Sunday, April 8

April Century

I've been hoping to ride a century at least once each month this year and so far I'm doing pretty good towards that goal. Last year I think I rode one about 50% of the months without really trying so it's not too much of a stretch. Today's ride didn't have to be 100 miles but I was headed out for a hard long ride with the TransIowa setup until I ran out of time preceding Easter dinner with the family. I set the alarm for 5am but my body had different ideas and I didn't hear it until 5:40am. I woke up quickly after that and was fed and on the road by 6:15. The roads were pretty much desolate which was nice because there was a layer of ice on all the untraveled streets. I carefully picked my way towards the main streets without hitting the pavement and put the hammer down early. Other than carefully descending the Wall and a couple iced over bike paths things proceded smoothly. I flew down pavé, concrete and dirt, up the Koppenburg climb, around the res and eventually found may way slogging it out to Carter Lake. I didn't have much of a route in mind other than heading north and hitting any dirt I could manage but Carter Lake ended up sounding as good as anything. I called Marni from the climb to let her know all was well and continued on my way after a short photo session.


The weather proceded to deteriorate further throughout the ride with snow falling continously and the temperature never dropping much below 30 degrees. This of course led to me being soaking wet in sub freezing temperatures and my bike turning into an ice sculpture. Luckily for me the wool jersey and socks combined with my Driclime windshirt and neoprene booties kept me comfortable enough to maintain a high power output and stay warmish. My rear brake stopped working around 45 miles into the day and I had to keep pedaling or the chain would freeze solid but other than that I had nothing much to complain about. As I decended the backside of the lake I must have made a wrong turn and got a bit disoriented as I ended up on hwy 34 cruising into Loveland. Still with plenty of time I found my way to 287 south through Berthoud and then Longmont. Time was beginning to run short so I stopped for a hot chocolate and piece of cake while I called in the cavelry to arrange a change of plans. I would continue on 287 south and Marni would get everything ready for family dinner and pick me up along the way.


Another hour down the road I finally saw the Element merge into a turn lane and pull onto the shoulder ahead of me. Marni found me and I racked up the bike and we were off to dinner, luckily arriving at Marni's parent's house with enough time for me to grab a hot shower first.

All and all it was a great training ride. 103 miles on the singlespeed in heinous weather at a fast pace (near 16mph) and I felt great, ready to do it two more times even. 7 more big training days until I start my TransIowa taper. I'm ready for the worst weather but hoping for the best.

11 comments:

Cellarrat said...

cool!

Can't wait for Trans Iowa!

Doug said...

Amazing!

Dave Byers said...

You rock! Nice ride in the crummy weather while most would be watching NetFlix.

bill said...

Great post and great pics. Does it count for any points whatever that there is at least part of me that is bummed that i missed it? Not a lot, but a bit...

Marni said...

Nice job Chris! I wish everyone in blogger land could see what you looked like as I picked you up (picture: snow beast) and hear your bike whining like a little girl with every pedal stroke. Good thing I love you because you're crazy.

Chris said...

Bill - You're ready for the adventure. I was trying to con you into pushing your limits in a big way :) Suffering leads to growth.

Marni - Yes the bike was not making wonderful noises but it wasn't quite as bad as I figured considering the conditions. :) I did still have one working brake (sort of) and it still pedaled as long as I didn't stop long enough for the chain to freeze solid :) On the otherhand I was very wet from the waist down but I was reasonably warm nonetheless. Go wool and neoprene.

Anonymous said...

Chris,
I love you.
Please be careful.
MOM

Joel White said...

Freaking nuts! I haven't even cranked out a century on my road bike under sunny skis and you're smashing 100+ on a SS mountain bike in freezing temps and snow.

Like I said, nuts (in a good way)!

Tex69 said...

Animal!! (meant to be read with a Spanish accent)

Ed said...

There is a reason you're riding so strong this season, by doing what it takes no matter the conditions. Keep it going and be safe.

Ed

Endurosnob said...

Nice work!!