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Cycles de Oro T2T training ride 2006

eebee's picture
2006.07.22 8:30 am
2006.07.22 12:30 pm

Consults screwed-up cue sheet...


Here's a brief description of last Saturdays T2T free training ride at Cycles de Oro, that Tom, Blake and I skated.


Weather: refreshingly 'cool', starting off around 70-75 deg F at 8.30am, cloudy, having just stormed a few hours earlier, becoming warmer and dry, 80-85 deg F over the course of the skate (for Blake and me, at least - I think Tom finished hours before us!).


Course: Either 20 or 36 mile option. 20 miles out to the rest stop (little old store) at the corner of Archergate Rd and Church St. The extra loop went out from the store via Yanceyville Rd and others, dipping briefly up on a windy plateau into Rockingham County, and back to the store via Fairgrove Church Rd.


I remember doing this one 3 years ago with Blake and Jack. I think Marianne was there too but she didn't join us on the loop. This year Blake and I muttered something in our early morning stupor about 'a really bad gatorback stretch' on a skride we did with Jack some years back. Blake said he remembered me wading through the grass for the most part due to ankle pain. I remember being in speed boots that year that didn't fit my feet at all.


We started out with Tom but we dropped off early to preserve heart-rates. We never saw him again :-) Tom! I hope you got back okay!


Since I got more sleep than Blake (5 hours, to his 1.5), and was enjoying the 'cooler' weather, I felt pretty good the whole way. I totally forgot to wear my heart rate monitor, but I didn't get cramps or headaches (signs that I've gone over 90% too long). I enjoyed also the absence of ankle pain, and therefore felt like I could let my larger leg muscles take the brunt of the uphills, as opposed to gingerly treading so as to avoid anklebone hammering. This made the uphills actually enjoyable for me - being able to really lean into them and ride out each stroke as much as possible, rather than hopping choppily from one foot to the other in fear of pain. On the route out of town there were some very nice long downhills on smooth pavement with not much traffic or intersections, but of course we had to come back up them on the way back in to town later in the morning with more traffic.


So there we were, out on our loop with about 5 other cyclists taking their time (thank God!), when we come around the corner off of Yanceyville Rd on to BURTON FARM ROAD.  Every cell of my being went "DOH!!" as I remembered that gatorback - or rather  'dinoback', since the rock chunks were so huge. This was eyeball-rattling, boneshaking, shin-numbing stuff, with a pretty tricky downhill - one of those where you believe you're still rolling vertically but you really can't feel your legs or feet at all. Next year we'll have to find a way around that one. It was a 1.7 mile stretch.


On the way back in to town we were confused by the directions and stood next to a brand new roundabout (traffic circle) on Elm Street, pointing and generally looking bewildered...luckily John Hepburn (local cyclist and friend) saw us from his truck on the way home and pointed the way to go. I mean, Blake knows his way around for sure, but I just wanted to stick to the cue sheet.


As usual the support was outstanding with plenty of Gatorade, ice-cold water, and Valerie's coolers of ice, not to mention fresh Great Harvest Bread, cookies and fruit. Oh and there was Starbucks, too, at the start/finish.


Later that afternoon Blake and I sat on the bench at Country Park and watched Jack try to skate laps slowly. (He did 'em all pretty fast!) 


I am happy with my first T2T training ride of 36 moderately hilly miles. I guess it took us about 4 hrs 20 mins, but we were in no hurry, and stood or sat around alot, picking blackberries on the side of the road and popping in to the odd drugstore :-) 


skatey-mark's picture

more mileage possibly?

Sounds like if someone were sufficiently fast and motivated, they could do another lap of the loop and turn it into a 52-mile skride? Although I'm guessing the gatorback is on the loop (since you didn't mention doing it twice). So that would certainly be a drawback to adding another lap.


Oh - and thanks for the great write-up...  Stuff like this will definitely help next year when we're trying to figure out which training rides to do!  :) 


- SM -

eebee's picture

Some did another loop

Yes! Correct. We were passed by some spanky cyclists who MUST have been on their second lap, judging how fast - or effortlessly - they passed us, chatting happily. And that Gatorback road was a cut through from Yanceyville Rd to Church St., so I think it would have been pretty easily avoided on a second loop with some simple navigation.


Yeah, faster skaters could do 2 loops no problem!  

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