Back on the bike and on the blog

Oct 23, 08:36 PM

Of course I’ve been back on the bike ever since getting back from Ireland. I did go four days without cycling earlier this month due to a trip to Buffalo over the long weekend; I took my New World Tourist but didn’t have a chance to ride. Otherwise, I’ve been cycling regularly, with 1 or 2 days off from time to time.

But a lot of that has been commuter cycling: the 6-mile round trip to work, with occasional jaunts elsewhere. I didn’t end up doing the Great River Ride in any of its variants because I spent that weekend visiting my stepfather in the hospital and keeping my mom and sister company.

But now I have a plan.

Today’s ride: 45 miles to Wendell and Millers Falls

Today I took my longest ride since my 200K in May. It was a cool, partly sunny day (temperatures in the mid-50s F, about 13 C). I rode over Mount Warner and then north on Route 47 until its end in Montague. I then rode up North Leverett Road to Lake Wyola, and thence on Locke’s Pond Road to the center of Wendell. I paused there for five minutes to eat a clif bar and swig some water. Then I took Montague Road toward Millers Falls. I had to use my granny chainring on one hill, but I was rewarded by a thrilling descent. From Millers Falls I took Route 63 back to North Amherst, and then headed home on Meadow, Roosevelt, and N. Maple.

I was not a speed demon, but I did respectably given how long it had been since I did a long hilly ride (2503 feet of vertical climbing, according to my altimeter).

Here’s a map.

The plan

It’s not much of a plan, actually, but I am going to try to do a couple of 200K brevets in the spring, and maybe a 300K if the 200Ks go well. Randonneurs USA has published the 2011 brevet schedule, and the Berkshire Brevets schedule includes a 100K populaire on March 20, followed by 200K brevets on March 27 and April 30, and 300K brevets on April 9 and May 14. (Their 400K is on June 4….) I might not do the populaire if I’m visiting friends in DC that week, but I’ll aim for the 200Ks at least. I know I can do that distance.

Between now and then, I’m planning three weekly workouts: an hour at tempo, 45-90 minutes of intervals with substantial rest, and one long slow ride for endurance. If weather permits I’ll ride outside, but odds are that much of this will be in the basement on rollers. When February rolls around I’ll try to get in some longer rides on the road: riding on rollers for more than 2 hours is a real drag. And I’ll try to add a weekly hill workout. My hope is that the intervals and tempo rides will help me get my average speed up to something respectable.

That’s the plan, anyway! We’ll see how it measures up to the reality imposed by the demands of work and the holidays.

Brian W. Ogilvie

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