Sunday, February 7, 2010

Cold Temps + No Snow = Big Rides

Frozen water bottles
Chemical toe warmers
Studded tires
Drippy nose
Tired legs

Seems that all of the snow storms have been missing New England this year, and have been dumping instead in the mid-Atlantic. With no recent storms, and no snowfall in the forecasts, we've been unable to get out skiing or snowmobiling. Instead, we've been out on the bikes for some pretty epic (yes, I used the word epic - sue me!) rides the past couple of weeks.

Last Saturday, Kevin B invited us up for a tour of the snowmobile trails in Hollis, NH. I read "luge-like snowmobile trails", but had no idea what that really meant. Mike, Wayne and I headed up and met Kevin and Steve to set out on the iciest ride I have ever done! The trails were rivers of ice - off camber, bumpy ice... We went up hills where if you had put your foot down, you would have slid all the way back down to the bottom! It was scary, but oddly fun at the same time. Unfortunately, I am a wuss in icy conditions like some we encountered, and encouraged the boys to continue on without me. While I ended up with almost 2 hours of riding, they finished with 20 miles and 5000 feet of climbing!

Wayne, me, Steve and Kevin; Steve trying to stay upright

Waiting for me again; Let go of the brakes!

The next day, Mike and I took the tandem out for it's first adventure of the year. Leaving the house, it was so cold I almost cried! Once we got moving though, I warmed up, but then we had to stop in Concord Center to wait for Wayne and John. Once we were off, temps were ok. Our water bottles froze up though! It was a tough ride, and Wayne felt the ride from the day before. Mike John and I ended up with a 63 mile ride - the longest and fastest for me of the year.

Yesterday's ride for me can be summed up in two words - cold and demoralizing. The thermometer said 19 degrees when I left the house for a solo ride. In many ways, it was good no one else was with me to witness my ride. Just over an hour in, I had no water - bottles frozen again. About two hours in, I thought about calling my friend Jean to come and pick me up - I was cold, and cramping badly enough that I wasn't sure I would actually make it home. Instead, I kept going, and managed just over 3 hours. The 48 miles put me ABOVE Mike's mileage for the week - probably the first and last time that will happen ;).

I'm convinced now that I'll be all set for the race season - as long as we only race at 15 mph ;)

Today was a bit warmer, but the wind was brutal. Managed just 2 hours before running out of daylight, but I honestly don't think I could have gone any more than that. These two weekends puts me 300 miles ahead of this time last year. I can only hope that "that which does not kill me, makes me stronger" ;)

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