Monday, December 29, 2008

Crystal Workout

Yesterday's attempt to ride singletrack was a bust. It appears there is still too much snow on any trail worth riding. I went over to Yankee Springs in the afternoon. The warm weather ended rather spectacularly. Winds up to 65mph were recorded at the Holland harbor just a couple miles from my mother's house. That took a lot of power out. I saw one house severely damaged by a big tree that crashed through it. There was still flooding. I really didn't have high expectations of good trail riding given the last several days weather history. The snow was too deep and crusty in about 50% of the terrain. If I wasn't hike-a-biking because of the snow, I was carrying my bike over/through/around blow-downs. I gave up in 1.5 miles. I rode some icy doubletrack instead for an hour, primarily at recovery pace. I took a gamble that I'd be able to use a semi fresh body for skiing the next day.

Today I wanted to ski at Vasa. They held their base there. But late last night they posted that downed trees put a damper on grooming, and if you came out on Monday, to come as late in the day as possible. That wasn't going to work.

I talked with a human at Crystal Mountain late on Sunday. They expected to clear the trails and groom early on Monday. They sounded like a safer bet. They do a nice job too, plus I could really use a spanker hill workout.

The women planned an all day shopping spree, so I was free to kill the day driving up to the northern lower penninsula in search of perfect glide. The roads were hairy heading up. Black ice and no reason to expect any. There were many bad wrecks including roll-overs. But less than three hours after leaving the house, I was on snow. Good snow. Fresh corduroy with no tracks in it yet. The trails were meticulously groomed with the big groomer. Temp was around 30F but expected to rise above freezing.

I went right for the expert terrain, the black diamond rated stuff. Their black trails really are quite challenging, easily on par with say Criterion at Waterville Valley. For the next hour and a half, I skied wall after wall at anaerobic effort. I haven't had a liberal dose of intensity in over a week, so this sure felt good. Skiing two laps connecting every black rated trail they had left me pretty much in shambles. Good thing they have some nice flat stuff too.

The last half of my workout was around the golf course and similarly flat terrain through the forest. This gave me opportunity to work on my V2 at pleasant tempo pace. The only difficulty was the temperature had risen just above freezing. The snow in the trees above the trails was melting and dripping down. This slowed things down considerably and made for very unpredictable glide. Most of it was slow, but every now and then I'd hit a fast spot and about land on my coccyx.

This perfectly executed workout covered 35.4km (22mi), 850m (2780ft) vertical in 2.7hrs. The steepness of this terrain is perfect training for Lake Placid. Looking forward to more skiing in the Whites after we get back.


Dave said...

I like your Google images of your rides. When I import my Garmin data I get a bunch of black boxes but your path is a nice red line. Also, your mountains look much taller than mine. Are your rides short or are you modifying the aspect ratio or something. Linked here is an example from a recent ride.
Thx, Dave

Hill Junkie said...

Dave, for long rides or routes where the hills are not very tall relative to distance travelled, I will often up the aspect ratio. This is under tools -> options -> elevation exageration. I use 2-3 most often.

For line format, right-click on the route in MyPlaces, select properties, then Style/Color (you may have to click share style), then pick the color, width (2-3 looks nice), and opacity. 100% is no see-thru, 0% is invisible. Set labels and icons to 0% to get clean line.


Dave said...

Thx Doug, that worked out perfectly. I just wish I could go higher than 3 on the elevation exaggeration on my "4 Gaps" ride because of the distamce involved:101 miles.