Saturday, March 27, 2010

Johnson Mountain 71 Miles

Garmin Connect Ride Data

The Group: The group today (hope I don't miss a name) me, Diane, Nancy, Jamie, Keith, Gary, Rod, Ron, Steve, Gayle, Margaret, Jeff, Peter (is back with us), Bill, Alan, Jeff (a friend of Tim's), Tim

The Ride: We had a decent size group leaving the brewery a bit past 9:00 this morning with tough headwinds coming from the east and our heading due east on Cass White Road. I was out in front with Keith Kudlac and a new rider by the name of Jeff comes up along with Tim and Rod. We had to take a quick nature stop as the group rolled on by and the result was a tough effort with Tim and Rod pulling us back up to the group.

At mile 16 (1 hour into the ride) we were on Johnson Mountain approaching the steep side of the 2.2 mile climb. The starting elevation according to the Garmin data was 793 elevation feet and at the end of the 20 minute climb the elevation was 1300 feet. The first part of this climb has several hundred feet of a wall that is in the 19% gradient range. Even with compact gearing and a 28 gear I was forced off the saddle to make this climb. My heart rate was through the roof, but we all seemed to do well on the climb up.

We did an unscheduled stop at Fairmont with some discussion as to going the full distance or taking a shorter option. We pushed forward and by the time we turned on Covington Bridge at mile 26 we had a good tail wind in the westward direction. I pushed on ahead just to enjoy the conditions of the tail wind and the downward sloping trend to the rolling hills and hit speeds over 30 mph. A few came up to join in the festivities from Covington Bridge, Lovebridge Road to the end of Owens Gin Road at mile 42.

We turned left on Pine Chapel Road and were getting hit by gust of wind from the side and head winds. The pace slowed down and I could tell those who were upfront working were really working hard. I knew this to be the case once I was up front on Hunts Gin Road at mile 46. We made another store stop on Hwy. 373 and Campbell Road at mile 50.

From about mile 50 to about mile 61 I was doing okay hanging on the back of the group, but the winds were really gusting toward us and even at the back there seemed to be little escape. Mile 61 is were the trouble began for me as we turned on Spring Place Road. Not only were we facing head winds but the road pitched upward to about 6% and my legs went anaerobic almost immediately. By the time I could get recovered in just a the short few minutes the group had put a good 1/4 mile gap on me. The road trend continued to climb and my legs were about toast at this point. On flat to downward sloping I could comfortably sit down on my drops and get my pace back into the low 20's despite the wind. For the remainder of the miles I knew there was no way I was going to see the group again until the parking lot so I turned on the ipod shuffle and cranked the pedals to the end.

Overall I felt as if this was a good training ride with some distance and some challenges. I tried to throw in some challenging pace here and there to keep things a little exciting. Of course with this group it is always exciting. We had some that dropped out on a couple of occasions and formed smaller groups, but I am sure they will be back in their top form soon.

Climb Summary: 
Start mile 15.7 | End mile 18 | 2.3 mile climb
Start elevation 793 | End elevation 1300 | 507 feet gain
Steepest gradient 19%

Route Description: flat, rolling hills, one "gets your attention" type of climb on the steep side of Johnson Mountain Road.

Weather: Cool start in the low 40's (F) warming to the 60's at the end. Skies were sunny, but the winds were sustaining at 16+ mph and gust over 20 mph.

Nutrition Intake During and after the Course: (2)24oz. bottle of water with Hammer Heed/10grams Glutamine and BCAA's, (2)Cliff Bar, (2) Accel gel, (1)Post Ride 40gram whey protein drink

Physical Issues: All week I was struggling with something, but I am not sure what. Perhaps last week's ride took too much out of me. My lymph node under my right arm is swollen, which is an indicator the body is fighting a potential infection. My ears and throat have been tender all week maybe from the pollen count going up and I have had some bathroom issues all week and this morning upon getting out of bed it was bad enough I thought I would not be able to ride today. I popped a couple of anti-d pills and ended up not doing too badly today in performance despite feeling run down all week. I had difficulty training with any type of intensity through the week, but again my legs seemed to not let me down today even though I got dropped at mile 61.

Power Data:
 Entire workout (111 watts):
    Duration:      4:20:57 (5:01:12)
    Work:          1722 kJ
    TSS:           238.4 (intensity factor 0.745)
    Norm Power:    157
    Distance:      71 mi
        Min /   Max  /  Avg
    Power:           0  /  589  /  111     watts
    Cadence:         29 /   244  /  80     rpm
    Speed:           2.2  /  37.1  /  16.1     mph
    Pace             1:37 /   26:49  /  3:44     min/mi
    Hub Torque:      0  /  513  /  59     lb-in
    Crank Torque:    0  /  1008  /  123     lb-in

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Armuchee-Fouche Gap 67

Garmin Connect Ride Data

The Group: We had about 18 today in our group. The regulars were me, Derek, Diane, Joe, Nancy, Neal, Jamie, Jason, Keith, Gary, Rod, Mike Rhue, Mike Quick, Edgar, David, Paula, Gloria and her husband.

The Ride: With 18 showing up at the middle school for an early cold start we headed out hoping that we made the right clothes choice for the ride. I was wondering if I had lost my mind wearing a short sleeve jersey, shorts and arm warmers while everyone else had on leg warmers, jackets and vests. I took it up to a higher pace and put a small gap on the group only because I was freezing and I hoped to get my core temperature up. It was only a 12 mile ride before were starting our climb on Fouche Gap Road. The climb is only a couple of miles with some switch backs that makes it look much more intimidating even though it was a definitely an effort.

On the other side of the climb were long fast stretches of road like Sand Springs Road and Big Texas Valley Road. The group put on a good steady pace and at this point I was content to do my turns when needed but also content to get into the draft and hang on with faster pace. At the 40 mile mark we did our store stop and I was grateful to get a bite to eat and rest just a bit. Taking off from the store we were on Gore Sublingna Road for another long highway stretch, but the pace line was more single file and the rotation was working well.

When we turned on Haywood Valley Road close the 50 mile mark, I wondered if I would be able to hang on. By this time I was starting to feel fatigued and this road can be quick, but also has some rolling hills that are stingers. It is also a rough road with pot holes, large rocks and bumps that are hard to see, but still can be a fun road to cycle. With the group kind of bunched up tight on this rough narrow road it was keeping me alert to all the group movements. You get to a point where you want to surge ahead to get out of it, but we all handled it well.

At 63 mile mark and the intersection of New Rosedale Road (Hwy. 156) we stopped for a moment to let a couple of riders catch up. When we started back I hear a call out from the back that there was a crash. Thank goodness it was not a crash, but Jason snap the rear derallieur and could not go further. Fortunately we were only about 4 miles from the end and Rod was able to go back and pick up Jason fairly quickly.

While writing this I confess that I am worn out. There were a number of moments that I thought I was going to drop off the fast pace and then there were moments even late in the ride where my legs had enough to do a good pull. I think as a group we all seem to really like this route that Rod introduced to us last October.Everyone seemed really strong today. It was a great day of cycling.

Route Description: flat, rolling hills, one "gets your attention" type of climb on Fouche Gap Road.

Weather: Very cold start especially with shorts & short sleeves, slight breeze, warmed up nicely with a sunny 70 degree temperature at the end.

Nutrition Intake During and after the Course: (2)24oz. bottle of water with Hammer Heed/10grams Glutamine and BCAA's, (2)Cliff Bar, (1) Accel gel, (1)Post Ride 30gram whey protein drink

Power Data:
 Entire workout (103 watts):
    Duration:      3:55:18 (4:23:11)
    Work:          1430 kJ
    TSS:           184.3 (intensity factor 0.691)
    Norm Power:    145
    Distance:      67.577 mi
        Min  /  Max  /  Avg
    Power:           0  /  665  /  103     watts
    Cadence:         29  /  244 /   82     rpm
    Speed:           2.3  /  32.4 /   17.5     mph
    Pace             1:51  /  26:06  /  3:26     min/mi
    Hub Torque:      0   / 375  /  47     lb-in
    Crank Torque:    0  /  775 /   109     lb-in

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Adairsville to Horn Mountain

Garmin Connect Ride Data

Quote of the Week: "The worse plan that we can have is a plan not to ride." - Neal Bowers

This week was another week of wondering about the weekend as the weather forecasting from several resources were changing daily and sometimes hourly, but from Tues until Friday we had rain. The forecast showed a small break in the forecast between 7 am to 12 pm. I had posted up the ride information earlier in the week and the plan was Neal would be taking a group from the brewery (80 mile group) and meeting our group (50 mile group) in Adairsville and we all ride out to climb Horn Mountain.

The Group: We had 12 today in our group. The regulars were me, Derek, Tim, Alan, Nancy, Neal, Jamie, Keith, Gary, Rod, Glenn and Don. It was great to have Jamie there wearing her new climbing spirit and looking strong. Keith Bolton and Glenn Hittel were back with us today and looking strong as they did the 80 mile option.

The Ride: The roads we were on were fairly flat so the speeds were into the 20's for a good portion and a bit out of our "winter pace ride" There were also some light head winds to contend with, but with this group of 12 it sure seemed as if everyone was strong enough to hold the pace. It is gives me confidence to ride with these cyclists even when we are bunched up. Everyone seems to be veterans of group cycling and know how to watch out for each other. The flattish type of roads and working with the group I found it hard to keep my wattage up, but our speeds were high.

It was a pretty good day for climbing Horn Mountain. I often get overheated when it gets a bit warmer on this climb, but with the cooler temps today it felt good. The climb is only a couple of miles, but the gradient is fairly steep. It's a good thing we all had jackets and vest available on the descent because it was several minutes of shivering.

Once again we were on flatter roads on the way to the store stop. Keith's tire needed some air so a few of us were off the back of the group, but still me, Glenn and Keith held a fairly steady pace to the store stop. After the store stop I was out in the front and my legs felt ready to again set the pace on the highway despite a little head wind. We stayed at a good speed until we were back in Adairsville and the 80 mile group split from us and headed back to the brewery.

Overall the roads were scenic, traffic low, the group was great, the climb was great and the weather a whole lot better than we expected. On the drive home there was a little rain as forecast indicated but we were able to squeeze in a great day of spinning the pedals in between the clouds.

Route Description: flat, rolling hills, one "gets your attention" type of climb

Weather: Partly cloudy and overcast, cool breezy air, high humidity, start in the low 40 degree (F) and warmed up to the 50's

Nutrition Intake During and after the Course: (1)24oz. bottle with Hammer Heed/10grams Glutamine and BCAA's, (1)Cliff Bar, (2) Accel gels, (1)Post Ride 30gram whey protein drink

Power Data:
It was hard to keep my wattage up with this terrain. I was often in the mid 20's and my watts would be below 100.
Entire workout (112 watts):
    Duration:      3:00:21 (3:23:57)
    Work:          1194 kJ
    TSS:           168.1 (intensity factor 0.753)
    Norm Power:    158
    Distance:      50.007 mi
        Min  /  Max  /  Avg
    Power:           0  /  517  /  112     watts
    Cadence:         29 /   244 /   79     rpm
    Speed:           2.3  /  35.4  /  16.9     mph
    Pace             1:42  /  26:06  /  3:33     min/mi
    Hub Torque:      0  /  449  /  58     lb-in
    Crank Torque:    0  /  697  /  126     lb-in

 Horn Mt Climb:
    Duration:      16:35
    Work:          194 kJ
    TSS:           26 (intensity factor 0.97)
    Norm Power:    204
        Min  /  Max  /  Avg
    Power:           31  /  338   / 195     watts
    Cadence:         48  /  152  /  63     rpm
    Speed:           4.5 /   12  /  6.3     mph
    Pace             5:00 /   13:14 /   9:31     min/mi
    Hub Torque:      28  /  449  /  212     lb-in
    Crank Torque:    17  /  543 /   266     lb-in

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Sunday Recovery - Sort Of

(Mike and Jesse) photo by Gary

Garmin Connect Ride Data

The Group: Mike Quick, Gary Quellet and Jesse Aldridge

The Ride: Out of the gate my legs were screaming in discomfort and on the slightest incline, oh the burn, but after a few miles at conversation pace my legs began to clear out a little. It felt as if we had small head winds, but still it was very pleasant cycling with just the three of us. On the way back we had some long flat sections and the pace picked up a little and then a guy comes past us. Mike gets on his wheel and Gary and I did not react. Mike dropped off and as we looked up I noticed the guy looked back. Was that sort of the gauntlet being throw down? Not sure, but Gary asked if I was going after him. It did not take me long to answer because after all I was on my favorite stretch of road, Cass Pine Log. My strategy was just to see if this guy could sustain his pace and just see if my steady pursuit would wear him down. He knew we were coming up. I saw his glance back and kept my pace at about 23 to 25 mph. I also knew the wind I was pushing he had to be pushing as well. Mike Quick is now on my wheel and as the road inclined upward a little I could tell this guy was reaching his limit, however after 30 miles of riding today and 60 hard miles yesterday my legs were also at their limit. Mike shoots around and I thought Mike has him now and he could have but he backed off.

Oh well the guy could go home feeling victorious today, but we had a good time in our pursuit anyway. We spanned a fairly good gap to get up near him and that in itself felt like a good accomplishment for a day that was supposed to be just a recovery day.

Route Description: flat to rolling hills

Weather: Partly cloudy, cool breezy air, low humidity, high 50's

Nutrition Intake During and after the Course: (2)24oz. water, (1)Cliff Bar, (1)Post Ride 30gram whey protein drink

Power Data:
 Entire workout (92 watts):
    Duration:      2:19:24 (2:35:02)
    Work:          763 kJ
    TSS:           92.3 (intensity factor 0.633)
    Norm Power:    133
    Distance:      36.55 mi
        Min  /  Max  /  Avg
    Power:           0  /  630  /  92     watts
    Cadence:         29  /  209  /  74     rpm
    Speed:           2.4   / 34.4   / 15.9     mph
    Pace             1:45 /   25:25  /  3:47     min/mi
    Hub Torque:      0  /  418 /   43     lb-in
    Crank Torque:    0  /  609  /  109     lb-in

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Brewery to McGill Mountain

Garmin Connect Ride Data

The Group: I did not do a head count, but I would guess about 15 at the start.

The Ride: We had a good group as we left the brewery parking lot about 9:30 this morning. The route taking us northwest toward Kingston and Adairsville then loop up toward McGill Mountain Road that has a short steep climb and then back down.

About mile 4 or 5 we were on Shotgun Road as we crested a hill I was in front and yelled, "hole" and "car up", but then behind me was the sound that makes you cringe. The sound of a crash and then some distant yells. I looked back and a rider was down. It was Mike, who I do not know very well, but nonetheless we were all very concerned. (see The Accident segment)

We forged ahead toward Kingston and had some rollers with nice long flat sections. One we turned on to Rockfence Road we had several miles of climbing and I could tell then I need a lot of work on climbing. We made it to Adairsville at about mile 27 for a short store stop and then moved on toward the north and another climb at Trimble Hollow Road where my front tire flatted. I asked the group to go ahead, but Tim and Don stayed with me. The remaining miles back were pleasant and I was in good company with Don riding with me. By the time I got back to the parking lot most everyone was gone, but that is okay. Other than the crash it was another good day for my legs to start getting prepared for more extensive climbing in future days.

The Accident: I sure hate to put in this section, but when someone in the cycling group goes down I have to stop just thank the Lord for watching out for Mike, who hit a rather large pot hole and face planted hard on the asphalt. It was a very nasty looking gash on his right cheek. The Bartow County emergency services were called and the group waited as they loaded up Mike for a hospital trip. I thank the Lord for watching out for the rest of the group today as well.

I am mindful that something like this can happen to any of us. There are risks out on the road or on the trail. You do what you can like obey the rules of the road and try to be safe by following good group riding etiquette, but sometimes the accident is going to happen.

I am additionally thankful for:
Nancy Alexander who helped keep Mike down and kept compression on the wound until the EMT's showed up. Nancy talked to Mike during the wait in a very calming way.

Neal Bowers for picking up Mike's bike and for going to the emergency room to see Mike and also giving Mike assurance that he and others would be available if needed.

Route Description: flat, large rolling hills, sustained climbs and one short steep climb.

Weather: Sunny, breezy air, low humidity, start in the low 30 degree (F) and warmed up to the high 50's though for the most part is seemed cool to me.

Nutrition Intake During and after the Course: (2)24oz. bottles with Maltodextrin/10grams Glutamine and BCAA's, (1)Cliff Bar, (2) Accel gels, (1)Post Ride 30gram whey protein drink

Power Data:
Entire workout (107 watts):
Duration: 3:55:16 (4:51:52)
Work: 1469 kJ
TSS: 193.7 (intensity factor 0.713)
Norm Power: 150
Distance: 60.4 mi
Min / Max / Avg
Power: 0 / 535 / 107 watts
Cadence: 29 / 244 / 76 rpm
Speed: 0 / 39 / 15.5 mph
Pace 1:32 / 0:00 / 3:52 min/mi
Hub Torque: 0 / 562 / 54 lb-in
Crank Torque: 0 / 810 / 123 lb-in