Saturday, May 8, 2010

Return of the 40k... 23.5 mph-style

This week has been strange... a semi-recovery week with some tough riding (one solid brick) and swimming. Running has been pretty easy... did a 8 mile trail run with Michelle instead of a track workout and a 3.5 mile trail run Friday after a 45 minute ride with Michelle. So, pretty tame week for the most part. It's been mainly mileage in all 3 sports.

Except for today. Dirk enticed me into a 40k at his bike training grounds... MacArthur from Sanganore Rd. to the end of Oaklyn and back... half flat, half hilly. Last time we did this, in January, I was pathetic... I was barely hanging onto Dirk and could only hope to keep up by drafting. Having not done this ride since then, I was reasonably concerned that I would let Dirk down again, despite my recent improvements on the bike. But I sucked it up and met him at the start near the Safeway. We got out on MacArthur with a goal 1:05:00 in mind and switching off leads every 2 miles. I hoped that I had something to offer...

25+ mph winds and cars were present to try to end my ride and life, but I was ready to accept the challenge. Like Thor.

We got started with Dirk in the lead. I tried to stay just off his draft so I could really test my speed. Sure enough, I was keeping up... but it was just the beginning! Then came my turn. I passed and kicked it up for my 2 miles. The winds were strong, but we were partly shielded by the trees next to the road. I pedaled for about a mile and looked down at my speedometer... I was maintaining 23-23.5 mph comfortably! Hmmm... this was quite different from last time, when I was BARELY managing 23. This pace felt almost natural. And so it went... we exchanged leads, ascended the mountain at the end of MacArthur and made our way into Oaklyn Rd., a rolling but quiet suburb street. I started getting a little fatigued here, but really worked hard to keep the pace when I was leading. Roadies tried to draft off of us but were all left in the dust... we were CRUISING.

Exited Oaklyn and headed back for MacArthur... I gained a second wind here after a roadie who was drafting off of us tried to display some speed. HMM??? We live, we live to rock!!. We sped down the mountain back onto MacArthur and began the last 10k+... flat and with the wind slightly to our backs. We flew... average speed went from 23 to 23.5 and we were riding into 26 mph and up territory. Dirk let me lead the sprint for the last kilometer... DONE!

1:02:50, 23.5 mph! A 4-minute improvement over my 40k time from last year (on a completely flat course with no wind!), in tough conditions! It really looks like my biking is really coming together. Dirk noted that could translate to a sub 1:00:00 on a flat course with no wind...

I'm stoked, man.


  1. Woah - nice improvement Andy! I know of that mountain you speak of at Great Falls Road. That's a hell of a hill to throw into a 40k TT effort and you more than dominated it. I wonder how your times would translate to an uber flat course such as Hains Point... dare I say sub 1:00 on a good day with minimal wind? Keep up the hard work!