A lot has been happening and its all been blog worthy....but its not getting written about. I don't like re hashing and dramatically re-enacting a-la Matlock the last few weeks of life just to get it up here. It was a mistake. It happened. I'll be better in the future.Current topics of discussion. Team Niner in almost its entirety has been staying at the bungalow de Robb for the past two weeks give or take. Lots of riding. Its probably a down few weeks for them, mid season lull, but Dejay, Fuzzy, and Rebecca's down weeks feel like a training camp for me.
I worked my last few days last week and we rode a bunch at after work mecca Bent Creek, a quick out and back on Laurel, and then the abbreviated Fish Hatchery Loop on a freshly graded 475b AND 225. Beware.
I think that was all Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday....Friday I packed up all the bikepacking stuff, Rohloff'd the bike, and headed to GA for a little extended trip of mildly secret intent. There will be more to come of this in weeks to come, but for now its a little hush hush. Our Friday start was delayed by some rain (we're a bunch of pussies) We rode four hours on Friday till like 12:30 under beautiful moonlight, and 12 hours on Saturday under some oppressive GA sunshine. Somewhere's around 22,000 feet of climbing for our efforts, including 4 trips up and down to cross the AT. Pretty happy with my sleeping setup. On the verge of something, but can't really say too much about it until it actually happens. Can't go getting expectations up.....
Rest day Sunday. Extreme rest day. I couldn't even make the drive home without pulling over and sleeping. The rest of the day was more of the same. Laying around, stretching, eating, stretching, drinking, and sleeping. This is all important.
Monday was pretty quiet around the house. Dejay and Rebecca had headed up to Boone. John was doing family style stuff with Christina and little Ian. Turning down a trip to the Children's Museum, I went for a little spin along the river towards Marshall. Mostly tempo stuff on the way out, high cadence, just trying to wake the legs up after the Fri/Sat effort. On the way home I did some little 5 minute TT efforts along the flat stretche of the river. Surprisingly I felt like I had a little pop. Maybe the training camp effort was starting to solidify.Test time. Dejay and Rebecca were still up in Boone. John would be joining them on Wednesday. Dejay, in a rare moment of brilliance, hatched a plan. I should drive to Boone Monday night, we'd ride back via the BRP on Tuesday, and catch a ride back to our cars on Wednesday in the Fuzzy Sprinter. Perfect.
Dejay and I rolled out at 8:20, and all I could say as I walked down the steps was that I really didn't feel like being on my bike. We followed Rebecca's directions to the parkway without fail. The only problem: parkway closed. So we did a 15 miles, 1 hour parade lap around Boone, down 321 and regained the Parkway. I was surprised by the scenery up there. Lots of farms and fields of wildflowers to chase Dejay through. Dejay took off up the first climb, and I was working hard to keep up right from the start. Around the 30 mile point though, I started to feel really good. I was clicking down a few gears, and seated climbing away from Dejay. Later I was dropping it down a few more and standing out of the saddle. Flat spots turned into TT efforts. The parkway grades allowed a lot of strong seated climbing, and I only felt bad when the climbs went on and on up through Crabtree and the northern side of the Mitchell runup. Nutrition felt balanced. Ass didn't hurt. Legs would pop into an effort when I needed them, and I was brimming with confidence the entire ride. It was a very happy 112 miles and 18,000 feet of climbing, just 3 days after a nearly identical effort on the mountain bike.
Its been a lousy pre season for me, filled with work and schedule conflicts and the rest of life thrown at me. The past few weeks have me really feeling at home and safe in Asheville. Finally surrounded by a group of good people, hanging at the newly de-roomated house, making the summer cookout rounds, riding lots of bikes, putting in lots of hard miles, sharing the kitchen and front porch, washing, and repeating on all levels.
Saying goodbye to everyone for a while today. We just made some scones and eggs, and are heading out for rides. John for a long 5-6 hour effort, Dejay and I for an hour spin and some more staring at the TV. Its our rest day after all.