Today’s plan was a long ride of three hours and forty-five minutes. In an attempt to train for the various races that lay ahead on mine and other’s calendars it seemed like a good idea to train on a “more challenging” course. We decided to hit up the bike course for the Hits North Country 70.3 at Hague, NY. For me, this was a perfect idea as I’m signed up for the race and I definitely do better on race day if I have pre-ridden the course. On top of that, I had heard that this one had a few really tough hills, so I was anxious to see just what they were all about.
Check the climbs…. Lots of rollers in the middle, but capped by some serious stuff.
Apparently, I’m pretty fortunate because when we decide that we want to go on a difficult bike ride, I have a “family” of friends who want to come along too! I call them family. They are. These people have stood by me through thick and thin, good times and bad, and here we are today. It is such a good feeling to line up your bikes at the start of a ride with a number of friends at your shoulder and know that it’s going to be a good day!
Nothing like starting the day with smiles and good company!
Any how, as we headed out today the weather was good! The sun was shining, so we took the time to sunscreen up. We headed off out around Brandt Lake figuring we would head into Hague, and then back out to the other part of the course. The Brandt Lake section was filled with rollers, but it was relatively fast. Then we hit the category three climb on the way out. Everyone’s speed slowed as we slowly chugged our way to the top of the three-mile hill. At the top we paused for some fuel, to let folks catch up and for a few random photos.
We were then lucky enough to ride down the category 2 …. Four and a half miles of downhill fastness into Hague. Yikes, we were really flying. I’m not sure what I topped out at as my Garmin died, but fellow riders we up around 42 mph. For anyone who doesn’t know, that’s moving on a bike. Head up folks cuz if you hit something, it’s you who will be hitting something and it won’t be soft. We passed a few folks as we headed into Hague for the turn around. While a few peeps used the restroom, refueled and tossed garbage, those same folks walked down and asked how fast we were moving heading down the hill. Their faces were shocked when we told them forty. Then you also should have seen their faces when we told that we were turning around and heading back up that hill. Category two for four and half miles, coming up.
The hill coming back up and out was no joke, but at the same rate we knew once were out it would be a big down hill and the rollers around Brandt Lake. So we powered it up, one pedal stroke a time. There were times that I wanted to get off my bike, but I managed to hold on stick with it. I’m so glad I did. That’s the first five miles of the bike course for the 70.3 that I have scheduled and I commit to getting them done.
By the time we got back around the lake the rain had started to come down. Given that it wasn’t race day and our cars were right there we opted to cut the ride short and get some lunch. It was so nice to laugh, joke and get warm with friends. Truly a great day even if I did have to come home and finish my long ride on a trainer. Thanks peeps! How was your Sunday?
Smiley peeps with fully bellies post ride, wind and rain!