Monday, April 21, 2008

Weekend recap of back to back centuries

This weekend was my parents 38th anniversary, and they invited my wife and I up for dinner Saturday night near their home in northwest Connecticut. I decided to ride there from my apartment in Manhattan. The first 44.5 miles of the route I was quite familiar with being the route to Bear Mountain, but after that I had no idea what to expect other than I would probably be climbing A LOT. I tossed together a route using Google Maps trying to find the least busy roads with a reasonably direct route to my destination. It turns out I got pretty lucky with the road choices and had a beautiful ride once I escaped the 9w route that leads to Bear Mountain. After crossing the Bear Mtn Bridge over the Hudson River I was greeted with pleasant, forested, hilly roads all the way to my parents home.

Hilly is the most notable comment for the route. This was by far the most consistently hilly road ride I've ever gone on. The total one way route was 101.8 miles long with an estimated 15,000 ft of climbing. Brutal! I kept thinking there HAS to be a downhill at some point. these little mountains just aren't that high! Well, turns out I was wrong for the most part. I don't think I broke 40mph more than one or two times on the Northbound route.

All in all, 2 hours of easy riding to bear mountain then 4 hours of pushing to the limits really testing my legs! I look forward to attempting this route as an out and back in one day in about a month.

I was a zombie for the dinner. All I could mutter was food, hungry, tired. sleep. I managed to spill some water at the dinner table!

I awoke the next morning feeling tip top after a glorious 10 hour sleep. Ready to ride home! I took the same route home so I would not have to view a cue sheet and also to test some of those hills the other direction! The ride home was significantly easier. It took me over one hour less to complete it, and I had numerous extended descents of 40+ mph with a few pushing 50mph!

I consumed half the food and two less water bottles!!

Next weekend is 125+ miles both days! I cant wait:)

other notes: I changed the stem to a Deda Elementi Newton OS 80mm 8deg rise from a Raceface Deus 100mm 5 deg rise and am very pleased with the fit. I shed a few grams, too, thanks to the bling(ee) titanium screws and shorter length. I also changed out the handle bar from a Ritchey WCS aluminum 44cm to a Kestrel Pro carbon OS 42cm. I gained some more fancy carbon but did not shed any grams! I think I finally have the bike dialed in fit-wise.

Now I just need to find a more comfortable saddle and all will be good. The Terry Ti Fly is great for less than 70 or so miles but after that it really makes my sit bones ache. I can tolerate it, but I know I could have better comfort with a different saddle. I ordered a Selle Italia SLR 135gm last night and will hopefully have it by Wednesday. It's quite different from the Terry saddle being significantly lighter with far less padding and no cutout down the center. I used one a while back and found it to be quite comfortable, but expensive and not really long lasting. Well, I've decided comfort takes priority and the nice flexing shell is far more effective than extra padding that you bounce up and down on over the miles causing the achy butt!

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