Great to Bad In 190 Minutes
I was stoked to wake up and see that for all the masturbatory mouth frothing that the TV weather geeks were doing over snow, we pretty much only got about 2 inches here in W.O. That's fine by me! To hell with snow! The temps were cold enough that the rail trail would be frozen and a good way for me to get some steady tempo in. I was chomping to get some outside saddle time, so I grabbed the Dos Niner, lowered tire pressure to about 20 p.s.i., lubed up, chamoised up and layered up for 2 to 3 hours of riding.
I got to the Boston trail head and was one of 2 cars in the parking lot. I set up the Lake winter shoes some foot warmers, got the iPod set with a 2+ hour mix and headed off. I was feeling great. The trail was frozen, the snow wasn't that deep and I was cruising along happily at 80% MHR.
After a few minutes, I noticed another bike's tire prints. Hmmm... someone else is out here??? After and hour I was STILL following the tracks. Person is hardcore for sure, this isn't a seat-too-low-upright-bar end rider. The prints look to be CX tires and fresh, I will follow until I catch them! (sometimes you look for ANY kind of motivation!) I was felling good. I was warm (enough) and I was having fun, so I figured I'd go until 1:30 and then head back. That would give me 3 hours of saddle time.
At about the 1:10 mark I felt some rain. DOH! Freezing rain! Great. At 1:15 I felt sleet. And finally at 1:20 it was ballz out rain. Shhhhheeeeeit! I'm 1:20 away from the car, and although layered up, not ONE of those layers was water repellent. I went another 10 minutes, and STILL had not found the owner of those CX tires, but thought I better head back before I get too cold.
Well by the 2:00 mark I was SOAKED with bone chilling rain, the trail was now a 2" bog of ice, snow and water. The rail trail is a monotonous, 1% graded bitch, whom I HATE! But it serves a purpose. It provides a car-less, Stankmentless environment to do tempo work. Today it also served as a way to get some SERIOUS mental exercises in. I was freezing, wet, and it would take ALL my mental and physical energy to get back to the car. I really can't believe I'm saying all this about the freaking RAIL TRAIL!! A flat, limestone path would have me whimpering like a baby by the end.
At about 2:10 my iPod's play list ended and I was TOO cold, too wet and to brain f*cked to stop and push play again. So trudged on with just the sounds of rain, hitting my face, soggy slush under my tires and Turret's like cursing flying out of my mouth like a prison bitch with a bloody hemorrhoid.
I reached the point on my return were there is a side trail for some ghetto single track and quad paths that I ride on occasion. I knew then I only had about 25 to 30 minutes to go. Although I was bonking bad with only 1.5 bottles of Gatorade in me and a 1/2 of a Mississippi bought, Metro sent Snickers Charged Bar in my gullet-I put my head down and hammered as best I could. When I reached the Xb my hands were so frozen I couldn't get my jacket zippers opened to get my key. FINALLY I got it, got some towels down, jumped inside and blasted the heat.
ENTER THE PAIN- Now it was time to get the blood moving to the hands. As they warmed up they hurt BAD! I mean I was gritting my teeth and growling like a castrated pit bull in an attempt to lessen the pain. I just sat there for about 10 minutes trying to get warmed up whilst the Dos sat outside in the cold rain. Just as I was getting out of the car to get the bike to put in the back of my B. in pulls the dude I was trying to catch on the trail. Not sure who he was but he was sporting a nice orange Van Dessel CX bike and what appeared to be some water proof clothing (unlike my dumb ass).
I hurriedly got the Dos in the back of the B. and then shivered and chattered my way home to warm up. Eeesh, I got WAY more than I bargained for today with the cold wet weather. I rode for 3:10, burned about 2,700 calories and held a nice tempo HR the whole time. Not to mention the mental games and focusing I needed to pull out was great practice for Solos.
The rail trail is my last resort for riding. It's just not fun and I'm not a fan. But lately I find myself opting to ride it more, rather than ride the trainer. I think of it as an outside trainer ride that is USUALLY more fun than sitting in my basement. Today the trail took my nonplussed attitude towards it and buried it deep in recesses of my rectum. At least I had SOMETHING to write about tonight.
I need sleep and warm covers.