Sunday, March 21, 2010

I got a lot done this weekend.

After working Friday night, I managed to get 4 or so of hours of sleep in before heading down to Oneonta for some testing with Joey. I was excited to do the test for a couple of reasons. First, I am always excited to see Joey--always good conversations and good times. Secondly, I was anxious to see where my threshold power is, having been working my ass off and coaching myself. I want to make sure that I'm headed in the right direction. Things seem to be firing on all pistons--but numbers always tell the truth.

Ground Control to Major Matt: you are cleared for take-off. These were the last words I heard from Ground Control before he cranked up the power and tore my legs off.

I was really excited--in 3 years of doing this, it was the first time I was allowed to wear my headphones. Little things always seem to make the difference. I'm sure you don't need me to tell you, but yes, U2 "Out of Control" was blasting--it was a little extra jack. Another bonus was that my mom wanted to come to check out what all the hype is about and to meet Joey. She also agreed to man the camera--she's quickly earning champion photographer status.

At first look, my power seems to be up around 15% across the board. I was looking for something in the 10% range, so I was pretty pleased. Now if I can move it up 10% more by Mt. Washington, I'll be really happy. The only bummer of the day is that I always wish I had more time to spend with Joey--one of the nicest guys you'll ever meet and super-knowledgeable.

I got home around 8:30 pm and there was a message from Mike, saying that he was in for the Battenkill course recon ride. I'm not sure if I would have made it out of bed when my alarm went off at 6 am the next morning if I was doing the ride solo, as I was pretty cooked from the testing and the lack of sleep. I've been anxiously awaiting the ride as I've heard so much about how epic the course is--it's 62 miles of rolling paved and dirt roads. I was most curious as to what the dirt roads were all about.

It was a little chilly at the start but then we were treated to what turned out to be an awesome day. We never saw the forecasted 40% chance of rain and in fact, I got my first sunburn of the year. I had a great time with Mike--he's one of my favorite people with whom I work--all around very fit. I was very impressed with the way he rode, considering that he's only put in something like 22 miles in his legs so far this year.

So the verdict--I would agree--the course is epic. The dirt roads, for the most part, are more pleasant to ride than the pavement, as they were super smooth and packed down. The hills fit into my game plan nicely, as they are relatively short by local comparison, but will require big, big power to get up them quickly. I'm sure things could change significantly when wet. The only dicey part were several sharp turns covered in loose gravel which I'm sure will be a real pleasure riding with 100+ other guys. I've got to remember to keep my head up--the big learning point of the day--a road bike doesn't soak up a pothole like a mountain bike does--just a touch scary when you're not paying attention.

We saw all these cool trucks lined up as we were leaving town--the one on the far left had an Alaska plate. I sort of felt like we were cruising down old Route 66, heading out of Radiator Springs. Hmmm...thinking about Disney movies? Definitely time to get home to the kids.

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