my Lakeshore Drive tour, I head a bit north and then east at the power plant to head over to farm country where the few gravel roads left between Holland and Grand Haven exist. Less than 30 seconds onto the gravel, or should I say Ice Road, I was sprawled out in someone’s driveway. Normally I like to carry a pretty good sense of humor and self deprivation about these things, but that really hurt. I wasn’t down long before collecting myself and hoping back on the bike but I felt like I had broken my hand for the next 10 minutes or so. I found later that I had given myself a pretty good bruise and scrape on my upper hip as well.

The gravel road did improve and all was going pretty well up until I hit M45. Once north of it, the road becomes lined with tall, mature trees that hide the street from direct sunlight that would normally melt the snow. I tentatively navigated the last couple of miles to where my turn-around was. Immediately, as soon as I stopped to turn around and grab the last of my chomps, the combination of my lack of studded tires and hard soled shoes provided for another excellent opportunity for me to lay on the ground. Fortunately I didn’t land as hard as the first time, but it still pointed out to me how slick the road actually was. My ride back south was at a snail’s pace, despite now having the benefit of the wind.

I was able to make it out of the worst section without incident, and started enjoying the support of that North West wind. Though I did realize, that when you’re heading directly south, you still tend to forget the effects of the NORTH part of that wind in favor of the still evident WEST crosswind J. My speed picked up dramatically and I headed home without further incident. My bike was caked with mud that had been frozen to my bike and the final score was 2 hours, 45 minutes. I’ve completed that ride in far less time, so I have my work cut out for me, but it was still great to get outside, figure out where I stood in my conditioning, and enjoy the sunshine.

For the week, I am removing all off-the-bike leg strength exercises as I kick up the time. I’m looking forward to a good week.

TRAINING SCHEDULE: WEEK OF MARCH 3, 2013
Total Completed ?
Outdoor Fun Ride:
Whatever for however long 165 Sunday
Strength Training – Upper Body
Recovery Ride:
Strength Training – Upper Body 60 Monday
Sprint Intervals:
10 10 minute warm up – 30%
15 second on – 100%
20 15 second rest – 20%    –   20 total reps (10 minutes)
25 5 minute rest – 40%
40 seconds on – 90%
35 20 seconds off – 40%    10 total reps (10 minutes)
40 5 minute rest – 40%
15 second on – 100%
50 15 second rest – 20%    –   20 total reps (10 minutes)
55 5 minute rest – 40%
40 seconds on – 90%
65 20 seconds off – 40%    10 total reps (10 minutes)
70 5 minute rest – 40%
15 second on – 100%
80 15 second rest – 20%    –   20 total reps (10 minutes)
85 5 minute rest – 40%
40 seconds on – 90%
95 20 seconds off – 40%    10 total reps (10 minutes)
105 10 minute cool down – 40% 105 Tuesday
Strength Training – Upper Body
Outdoor Lakeshore Ride:
Wherever; just at 75-80% effort for 90 minutes 60 Saturday
Strength Training – Upper Body
Sustain:
10 10 minute warm up – 30%
30 20 minute sustain – 80%
35 5 minute rest – 30%
55 20 minute sustain – 80%
60 5 minute rest – 30%
80 20 minute sustain – 80%
90 10 minute cool down – 30% 90 Thursday
Strength Training – Upper Body
Outdoor Lakeshore Ride:
Wherever; just at 75-80% effort for 90 minutes 120 Saturday
Strength Training – Upper Body
TOTAL 10.0
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