Monday, August 17, 2009

D2R2 post game

Here is the route - it looks rough until you see the scale and understand the road surface for a good part of the ride, then it looks really rough.

In fact, it is not very rough, if you have a thousand or so miles under you belt and you already like hills. I was surprised when we made it to the lunch stop and had 5000 of the approximately 8000 feet of climbing behind us. The road surfaces were generally very good and I had to get off the bike only once when riders piled up in front of me as we were powering through loose stones. During the ride I held back, often waiting at the top of many hills for parts of our crew. Bobby powered through everything faster, of course, and waited for me and the others in our group.

I generally liked this tour with the exception of the proximity of some of the riders. I road a Surly Cross Check with 700x32 tires. These are not the widest tires for some of the road surfaces and I am not an off road racer. In fact, I am not a racer and don't have a lot of experience with racing. And at some points on the course the ride felt like a race. I was often passed by riders racing (or riding very quickly) down hill. I'm sure they felt safe but I know I didn't. I tried to stay on the side of the road whenever possible but even then I was passed once on my right, after a rider announced he would do so (I was surprised to see the surface he passed me on - too rough for me to ride on, given my equipment).  The proximity of the other riders was, at times, intense and I often felt hassled by riders who needed to pass in narrow quarters.

The bottom line - I liked the route but didn't like the bike traffic.

I saw several of the IF folks on this ride (who didn't seem to mind that I rode my Surly and not my IF, which only accommodates 700x25c tires with fenders). They seemed to enjoy the ride.

Bike: Surly Cross Check 2009 custom build, 700x32c tires

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Assorted rides on VT vacation

During the first of the family trip to Vermont, I took 3 rides:

Brattleboro to Mt. Snow
. This was an unexpectedly big hill. Should have checked out a map. The ascent was fine but lengthy. The descent was very cold and I was under dressed for the weather.  I think the cold sapped all of my energy and there was a decent ascent left. I'd do this ride again but check the weather first.

Mt. Snow to West Townshend. This was a down and up trip done before breakfast. I wanted to get out and couldn't be out long enough for any of the epic loops available here. This ride supplied substantial exercise. It was done early enough that traffic was light.

Mt. Snow down 100 past Jacksonville, VT and back to Wilmington, VT (with a side trip to the reservoir because I had a few minutes before I met my wife and nephew). This trip was intended to check out the outlet of the Harriman Reservoir. Unfortunately I didn't have enough time. It did serve as recon for the following two rides (to Zoar and Rowe Mass, Harriman loop), which I did on the next family trip to Vermont.

Bike: IF Club Racer 2007

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Last long ride before the D2R2

Bobby and I did one last long, hilly (for eastern Mass) ride before the D2R2. It's a standard route for me with some variations. Since Goldsmith Road is a wreck these days, we took 2A/119 into Littleton rather than taking Shaker to Goldsmith into Littleton. We back tracked on Newtown Road to Fort Pond Road to get some of the hills of Nagog Hill Road in rather than taking Newtown into Acton center. We had a great day. I bonked coming into Concord but nothing that a power bar couldn't cure (drafting behind Bobby for a couple of miles helped). In Lexington we took Pleasant St. past Wilson Farms to avoid Arlington Heights traffic and skip the Park Ave hill. We did this ride at around 16.1 mph.

I have nearly 1200 miles on the season with some faster rides and some hill work. I should be able to handle the D2R2 - though I won't expect to finish quickly. My goal is to be healthy and happy at the end of the ride, nothing more.

Bike: IF Club Racer 2009