Sunday, 19 January 2014

Yak Attack training #3

You know what they say, stretch your rubber band till it breaks and you'll surprise yourself what you can do.  It's not like you get stronger by half assing it all the time.

So apparently I'm a glutton for punishment.  After a day of rest up at the ABA board meeting, Pat Dodge, Kate and I met at Cadence.  Great, that'll make an easy ride!

Pat Dodge "leads us out" at tempo around 60k, on the roads up north.  We cover upcoming racing and riding plans and life on the bike, new toys being assembled, etc. while nuggets of wisdom slip out like "if you want to be fit don't eat on rides under 4h".  He rides out to Big Hill Springs Provincial Park with us then departs for his own way home, favouring pedalling.

Kate and I venture into the park and are able to ride the well packed first kilometre.  After that, it's a variety of ride, carry bike, push bike, ankle deep, post holing to the knee deep, frozen river riding, animal track riding, more carrying, and some single track.  I'm invariably 2 to 5 bike lengths behind and every time I look up there's a gap unless Kate is taking a picture or pointing out animals.  I'm trying to keep up, but at times I'm like WTF?  Am I following an arctic born viking queen of winter or something?  Oh right.  That's precisely it.  Eventually after what feels like hours (let's just say the 4km/h of trudging is good Yak training, poor for average speed) we get to civilization.  It took about 10 minutes shy of 5h to get to Cochrane, I've had one water bottle and one banana.  Time to hit the soup.

In an attempt to not let my memories of the ride be contributed to only by others, I pick a couple of spots to hit some good intervals on the way home - gravel by Airport Road and the Old Banff Coach Road climb.  The gravel section Kate tails me then pulls up on the road, and without any outward signs of effort offers "that was hard".  I'm gonna take that as a success.  We take it easy then make an effort on the last climb up Old Banff Coach road.  Or should I say I made an effort?  I put in what I'm labelling a reasonably solid interval complete with standing for that last spike in grade up to the sign.  Kate sits on my wheel and let's me take the sign, then pulls around on the flat, without any outward sign of effort again and says "that wasn't what I'd call spinning it home" then leaves me to dig in and get in her draft on the flat.  Youch!  As evidence it was the 4th fastest female time up that pitch with a) a 100km ride yesterday, b) 6h in today, c) on cross bikes and full winter gear.

Riding with awesome people is… well… awesome!  6h moving, I think a little over 4 riding, 7h out from home.  Data and route here.

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