I do a lot of long rides and don’t say epic too often, but Saturday was a pretty epic day on the bike. 7.5 hours and 13,500 feet of climbing in the San Gabriel Mountains to Mt Baldy and Crystal Lake via Glendora Mountain Road. My legs and energy were good throughout, but it was definitely too hot to be riding that long! For what a crowded busy place SoCal is these particular roads are surprisingly not too busy with traffic. And with the 4th of July holiday Glendora Mountain was actually closed to cars (due to high fire and drunk driving danger) so cyclists took over the road in the morning. It was really cool to see. And temperatures were also nice for the first half of the ride up to Baldy. The second half to Crystal Lake got a little dangerous with the heat though. I had gone through about 6 bottles the first half of the ride and was still hydrated but the climb to Crystal lake is over an hour and it had to be 100 degrees up there at an average speed of about 6 miles per hour. Not good. I’ve never had this happen before but after riding with my hands on the tops of the bars for a few minutes, when I moved them back to the hoods they were almost too hot to hold. Anyway about 30min into the climb I was getting too hot and knew one bottle of warm water wouldn’t get me to the top. I was about to turn around when I saw a faucet in the shade at an entrance to a small camping area. Thank God the water was cold so I doused myself and filled up my bottles for the rest of the climb. It was still a long couple hours before I made it back to the car but I knew there was a store to stop at and that one water stop made the whole difference on being able to do the whole route in the heat.
The 2 week training block I’m in the middle of is planned to maintain my high end fitness while maximizing my endurance. The 3 races I’m training for will all be 5-7 hours long, so my aerobic fitness has to be really high. Basically my key rides are 2 intensity rides during the week – one at some short (3-5min) climbing repeats at a really high intensity above race pace, one tempo ride with about an hour at endurance race pace, and an endurance ride the length of my races (6-7 hours). So far so good!
Now back to work so I can make it out on time for my repeats on Ridge Park this evening.