Monday, October 11, 2010

Fall Colors Ride

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Happy Thanksgiving to my fellow Canadians!  I hope all of you enjoyed some Turkey or whatever your traditional food on Thanksgiving.

We had fantastic weather in our neck of the woods, with sweatshirt type afternoons, but near freezing at night.  My roadie brother was in town and brought his bike so we took the opportunity to ride into the Gatineau Hills.  It felt good to clean my bike up after the rain in Muskoka but underscored the fact I hadn't been on it since then - which was pretty much a month ago.  <sigh>

My brother has a ton more experience on the bike than I and given he lives in Toronto, has a much longer cycling season.  He's raced quite a bit and done some long distance fundraising rides in the recent past so he's got solid bike skills and a good power base.  I told him that if he gets bored out there with me, he can repeat some of the hills instead of waiting up.  For some reason, he declined?!

I spent most of my summer training with others way more experienced than I and subsequently always riding by myself.  I was told many times that I'd "never get faster if I don't ride with others".  Theory obviously being that I'd push myself more to keep up.  But I worry about the distance and running out of leg power too soon - that is my real issue!  Yesterday was no different - I didn't push myself to keep up, preferring to keep my own pace and follow my own lead.  Kind of selfish, perhaps.....I don't know.  For me, I know I need to spend the winter on my Computrainer to build and build so that I'll be in a better position next spring to ride with the group.  I'm not a 'wuss' or 'terribly slow'....in the hills (some of which are 4+km climbs (3mi), I average 26km/h,  flats usually 29 - 32 km/h (19-20mph)....I know I have a ways to go to improve, but hopefully it isn't "that bad"!

Our ride was 2h15min, 58km (36mi).  The weather was slightly coolish and gloves were needed, but shoe covers were left in the truck - passed on them, which was a good call.

I was goofing around with my iPhone grabbing some video along the way.  This clip is at the top of one of the 5km climbs.  Sorry about the heavy breathing, LOL!!
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I thought it was a nice point because of the lake and the remnants of the colors.  The roadway is the Gatineau Parkway...and yes, we are completely spoiled living in and around Ottawa, Ontario.  The parkways are closed to motor vehicles EVERY Sunday morning throughout the summer so this is  a great place to train with a great road surface and nothing around you but other bikes, roller bladers, etc.

Before I "shut'er down", I want to congratulate Bryan Payne on his amazing accomplishment in Kona on Saturday.  I've credited Bryan before for, among other things, the inspiration to start a blog.  But Bryan qualified for Kona at IM LP in July and has been putting in unbelievable miles since then - and of course over the last several years of his "comeback".  He's got a great story you'll want to check out.

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