One of my goals for this year is to get back/improve my climbing legs and since I finally feel like myself on Thurdsay I decided I really wanted to do a hilly bike ride for my long ride today so I talked Matthew and Kyle into doing the Flying Wheels 45 mi route (I did have to include a stop at starbucks about half way).
I even talked them into starting at 9am (early for Kyle). It was super chilly but clear and sunny when we got started.
Sadly within 15 min of starting Matthew had a major mechanical issue with his bike.. It made the most horrible sound. So Kyle road back and grab the truck so he could get back. When he got back matthew took his bike and truck to the shop and Kyle and I continued on our ride.
It kind of sucked I was just starting to warm up when we stopped so we climbed the first hill cold. It is a pretty steep climb but I just made my way up - I was surprised Kyle only pulled away a little but not a lot (probably going easy on me). I was defiantly warm by the top. I wished I had worn my capris and not my warm tights.
There were a few more rollers and then one of my least favorite downhills - the pavement is not very nice and neither are teh drivers but I survived and kept myself from braking to much.. Right away I was so glad I grabbed my aero bottle this morning because it helped remind me to drink and I was much better about getting in calories and keep my energy up.
Next was the climb up Ames lake which is not to bad. About half way I was passed by a guy out of nowhere and then a lady who I tried to stay with a bit more. At the top Kyle and the guy were waiting - it was a Cervelo R3 convention. I pulled off my hat because now I was really way to hot. They waited for a couple of their friends and we wound up riding with them into Carnation.
Kyle and I did a quick Starbucks stop and then got back on the bikes for the second half of the ride. I have to say I really enjoy riding the back roads of Carnation - the views are great, few cars, pretty good roads and the sunny weather just added to it. There was a nasty headwind in a few sections but nothing to bad. By this time I had also taken off my gloves and wished I could have taken off my pants and just ride in shorts. I had meant to eat a powerbar or at least half to see if I liked it but I completely forgot and ate a gel instead... We stopped for a second so Kyle cold find some sportlegs in his pockets.
Then we were off to the stair step climb and final big climb of the day. I love this climb. I always use it to gauge my climbing legs and it always makes me feel stronger after getting to the top. I never remember how long it is and where I am on the climb. Kyle took off and I paced myself up the first part. i focused on working on my seated climb. I noticed that since I have been riding my single more I can climb standing very well but my seated climb is kind of weak. So I climbed mostly seated only standing every once and a while to keep my pace up. I felt great, my legs were burning. It was awesome. I kept telling myself that this is what it will take to get better at climbing - so I climbed. I guess Kyle turned around when he got to the top and rode back till he got to me which was not very far at all :)!
The rest of the ride I just kept my cadence up and cruised back to the park enjoying the sun and loving that I had a great ride with lots of climbing.