After two week's of low mileage, this week I come back strong!
Week #17 Highlights
- I was able to bike outdoors for all 6 of this week’s rides
- I ventured out to the Blue Ridge Parkway for some climbing
- I booked my flight for the big trip to Europe
Finally got in a week of all outdoor riding!
Mon, May 23, 2016
|Avg Speed||16.9 mi/h|
|Avg Watts||142 W|
|Elev Gain||633 ft|
Tue, May 24, 2016
|Avg Speed||18.0 mi/h|
|Avg Watts||184 W|
|Elev Gain||1,486 ft|
Wed, May 25, 2016
|Avg Speed||17.4 mi/h|
|Avg Watts||161 W|
|Elev Gain||843 ft|
Thu, May 26, 2016
|Avg Speed||19.1 mi/h|
|Avg Watts||173 W|
|Elev Gain||640 ft|
I finally made it out to the mountains this week. I couldn’t find anyone to go with me so I packed my gear and ventured out there alone. I did a bit of research before heading out. Two websites I found useful included BlueRideParkwayDaily.com and BlueRidgeOutdoors.com as they both had some important safety tips for cycling the Blue Ridge Parkway.
I parked at an overlook near the intersection of Rte. 56 and the Blue Ride Parkway. My plan was to pedal 1 hour North on the parkway, then head back to the car to refill water bottles and refuel. Then the plan was to head south on the parkway for 1 hour then return.
A Smooth First Half
I left the car heading north and after a short downhill I immediately hit granny gear and settled in for a long day of climbing. I wasn’t worried about speed at all; only heart rate and cadence. I was trying to stay in zones 1-2 for the majority of the ride to see if my legs were ready for the 2016 Allianz cycling tour.
After an hour of riding north I reached the top of Raven’s Roost, a category 4 climb and decided to turn around. I didn’t want to ride more than an hour from my car as I was a bit nervous of being too far away from my safe zone in case I cramped or had any other issues.
Riding down Raven’s Roost was nice! At times I reached 40+ miles per hour on the descents. But I’m not going to lie. I was nervous. I used to ride motorcycles and would never ride in a pair of shorts. Here I am, a middle-aged man in Lycra riding 40+ miles an hour on some skinny ass tires…
I make it to the car and take a few minutes to rest. Lunch was a Clif bar. Lucky for me it wasn’t a Clif Bar on the recall notice! I’ve been eating my Cliff Shot Bloks and also have my Carb Boom gel packs so a simple Clif Bar was all I needed.
A Rough Second Half
Cramping and bad roads made for a rough second half.
The pavement on the Blue Ridge Parkway after the Rte. 56 (mile marker 27) interchange is total crap. Every 20 feet was a crack in the road that covered the enter width of the road and was about 3 inches across and potholes everywhere. The road was heavily shaded which made it extremely difficult to see those damn potholes.
After 30 minutes of this nonsense I decided it wasn’t worth continuing. I turned around and headed back to the car. As I was climbing to Whetstone Ridge I got a cramp in my left inner thigh. The same debilitating cramp I got 2 miles from the finish line of my first century ride. I took 4 licks of my base salt and hobbled to a picnic table. I decide it was a good time to lie on the ground and enjoy the scenery and quietness.
My cramp goes away and I get back in the saddle. I make it to my car and still have 1 hour to ride. I have all kinds of conversations going on in my head. Pack it up and go home. Keep riding. No, go home. I remain strong and decide to ride north once again.
I rode 15 minutes north and headed back to the car. I turn around and do it again. Once back at the car I have 10 minutes of riding left to hit the 4 hour mark. Now I’m stubborn and refuse to leave before pedaling for 4 hours. I ride down the steep grade to Rte. 56 and turn around for one last climb. I’m being easy on my legs as they are cooked. Plus I’m worried about my left inner-thigh muscle.
I’m pedaling slowly and gingerly. I can see the car. I pull into the parking lot and have 1 minute to go. As I pass my car my leg cramps again. Worse than ever! I’m yelling and cursing. I cannot move my leg. I’m half on the bike and half frozen on the ground. A guy gets out of his car to ask if he could help me out. I said I was cramping and would be okay in a few minutes. He then offered me a bag of chips for the salt value. I let him know that I had salt with me and said thanks for checking on me. He seemed very concerned but eventually got back in his car and rolled out.
After about 5 minutes of cramping it went away. I rode for 1 more minute and then got to my car. Boy was I relieved! I did a few minutes of stretching and packed up my gear to head home.
It was a successful trip in the mountains. Even with the cramping, I think it was a success. But I think I’m going to try a saddle with a nose more narrow than what I have now. Stay tuned for the results.
Sat, May 28, 2016
|Avg Speed||14.7 mi/h|
|Avg Watts||162 W|
|Elev Gain||5,636 ft|
Sun, May 29, 2016
Even after yesterday’s tough mountain ride I was able to get in a good second ride. But I’m not going to lie. My legs are cooked! I’m looking forward to a rest day.
|Avg Speed||17.5 mi/h|
|Avg Watts||163 W|
|Elev Gain||2,116 ft|