Monday, February 25, 2008

What Did YOU Do This Weekend?

After nearly a foot of snow fell here on Friday, there was only one thing left to do on Saturday (after our 1:15, 5.5 mile ride in the snow on Friday night) - snowshoe! Mike and I headed over to the PR and tromped around for a couple of hours. We were the first tracks in there besides the deer, mice, squirrels and rabbits.

Sunday we headed over to Wayne and Jean's for the next in the series of the Spring Conspiracy rides. The plan was for 60 miles, heading south from Wayland and circumnavigating Framingham. Sixteen of us set off (a bit late), including my teammate Cris. The skies were sunny, but temps were still on the chilly side - in the low 30s as we set off.

Now, this is SUPPOSED to be a training ride, and it IS February. However, the pace was a little higher than Cris and I really wanted to go (or, in my case, COULD go). After 21 miles of 24.5 mph on the flats and 17 mph on the climbs, we said enough. We headed back exactly as we had gone out from Wayne's, and I managed to get us back from Dover with only one (or maybe two) wrong turns - not bad without a map and on roads I had never been on before! We still ended up with 3 hours of riding time and a little over 46 miles. And MANY thanks to Wayne and Jean for the yummy food afterwards!

So, what did YOU do this weekend? ;-)

Friday, February 22, 2008

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Training ... It Has Begun!

I'm sitting here in my living room, tired after a big week of riding - 113 miles last week, and 34 more today. Of course, that's nothing compared to the racers just starting the Tour of California - watching them on TV makes me feel a little lame for being so tired ;-).

Tuesday/Wednesday - Trainers

Photo by PK

These were trainer nights, and trainer nights require company. Why suffer alone, when you can suffer with others??? Tuesday, I rode with the boys as we watched the 1976 Paris-Roubaix. Wednesday, Julie joined me for another torture-fest, er, I mean training session. Forty miles in two days...

Friday - Road

The weather here was beautiful on Friday - sunny and temps in the 40s. Mike and I went out early in the afternoon to put in some miles. It was nice to be outside riding after so many days of riding in the basement going nowhere. We rode one of our normal routes out through Carlisle, Westford, Acton, Stow and Concord, putting on a tough 44 miles. And can SOMEONE tell the road departments that they need to get out and fix the potholes?!?! Some of those will swallow cars, never mind bikes.

Saturday - MTB

Tired of riding in the snow and mashed portatoes, Mike and I headed south to ride on the snow-free Cape at the Trail of Tears in Barnstable. We have only ridden here twice before, but years ago. So, this was kind of a seek and destroy mission.

We were on the singlespeeds (too lazy to change the studs off of the full-suspension geared bikes), and there was a little more climbing than I had anticipated. I was embarrased to be walking up a hill when a group with Johnny Bold, Mark McCormack and 3 others passed by me going in the other direction... I need to get some legs back under me!

We had a great ride - out for almost four hours and covering 19 miles (see ride details here). We were pretty beat when we finally got back to the car, and hungry! We headed to West Dennis for yummy fried food (clams, fries and onion rings) as a reward - at Kream and Kone. We also went down to the beach before heading home. It was definitely cold down there, but also pretty peaceful - no crowds on a cold, windy day.

Sunday - Road

Jen, Sally, Catherine & Kathy in Concord Center

I woke up this morning BEAT from the previous two days. My legs were tired and my hips were sore from the SS ride the day before. I wanted no part of trying to keep up with Mike for another day, so headed out with some of my NEBC teammates and friends for a mellow ride through Concord and Carlisle. It was really fun to be riding with the women again. I kept pace with Kathy while she did a strong interval, recollected with the rest in Concord Center, and then headed home. I think I need a day off now ;-). Click here for ride route and details.

The training has begun! Time to get ready for the season...

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Mashed Potatoes

No, I'm not talking about dinner. I'm talking about the consistency of the snow we rode in today. Just like riding in a giant pot of mashed potatoes. Sort of snow that grabbed your wheel, turned it 90 degrees perpendicular to the direction you wanted to go, and sapped every once of strength you had. Add to that the pouring rain, and this ride was more of a torture-fest than a fun time, but was DEFINITELY a workout!

Once again, I high-tailed at a bail point and headed home, after falling on my hand again. So, I missed the downpour that turned to snowflakes as big as your head, and the thunder and lightening! Also missed Edzo's spectacular crash, but there is photo evidence ;-).

You can see from the photos that there isn't actually a lot of snow cover here in MA. The same is NOT TRUE for Maine, however. They received a whopping 22" of the stuff last week, on top of what was already there! We had to dig into the house on Friday when we arrived (although thanks to our good friend, Robert, much of the snow was already plowed), and it was wet and heavy. There is literally nowhere left to put it! Getting into the house almost requires a tunnel... We have a trailer in the dooryard that won't be coming out until about June at this point - all completely buried.

All that snow made for some excellent riding on Saturday, though. We set off from the house and decided to try some new trails and see if we could make our way to North Conway. The clubs had been out grooming, and the trails were in awesome shape! Our trip took us to the top of Hurricane Mountain Road, and even higher to the summit of Black Cap with views of Cranmore and the valley below. Needing gas, we didn't make it to N. Conway, but instead headed to Fryeburg to fill up, and then head home through N. Fryeburg and Lovell. Seven hours of riding and 135 miles.

The drive back to MA last night was another adventure. The weather was bad the entire trip, and the roads were snow covered and slippery. Took us four hours to get home, and we were both glad to have arrived safely.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

A Surprise

Mike and I have both been sick for a week, and the weather is cold, rainy and gray, making me fairly miserable overall. Good thing there are presents to cheer me up! This awesome wool jersey should come in VERY handy, especially once 'cross season in New Belgium kicks back into gear. Thanks, honey!

Friday, February 1, 2008

Lordy, Lordy!

A special birthday deserved a very special cake, so I made a trek to Suncook, NH and Jacques Pastries for this fabulous creation. Not only did it look good, but the lemon cake with vanilla buttercream frosting was delicious! If you have an occasion needing a special cake, it's worth the drive (check out their other designs - unbelievable!).

After a cold midday bike ride, it was time to celebrate with our close friends, and of course, lots of food. Instead of cooking, I called Lester's BBQ - one of NEBC's new sponsors. Lester's didn't disappoint, bringing delicious BBQ ribs, wings, brisket and chopped beef, potato salad, coleslaw, mashed potatoes with gravy, baked beans, pickles, cornbread, vegetarian wraps and a bbq chicken meal. Everyone loved the food (and I loved not having to cook or set up - thanks Andria), and we will be eating leftovers for the next two or three days!

We had a great day - a definite kickoff to the fabulous forties!