So, after last weeks ordeal I am back into training on the road bike. I think to myself, why not head up the apache trail this morning? Of course, being summer it would be wise to start early to beat the boat traffic and the heat. I estimate 2 bottles could do it with a refill at Canyon Lake Marina. I was part right.
4:20 AM and I was on the streets in the aero-bars riding east into a quartering headwind. I was surprised to find I was keeping a faster pace than normal. In fact I would find my pace was faster than normal almost all day. I don't know if the fact that I had lost 15-20 lbs since I last rode this might have something to do with it. That's like having a whole other bicycle worth of weight. I turned my light off heading north out of Apache jct. I was quite pleased with myself climbing the hill over to canyon lake.
I was quite pleased with myself climbing the hill behind Tortilla Flat too. That is until around halfway up the hill I spot cyclists in my rear view mirror. I was just topping the toughest part of the hill and here come three cyclists. Their jersey showed that the Brumby mob was out and about this morning. The Brumby's are kind of famous in these here parts as being extremely strong cyclists. Many of them are racers as well. They didn't really blow by me, but they didn't have a hard time passing me either. One guy that was trailing them finally caught me near the top. I can say that I did get to all of their regrouping places before they had left so although I was not riding "with" the Brumby mob I was very pleased to find that they weren't completely leaving me in the dust. After all I was riding this in record time this morning. It is amazing how much easier the hills are with 20 lbs of ballast jettisoned.
I followed the Brumby's down at a bit of a distance behind. I hit 48 mph at one point which would be my high speed for the day. Near the bottom of the hill my pedals froze up. Now, I don't know how you feel about pedals freezing up, but when I am barreling along at 30-40 mph and the pedals freeze, I freeze a little too. Anyway, I played it cool and coasted to a stop after coasting through the wash hoping that only the pedals would freeze and not the wheels! It turned out my rear deraileur is a little out of adjustment and overshifted the chain off of the small cog. I popped the wheel off to release the chain and was off again with a mental note not to use the small cog when in the largest chainring.
At Canyon Lake Marina the Brumby's that weren't doing repeats on the big hill were there kicking it and refilling water bottles. I foolishly refilled one and put my sportsdrink into it. Had I been wise I would have filled one with water and one with the drink powder. As is I had a very hot climb out of Canyon lake. I had 3 of the Brumby's pass me at a pretty good clip climbing the first part of the big hill out. I would see them again at the "Dash In" taking it easy. I usually skip the "Dash In" but my tongue was clinging to the roof of my mouth and I was starting to get sick from drinking the sports drink stuff so I had to stop and get a bottle of water. They were talking about catching up to Cat3 racers and passing them. Perhaps after another 10-15 lbs come off I can hang with the Brumbies. Perhaps I could win the lottery too.
All in all I did 63 miles 4000 feet of climbing, in 4 hours and 20 minutes. That is a whole 14 minutes off my fastest time. I also woke up this morning with a resting heart rate of 46 which is the lowest I have counted it so I think I am in the best shape of my life right now. I averaged 14.6 mph which is almost as fast as I averaged on the Usery Pass route last time. Might be time to see if I can break my record for the Usery Pass ride.
Edit- I emailed the Brumby's having found their website and I am part of their list now. A few of them had issues with dehydration too it turns out. I might be running with the Brumby mob a little more in the future!
And, yes for those of you who may be wondering, they are named after the pack of wild horses in "The Man from Snowy River".