Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Playing on the road

Most of my rides and races these days are done on a mountain bike.  I used to do a lot of road racing and riding, but haven’t done too much of it the past couple of years.  I just like the versatility of using my 29er mtb more than being stuck on a paved road.  With my 29er, I can ride anything from single track trails to fast stretches of roads.  Additionally, I feel most comfortable on my 29er and also think it’s best to spend more of my training time on the bike I race most often.

However, I decided to switch things up a bit by doing two road bike rides and a road race this past week.  I don’t remember when I last did a road bike ride, but I do know the last road race I did was in April of 2012.  I’m pretty sure that race was also the last time I was on my road bike.  I enjoyed my two road rides and couldn’t get over how much faster I traveled on a bike with skinny tires.  Of course, having the use of gears, instead of being on a singlespeed bike, also played a big part in being able to go faster during my road rides.

The only thing that could be better with this elevation profile is an up hill finish.

Since I felt pretty comfortable on my road bike during my two rides, I decided to register for the Mount Davis Challenge Road Race in Confluence, PA.  This was a forty mile race with 5700 feet of climbing and was close enough to my home for me to ride my bike to/from the race.  When I decided to do the Mt. Davis RR, I was more interested in having a hard, but safe day of riding and racing than I was with actually doing well.  But, once the race started, my competitive side took over.

I raced okay, but only good enough to take third place in the 35+ master category.  I was okay with that finish though because I had a lot of fun doing something a little different than normal and seeing a bunch of friends I haven't seen in awhile.  And, I must say that doing the 30 mile ride from my home to Confluence before the race and using a different route to ride home after the race made for a great overall day of riding and training.  By the end of the day, I ended up with 107 miles, 9884 feet of climbing and a ride time of 6 hours and 15 minutes.  My day of riding certainly turned out to be exactly the type of day I wanted to have: fun, safe and hard.  I guess playing on the road occasionally can be a good thing. 

Thanks to Jim Sota and all the volunteers he gathered to put on a fun, safe and challenging local road race.

Happy Trails....  Gerry

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