Monday, May 18, 2009

Training Weekend

Well it was another good training weekend. I guess this is only my fifth year on the team and third training weekend. Missed one year to Asia and I'm not too sorry about that because apparently the lodgings were unheated cabins at it rained all weekend. But, on the bright side every year from now on you'll get to hear people complain about what a miserable weekend it was!

I was lucky to catch a ride up in Sherman's '98 2-door Civic. Only 52k. Tape deck. (And tapes) Crank windows. 5 speed. And a bike rack of the same vintage. Except in those pictures you'll see two straps coming down from the top and one attaching bellow the bumper. Sherman didn't have the latter. Well, he might have had it, but it sure wasn't working. After being the bologna in a three bike sandwich I'm amazed that my new P3 didn't come away with more paint missing. And yes, more, not some paint missing. More paint missing.

We grabbed Matt and his two tons of cargo; Temperpidic pillow, ab wheel, yoga mat, foam roller, three bags of clothes etc. And then we were on the road.
Sherman has a bum ITB so Matt and I drove. I on the way up, Matt back. Which was actually a good thing because we got to avoid Sherman's self proclaimed NASCAR inspired Caracasian bred driving style. It's surprisingly aggressive for such a venerable gentleman. (Is that still being ageist Sherman?)

It was so nice to have company and conversation for the three hour drive. We managed to cover a lot of topics; chiefly ageism and gender gaps as well as the efficiency of our carpooling. Sherman was touting our minimized carbon output and ever the Wells I was touting the minimized monetary output.

Once we got to Echo Lake Sherman and Matt had planed to met Sunny, Tom, Jen, and Beth for a 5:30 swim. Unfortunately it was my day off an so couldn't join them in their 50 degree paddle. Sherman got a few minutes in before the rest of the crew pulled up and all tolled logged an impressive 3o minutes in the water.

The Franconia Inn served as our base camp again. It's very cozy and hospitable. We got an all you can eat breakfast both mornings and an impressive (although way too long) 4 course meal on Saturday night. Heated pool, hot tub, real fire place, bar, comfy rooms, big porch, there's even a bike shop on the premesis.

On Saturday we mounted up and headed for the four notches. Of the 5000' of climbing we did the Cank is by far the longest climb. A short part of Crawford is probablly the steepest and coming down from Kinsman is the sharpest drop. This year I only topped out at just under 51 mph. A strong headwind and the P3 kept me from the 58 I hit last year.
It was breezy all day on Saturday but once we got over Crawford there was an amzing tailwind down 302 to route 3 and then on 3 for a while. However the last uphill section of 3 was blessed with a substantial headwind. Enough to almost stop me as I was grinding out of the saddle at a moderate grade.
I passed the girls doing 68 miles shortly before they had a crash resulting in this:

It actually looks worse than it is. Sara's face was pretty scraped up but it's pretty much just soft tissue damage. No stitches even! Read her report here.

After passing that crew I realized I didn't take the shorter way home then went by Echo Lake, crossed 93 and got blown sideways, dropped 800 feet in two miles (part of it at 11%+), got blown sideways at 45 mph+ (my speed quickly diminished after said gust) and made it back to the inn and my burrito. Kim had some and then went for a jog. Tough choice on that one Kimmy, but good on ya.

This year Sunday was a bit mellow. I think spirits were hampered by some morning rain. I had planned to brave Echo but couldn't be bothered. Instead I did a ballistic run around Wells rd (aptly named I might say) into Franconia and back to the Inn.

On the way home Matt displayed his ability to eat and drive and I made it back to M-Head in time to do some laps, eat a delicious dinner and watch the Celtics not even show up to Game 7. Seriously guys not you too? Two game 7 losses in a week at home in Boston is too much. What's Bean Town to do? Cheer for the Revs? They're not even doing that well....yet. Oh yeah...right.

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