After a week of rain, and a trip to Arizona to watch my nephew graduate from UNA in Flagstaff, it was good to get back in the saddle this evening. I rode with three beautiful women who got their estrogen on and talked girl talk till we were doing 13mph! Just what I needed. A nice gentle comeback ride to ease me into the saddle again. I did push a bit to get to the rendezvous point on time, and then on the way home, stomping the little hill at 649 watts again. Mmmmm, legs felt very solid.
Tomorrow I am off to do my standard 60 mile Rescue ride, and this time I will have my Garmin 305 working, and in 1-second record mode. Since it's such a great training ride, it's worth getting the ride profile nailed down. I will recover on Friday, and then do an 85 miler on Saturday with around 9,000 ft of MotionBased climbing. I need to get up into the 10,000 ft and 90 mile zone to be adequately trained for the Canyon Classic Mt Hamilton ride, my goal ride for this year, on June 13th. (MotionBased has special algorithms and more detailed maps it uses to make adjustments to your track, which they claim produces a more accurate elevation gain number)
I will be doing the fearsome Marshall Grade climb on Saturday, and it will be hot, so I will be starting early. I hope my new front derailleur will have arrived from Blue Sky cyclery by then, back from it's UPS sponsored detour to Chandler, Az and what must have been a LOT of clerical error. WTF??? Also in that order is the CamelBak I will be taking with me on the Mt Hamilton ride. That AND two waterbottles is the bare minimum for the ride as even after re-hydrating on the 2 hour drive home I was still 8 lbs below my starting weight last year. My guess is that at the point I bonked on the climb I was about 6 quarts low - 12 lbs. Even for a 185 lb rider that is far too much water loss and no doubt was the cause of a close brush with heat stroke.
For anyone interested in doing this route, the first 30 miles or so of the Canyon Classic Century and Mt Hamilton routes are shared. The Century is a beautiful course, with spectacular views and most of the climbing is out of the way by the time the routes diverge at the little hamlet of San Antonio. The climb to San Antonio is about 4,000 ft (based on Bikely mapping), and is mostly 6% grade with some 8% and a bit of 12-14%.
The reason the Mt Hamilton ascent is so difficult is you don't start the main climb until 40 miles into the ride, after having done the climb to San Antonio. Of course, it's also about 2,200 ft in 5 miles, and 2,000 ft in 4 miles after a small initial approach climb. There is absolutely NO level terrain in that 4 miles. It is an unbroken climb of grades between 6% and 20% plus. It will be a great accomplishment to complete the ride.
I have one month left to train for it, and I am starting that training well rested, so I am right where I want to be. I have this sick desire to return from the Mt Hamilton ride to San Antonio, and then do the Century ride from there. That would be about 140 miles and an advertised 24,068 ft of climb - although I find the MotionBased numbers are more believable at around 15,000 ft.
PS: The actual amount of climb on the Mt Hamilton route is in dispute. The professional survey done by DeLorme for the ride organizers puts the elevation gain at 13,271 ft. I am using MotionBased for a training reference because I have that data from my Garmin for comparison purposes. The Century ride is claimed to be 10,797 of climbing, but MotionBased reports put it between 5,500 and 6,000. Either way, by riding both rides together as desired, it would be a hell of a ride.