Sunday, July 13, 2008

Nine hour weekend

I'm getting a lot out of these non-racing weekends - riding and more riding. Friday my wife and I spent a good part of the day in southern coastal Maine. We figured out how to fit the tandem in the Matrix and be able to close the hatch so we don't get carbon monoxided to death. We rode nice bits of the coast in Kennebunkport area and waded in the frigid Atlantic. Yesterday was a mountains epic (prior post). Today I was looking for something tamer to do, but the riding turned out to be anything but tame.

The south central NH NEMBA gang was heading down to Harold Parker State Forest for an early morning ride. This is less than 40 minutes from my house. It looked like about 20 riders showed up. I thought about bringing my singlespeed, but my shredded legs said otherwise. Dave Penney brought his, and he still smoked me on my dualie. We rode all of the "hero" section from the Wicked Ride of the East. If you are a mountain biker, you know what this is. We hit bits I've never seen before. I think an hour into the ride, my average speed was about 6 mph. It was that techy. My dualie does not have tubeless tires, and despite bumping the pressure up, I flatted twice. When I hit HP solo, I like to hit a lot of the flowy fast stuff with my singlespeed. I would have been utterly doomed had I brought it today, tired or fresh legs. Maybe with a 22t cog on back I would have half survived. The only up side was I was one of the few riders that didn't crash. With a Colorado trip coming up, injury was not an option. I ride with these guys and gals a couple times a year, and many of them are far more skilled than I. During the ride I commented that the only thing I don't suck at is going up hill. That is a pretty limited skill set for a cyclist.

DeLorme vs Garmin (green) Elevation. Below sea level and 100ft instantaneous elevation changes are not likely in Andover.

My Garmin Edge 705 isn't the only GPS that under reads distance. Our ride went about 12.5 miles by most folks wired computers. But GPS's gave 0.5 to 1.0mi less than that. Additionally, when using raw satellite elevation data, wild vertical gain numbers are seen. In this case, an Edge 205 unit gave 8006ft of climbing. No way, considering min to max in the park is about 120ft. I downloaded the track into DeLorme Topo, it gave 1017ft of climbing. That sounds reasonable. I bet a barometric altimeter would have given much less, but those tend to under measure vertical.

Anyway, another great weekend with 9+hrs riding and 12,000-13,000ft of climbing. I'm looking forward to putting time on rollerskis though. I think after Mt Washington I will start. I want to take ski racing a little more seriously this winter. I already bought a season pass for Waterville Valley, motivated in part by the stellar 07/08 winter we had. When perusing other skier blogs out there, it is no wonder I come in near DFL in 50k's. There's more to skiing than just the engine.

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