Sicar and I (as I have racked ZeroZeroTwo for the foreseeable future) set out from the Rt. 28 Safeway and headed north toward Dickerson for a 75-80min ride. It was just us, some passing cars, the trees and a 8-10mph crosswind... and blistering heat! Not a cloud in the sky above, just the brightly shining sun. But the heat would be combated with 2 bottles of liquid and fierce determination to expunge a weakness that was revealed all too dramatically at Columbia. I focused on maintaining an aerobic (197-221w) wattage throughout the ride, and it wasn't too difficult, as Rt. 28 has lots of long rollers but no dramatic spikes in elevation. Kept around 209-212 for the duration (28.5 miles, made it to Dickerson and turned back), and it felt quite good albeit a bit warm even by the turnaround. In fact, the whole riding alone thing was the best part. I really got to pay heed to my own effort (via cadence and power) and to nothing else, save for staying out of the way of passing autos. It can be a little lonely, but I'll get to defeating those feelings altogether.
So if this ride was any indication, I'm in for a great summer of training and cycling, and I'm sure Route 28 and I will become quite familiar and close... the rides will only get harder, but if I can MAKE myself work in isolation as effectively, then I will be much better prepared come race day. I want to bike as furiously as I swim and run!
I'll be seeing that sign many times in the coming summery days.