What's the weather like in Doug's neighborhood?

Monday, June 14, 2010

Worked over

Yep, feeling a bit worked over this morning. It is my own fault. Erin put the notion in my head that I could ride all I wanted on Sunday. Sounds good. After sleeping in and missing the 9am group ride, lazying around the house, procrastinating, putting the bike back together, and drinking a couple of beers I decided that I needed to punish myself with a massive ride.

The plan, or notion as it was, is to ride the big loop around the base of the mountain. That nets you a little over 20mi of undulating trail. Most of the hills are short, so it is mainly a sustained pace. The only real climb is about 600 vertical feet to get back up to Burrit trailhead at the end of the ride. No problem right?

So here is what I actually rode (green blaze)...

I started off with high hopes on completing the full loop, but by the third connector off of Flatrock I had to pull the plug (red X on map). But in all honesty I had been contemplating other routes since the first connector. The main problem turned out to be the temperature and not having enough water. It was in the low-mid 90's when I headed out with just under 100oz of water. At the red X I had about 20oz left so I decided the prudent thing to do would be to head straight up. I knew I would be running out of water, but the difference in this route and the planned route (blue blaze) is that I could stop at the park office to get enough water to finish the ride. It was only about 3mi to the water where as the car was still about 8mi away. Easy choice other than the 500 vertical feet up to O'Shaughnessy Point in a mile of trail. Most of that is hike. I ran out of water just after getting to the top, so at that point my choice of route was looking pretty good.

So in the end I think I came out around 18mi of ride, 4mi of that was pavement back to the truck. I am gonna have to write this loop off until the temperatures come back down in the fall. It is just too much time to be out on a 100oz of water in 90 degree plus weather. Total ride time was just over 4 hours. In the last 45 minutes my body went into shut down and really wasn't dealing with the food and water well. I think more electrolytes would have helped. Gonna have to figure that out for the summer rides here since you sweat so much.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

This is just getting old now...

Here in Huntsville we have been blessed with rain just about daily for since my last entry. 10 days into the month and I have racked up only about 20mi on the bike. Fortunately rainfall has not really been all that much, so when you do make it out the trails aren't really all that soggy. Main thing is getting the timing right so you don't get caught in the rain. Of course you also have to fight off the mental block that thunderstorm weather puts on you. It is far easier to grab a beer and hangout than to brave the "potential" of bad weather.

So yesterday with the best of intentions I got off work early, grabbed my bike, and headed out for the Wednesday night group ride. A mile before my exit off the parkway it starts dumping rain. Doug scratches head for a minute and carries on. It was sunny and rain free most of the afternoon, even upon leaving home no 5 minutes before. I keep on driving and the rain lets up to a mist by the time I reach the mountain. It is dry up at the biker's lot. Go figure.

So we geared up and played around at the lot while the rest of the group dragged in. The skills course is always good to spend a few minutes on. It is roughly the same as it was at the FTF minus the teeter.

As we headed out thunderheads were starting to make some noise and were closing in fast. We headed out Family trail at a good clip and decided to make the most of things. Once we hit O'Shaunessey Pt. though we did change our plans and decided to stay closer to the top of the park by riding Mt. Mist. There was light rain and slippery conditions, but there was no downpour. So at the end of the trail we turned down and headed deeper into the park. Once on Goat Trail the rain had settled into a light sprinkle that was not really a bother. Lots of slick rocks, but the soil was still firm all the way up to the climb out where it did get a bit slick in the clay/mud. Overall more of the trail was rideable than not though.

Once we got back up to the point we hit South Plateau back to the lot. About 1/2mi into it the skies became black and within a few minutes the heavens opened. Rain dumped on us as we sprinted back to the cars. A hasty strip down in the lot and everyone headed for home. No hanging out or post ride BS with the rain pouring down.

So it sucked getting caught in the rain again, but again I am happy that I went for a ride instead of huddled up at home waiting for the bad weather to pass.