Tuesday, June 17, 2014
The main thing was my nutrition. I was going to find out if I could make it without a Camelbak. Just two bottles. For some people, this is a no brainer, but I've grown accustomed to needing more water. Recently, I realized that I am probably diluting any electrolytes that I am consuming. The cool water feels good temporarily, but of the course of 3-4 hrs, my body is lacking the necessary minerals compared to the amount of water I am taking in.
So, I started out with two bottles, one with sports drink and one with nuun. I planned on refilling at the spring on Curtis Creek Rd, and was hoping to find some water at the seep on the way down Heartbreak.
The other thing I was trying out was my single speed gearing. I wanted to see how the 32x21 worked for me on a longer ride.
Up and over the gap, down onto Jarrets Creek Rd, winding, climbing, cruising. The gravel grind was uneventful and I popped out on Curtis Creek Rd. Here I was spun out. But I took the opportunity to relax and maintain a low heart rate. I started climbing and was feeling great. As I neared the spring, I emptied my bottles.
I continued to enjoy the cool lushness.
I thought ahead to the climb and realized that it might not be a good idea trying to make it the rest of the way on only two water bottles. I considered that on race day, there would be 3 more water stops between here and Heartbreak and that if I could make it today, I would definitely make it then. I got back on the bike, ready for the climb.
I assumed a steady pace. Knowing that if my heart rate stays too high to long, I overheat and I'm done. I pass a couple of people on the way up and we chat briefly while we ride. Once I reach the parkway, I'm halfway through my bottles and wish I could drink more. I know I need to stretch it, so I do.
South on the Parkway, I lookout over the ridges and valleys of the Appalachian mountain range. I'm so privileged to live in a place like this. 48 mph down into the gap and then another climb up to the Heartbreak trailhead. The hike a bike does not seem to be as difficult as I remembered. Either I'm stronger, or I'm more in control of my effort and not about to blow up.
In fact, I'm feeling really good. I can almost stay on top of my gearing but consider going with a 32-22 on race day so I can spin more.
I'll save it for another day.
...enjoy the ride!
Posted by Stephen at 7:31 AM