Sometimes you wake up in the morning for a ride and the night before the stars must have aligned just right, setting you up for a spectacular day to come. Sunday morning I woke up feeling fairly refreshed (surprisingly considering the Gin and Soda's the night before), the sun was out in all its glory and you could just tell that the day was going to be a good one.
This past week wasn't filled with too much intensity. I previously mentioned that my legs were really stiff after running in the Newtons on Monday night, so I have avoided running and focused mainly on doing short rides and swims. I was pleased because despite my legs being stiff from the run, my biking was going exceptionally well. All of my short little 20-30k rides were just flying by.
By the weekend my legs were recovered and on the agenda for Saturday I had a 15k run easy, which I opted to run in my old shoes just until I get used to the new ones.
All that being said, back to the main event. Sunday I woke up to a clear sky and promise of a painful day. I met Kevin at 8AM at the coffee shop on Cypress and we headed off to meet Winston at the foot of the Lionsgate. The itinerary for the day had us hit the four points of the North Shore in the following order. Horseshoe Bay, Cypress, Deep Cove and finally Seymore.
We started off very light, uncertain of how the day would wear on us. My longest ride to date this summer has been in the 120km range. This day was going to be roughly 160km and contain two mountain climbs so I figured caution was the wise move.
The ride to Horseshoe bay was uneventful, few cars honked at us but nothing out of the ordinary. On the way to the foot of Cypress we were riding up the hill and I decided this was a good time to have my granola bar. BIG MISTAKE. Turns out eating while climbing while trying to keep up with Kevin who has decided to pick up the pace, is NOT easy. After suffocating myself on the ascent and half a bottle of water later, I was refueled and back with the two.
Cloud cover visited us for the ascent of Cypress which was a mixed blessing. Kept us cool climbing, however, meant for a cold descent. Keeping a relaxed descent and doing nice tucks I managed to hit 77.86 kph with a small surge. I wish I had planned it better, I feel I could have gone faster especially with Kevin there as a lead out. By the time we made it down to hill and to the second narrows, we had ridden 90k and this is when Winston had decided to call it a day. Congrats to him for his first Cypress climb.
Losing Winston, Kevin and I may have made the foolish decision to pick up the pace. From the second narrows to Deep Cove we upped the intensity and were riding a pretty steady 35kph. We regrouped at Deep Cove had a snack and a bathroom break and then started the climb to the base of Seymore and without stopping headed up.
Deep Cove is a small area with a marina, found pretty much at sea level. From there you head up over a few km to the base of Seymore at 175 m above sea level to kick start the climb. If memory served me correctly, Seymore was more or less the same length (12.5km) with the same net elevation (600m) as Cypress. Turn out I was right about the length, however, I was quite off with the elevation. Turns out Seymore tips the scales at roughly 900m elevation. These 300m make for a significantly harder climb. Kevin and I half expected to ride up at 14-15 kph easy, instead we worked hard the whole way up barely averaging 11-12kph. Needles to say I was pleased to hit the top.
By this point, reaching the top we had ridden 115km and ascended 2400m. The descent was a lot of fun, however, my back and legs and neck were really feeling the day. Being a much steeper hill, I feel had we ridden this hill first I could have gotten a new personal max speed, however, with the wear of the day taking its toll I just wasn't able to muster any power for the descent. Getting into a good aero tuck I hit 76 and was only able to max out at 79.01kph, just shy of my highest ever of 80.38kph. Next time I guess.
After riding Seymore we headed over to a family friends of mine, The Godards where they welcomed us in to refuel a bit and use the bathroom. After a much appreciated pit stop (Thanks!), we started the 30k trip home. Kevin and I definitely didn't have the pep in our step we started out the day with. But we made it home without any great difficulty, rounding off the day at 162km and 2750 meters of ascent.
I had wanted to go for a short little frivolous loop of a few km just so I could top this ride off above 165km making it my longest ever ride, however, decided considering the hills, that this was fine enough by me.
The rest of Sunday was spent relaxing and eating. I went to see the new Hulk movie with a friend. Really good!
Just a quick recap of the rest of my week. Monday I expected to be exhausted from the ride, but my legs felt amazing. A little stiff but no worse for wear. I went to the open water swim monday night and at 16*C the water was fantastic. I did 2km fairly easy and worked on sighting. After the swim I went home, had some food and did a great tempo run. Keeping it smooth and comfortable I did my regular 5.75k hilly loop holding 4:05. Good stuff. And on top of that, this was in my new shoes. My legs felt really stiff afterwards, I did a short stretch session and iced and Tuesday when I woke up my legs felt none the worse for wear. So YAY!
I'll leave out the other details of my week, uneventful swims and jogs. Tonight I think I will do the open water swim again in preparation of Victoria this weekend.
Hopefully I'll have a race preview for you tomorrow.
Thanks for reading
58,176... Thats the number of heartbeats I took over the ride. Average heart rate of 144 over 6 hours 44 minutes.
Also more numbers, thats 31,916 pedal strokes!
This ride hit the four points of the North Shore. Starting off from my plcae