Friday 19 January 2007

Cabin Jam in January?

One of these days I'll learn... but last night I got out for a great January night ride. (picture isn't mine, just for theatric effect)

Yesterday I was doing a light workout at lunch when I received a message from Dallas, "Wanna come ride with Steenbergen and I tonight?" What kind of pace? "Slow, talking pace."

I said sure, let me know when, I can get out for a little while, but I've gotta pack for cat skiing too. I didn't mention that I was tired from being at work at 5am today for an equity financing deal.

I should have known better:
1. Steenbergen, aka the Steamroller (cause he pummels me into the ground) does not go for slow rides. I should have learned this in November when we went out in a group one day. Maybe for him they're base rides, in which case his base is exceedingly impressive. For me this was an upper tempo/sub threshold/threshold mix ride, generally harder than I'm interested in doing on a dark January night.
2. Don't show up to a ride with fast riders with a heavier, slower bike than theirs, when you know you'll need all the help you can get. My 'cross bike still has touring tires on it, and I thought they'd be a little slick with the new snow. So I rode my winter bike - 1kg studded tires and all.

We rode the cabin jam route, plus ventured off on some gravel roads south of Cochrane on the south side of the river. Dallas dropped a little past the 1 hour mark, his recent buff down diet and training left the stomach a little underfueled for a ride like this. I ended up dropping about 20 minutes later. I noticed that when I dropped at the 90 minute mark that my AVERAGE power up to that point was 275 Watts. This includes coasting, and the the fact that I drafted the entire time (sorry, I'm not up to pulling guys this strong with 1kg tires, I'm looking out for my own survival). Point is, we were moving along pretty nicely... not my "slow, talking pace" unless you count the voices in your head telling you this is nuts.

I had an unpleasant encounter with a rig while crossing the bridge over the Bow into Cochrane, and after taking down the plate, decided I'd better motor home before I ran out of energy and froze. Made it home with some frozen pinky fingers, but that's about all.

Truth be told, this was a fantastic ride. I'm "complaining" in jest for the most part. It feels good to one of the guys hardcore or nutty enough to be pounding out some good miles in the depths of January darkness on a Thursday night... too bad I didn't have a team jersey on to advertise the fact. I had a smile on my face, my fitness held me through better than I expected which is reassuring, and I still got home in time (3 hours after departure) to thaw my fingers and pack for the cat ski trip to Revelstoke.

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