Tuesday, July 17, 2007
I went out to ride some pavement today ( a rare event for me anymore) knowing that it was hot, but Jesus! I didn't think it was THAT bad! Went to Ledges to work on some intensity and got plenty of it too. Up the climb in the center of the park on my big ring, down the south side and turned around back up it, then down through the center again and up the hill at Camp Hantesa. Only about twenty miles in all, but with some good climbs in the mix. I was thinking how it must hurt to climb all day like the Tour riders do. Today they started out on an HC climb and then rode all day, only to finish on a Cat. 1 approach to another HC. All the while maintaining about 39 km/hour! Ouch! I am lucky to have VS. this year so I can watch it all unfold. My brother in law was recording the stages and giving me the discs in the last years, but now I don't have to wait until December to watch it. I liked the way "OLN " rolled off of Phil's tongue in the days before the name change. He made it sound like a person's name, or some exotic food. Sadly, I think he has lost some of his commentating skill this year. He says the wrong names, or can't think of the names, or even transposes letters in the first and last names. And Paul is ever the gentleman and backs him up, bails him out, or goes right on calling the race. I will put together some thoughts on the entire commentary team and post them soon. In other news, I was super stoked today that my dad agreed to take me to Rock Rapids to start RAGBRAI! Yes! I will be doing it on gravel roads, on my 29er, with a Burley full of the bare essentials. I can do the entire route about one mile off of the pave' and still have the luxury of convenience stores, small town community groups, etc for food. I even plan to jog up to Minnesota on the first day, ride over to Bigelow, then come down to the highest point in Iowa (a whopping 1660 ft above sea level) and then continue to gravel the route. I talked about this idea, riding gravel parallel to the main route, for years. This will be a bit of a testing year but should be a blast as long as it's dry. I will put up a lenghty post about it and hope to have photos to post also. I think of it as training for Trans Iowa for next year. I want to do more long rides, and that would certainly qualify! Later! Travel Gravel!