Friday, March 4, 2011

A little glimpse...

into the joys of training in Michigan winters. As some of you know, I work 9hr days and have every other Friday off work. This was my short week, so I had my eye on the weather and it kept getting worse all week! I knew pulling off a hundo in the conditions they were calling for was going to take every trick in the book.

I thought I had it nailed. I swapped my tires and laid out all my clothes on Thurs night... I even filled up my Wingnut and stashed it in the fridge. I went to bed feeling ready for whatever mother nature had in store. Sure enough when I woke up, I found a 1/4" layer of ice covering everything... the only thing I wasn't prepared for. Bahh! I thought it was over for a minute. Then I remembered about the old Kenda Klondike CX tires I had hanging in the garage. The perfect tire for the job. I think Mitch was preparing to go into work late, but when she heard me tearing the tire rack down out in the garage, she quickly made her escape. Even Buddy and Tigger ran and hid behind the couch. I think everyone was still traumatized from the last tire swap. The animals had Stans juice in their fur for weeks after an unexpected blowout!

A couple bloody knuckles and about 6 oz of dish soap later, I had the Klondikes seated up and I was out the door by 9am. It didn't occur to me till I got a few miles down the road that these tires didn't roll very fast. It felt like I was riding on velcro but it was nice on the ice. Studs along with the 11 lbs of Gatorade strapped to my back and single speed bike had my legs burning instantly. I quickly realized pulling off a hundo was going to be tough.

I had a tailwind pushing me out to sea. I decided to roll one of my trusty old century loops up to Columbiaville. It's a nice loop with minimal traffic, and it's all pavement. The country scenery of old farms and small towns keeps my mind fresh and interested. I rolled into Columbiaville at mile 50. The rain was on and off, and by now all of the ice was melted and roads were just wet. Good thing I had the studs... ugh. I flipped and head South into the headwind. My legs were starting to get stagnant and the little aches and pains were creeping in, especially my back. There's a few bailout points along the route to cut the hundo short, however I wasn't going to let the demons win today. I was pulling this off even if it would kill me.

I pulled into the "hell of Elba" and cringed at the headwind. This is a 10 mile section of the route with endless rollers that escalate back to Hadley. I knew if I could get thru Elba, I'd pull it off. Sure enough, I silenced the inner demons and pressed on to finish out the full century loop in just under 6-1/2hrs. Not too shabby for a single speed bike and studded tires. I stepped into the house completely exhausted greeted my old pal Buddy. I slammed my recovery drink, hopped into a hot shower... and began preparing to do it all over the next day.

Keep up the motivation! Spring will be here soon!

3 comments:

R. S. La Prairie said...

I think Stewy and I did some variation of that loop once. Twas 80 miles. Longest ride I ever did, actually. Really nice loop. It wasn't easy and I did my best to give it to him up Hadley, but he got me.

Timothy Finkelstein said...

What doesn't kill us...

Nicely done my friend.

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