Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Trail Treasure and Training Camp

Trail Treasure

Survival of the Fittest

I didn't realize when we set off on our extended long weekend that I was in for a mini training camp! Friday's painfully awesome ride was followed by three more days of long, difficult rides. I survived, but just barely ;). Thankfully my evil coach (well, not that evil ;)) gave me a break this week, cause I am tired!

Trail Treasure

We started our Saturday not on bikes, but on skates. Ice skates, not skiing! Bethel has created a rink for public use, and the conditions were pretty good. It was fun to get out and do something a bit different.

It was another bluebird day in Maine, and after skating and changing, we set off on the local Greenstock Snowmobile club trails for an advertised "1.5 hour" ride. Those of you who know Mike know how that went...

If anything though, the conditions were better than they had been the previous day, and the riding was stellar. Our route had a fairly significant amount of climbing, requiring me to settle into the granny and spin it out on more than one occasion. As we hit the first plateau in our climbing, Mike circled back to me with a piece of trail treasure...

Of course, we had to pack this up and take it home! We have been finding a shed about once every two years, but usually it is on our snowmobile adventures. It's a good thing this find wasn't any bigger - we would have had a real issue getting it back home from the middle of nowhere, and there is no leaving a perfectly good moose shed in the middle of the trail. This find fits in nicely with our other two.

We continued on with our ride, Mike telling me that we "were at the top". As I climbed yet ANOTHER long incline, I looked up to see him once again coming back towards me. With the shed stuck in his Camelback, it looked like he had horns coming out of his head, and I could only think how appropriate that looked - like the devil! The trail finally turned downward and we popped out onto the road for a short section, and then back into the woods to make the final push towards home.

Our 1.5 hour ride turned into 2.5 hours - typical for a Rowell adventure ;). The treasure made it all worth it though, and the effort of the two days made dinner taste just that much better.
Valentine's Day

Our Valentine's Day ride started with a negotiation, which I lost ;). We were going to ride the tandem (appropriate for the day, don't you think?), but it was the duration of the ride that was in question. Unfortunately for me, as the stoker, I pretty much have to go where and how far the captain takes us!

It turned out to be a good ride, despite tired legs and an unrelenting wind. We ended up with just under 3 hours of riding, and 53 miles. And after our forays into the woods of Maine and seeing ZERO wildlife, we were treated to a fox running across the road in front of us out in Groton.

Survival of the Fittest

We had one more day of the long weekend, and we certainly didn't want to let it go to waste ;). I was tired, but knew that one more day of hard riding would be good for me at this point in the season (that which does not kill you makes you stronger, right?). Monday's weapons - the SS bikes.

The weathermen proved that they could keep their jobs by being wrong - again. They had promised no wind, but it was once again, ever present. It seemed no matter which direction we rode, the wind was coming at us head on, or trying to blow me sideways off the road. After 1.5 hours of riding, I was pretty cooked, but we continued on. At about the 2 hour mark, as we were out in Harvard climbing yet another stinkin' hill, the tears came. I was so tired and I just wanted to be home (which was over an hour's ride away...).

I gritted my teeth, pedaled squares, and just tried to hang on for the remainder of the ride home. It was another long day, ending with 57.5 miles in just over 3.5 hours.

So, as I asked on FB, can I really claim surviving our mini-camp? Yessiree! And of course, now that it is over, I can see that it was really a good idea to have done the hard training early in the season. This week, we're resting before getting back to the hard stuff again this weekend.

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