Tuesday, April 12, 2011

A Negative into a Positive and Reaching a Goal!

This past weekend did not go as origionally planned! But, it turned out to be a lot of fun and an opportunity to knock off a goal on my cycling list. One that I have had since I moved back to Olathe, KS four and half years ago. (Yes, it has already been nearly 5 years, Tempest Fugit!)The news of the Lawrence River Trails Race cancelling hit me hard on Wedensday of last week. I was really bummed for awhile. When you have a race schedule and plan your training around that schedule, a cancellation can mess with your head. That course is also a nice entry into the mountain bike racing season. Flowing, fast, not technical, usually a perfect set up for me early in the season. I guess it was not meant to be, so I will test my mountain bike skills and fitness out this coming Sunday at the BoneBender 3/6 hr race at Clinton Lake. I will be racing the 6 hr. Duo race with my long time friend and racing buddy Gary Mapes. The last team event we did together was RIM and we ended up on the top of the Podium. Last year at Bonebender we finished 4th, one off of the podium, we need to move up this year! It will not be easy as this field gets better and better every year. Chris Locke is not only a great race promoter but one of the really cool people that you meet in this sport. I look forward to his races, they are always a ton of fun!

So, instead of sulking, I asked SPIN! if I could do a show and go ride on Saturday at one of the SPIN! Pizza locations. Lee Summit was the perfect setting to get in a ride and lead a ride for all who were willing to commit. It was also nice to have some familiar faces riding the first 20 miles with me on my 60 mile journey on Saturday. We did the 20 mile SPIN! ride around Longview lake, it was absolutely beautiful outside. The wind was steady, but nothing too brutal. We finished in about and hour and 10 minutes. Pretty good pace for some of the riders. I can tell that the last few years of steady riding with a few of the SPIN! riders is starting to pay off. The hills do not seem so hard and they are in better shape coming into the 2011 riding season. All a great sign of things to come!

The pictures above tell the tale of my ride on Sunday. Ever since I moved back to Olathe, KS. I have always thought it would be great to do a point to point ride from our house to my parents house in St. Joseph, MO. On Sunday, that day arrived. I had about 270 miles in my legs from the week before. Since I did not race, I added some extra miles to my week in preparation for a few longer road events and a certain training camp coming up in May that I will be attending in Georgia. The winds were howling on Sunday, but coming from the Southwest! Sunny and warm, it was a perfect storm for a fast ride up to St. Joseph, MO. I would only have to battle some crosswinds and some hills, but for the most part I would have a tailwind pushing me North toward Joetown!

I headed out via a normal route that I take West on College Blvd. I then made my way through Cedar Creek and out toward Shawnee. I ended up at the intersection of Johnson Dr. and K-7. I jumped on K-7 which is fairly busy, but on Sunday a.m. perfect! The shoulder is wide enough and with a tailwind I was starting to finally get into this ride. I blew by Bonner Springs, forgot to take the picture! I made it to Leavenworth, KS 40 miles in less than 2 hours. I knew I was on a great pace. I snapped the photo and headed toward Atchison on hwy 73 N. I had pretty much forgotten that the next 20 miles would add some crosswinds and the hillest section of my ride. The shoulder was wide, which was very nice! Except for a cruel joke left by the State of Kansas! I am not sure why you need rumble bars in the concrete every 20 yards that span all the way acrossed a perfect 6 ft. plus shoulder? With a crosswind and the hills it was starting to irritate me a bit. Then I thought about the riders racing on the cobbles in Belgium. (Paris-Roubiax was going on at the same time that I was doing my ride) So, I eased up on my death grip, relaxed my shoulders and just started riding. I made the 20 mile stretch to Atchison, a little over an hour. Which was off of my pace for a bit, but still pretty good for this strecth of road that span's through what is called the Glacier Hills!

I left Atchison and crossed into Missouri. I had a 14 mile stretch on Hwy 59 N. to the City Limit's of St. Joe. I did stop for about 5 minutes in Atchison to re-fuel with some fluids and a much needed Snicker bar! Heading toward the turn North on 59 hwy, I knew this was going to be a sweet ride into St. Joe, I could feel how strong the crosswind was pushing my Roval Race wheels, and could not wait to get that push at my back! As soon as I turned North on 59 hwy, it was like I put up the sail's on the ship! I was motoring at 30 plus mph. I decided to dig deep and hold 30 plus for awhile. This was going pretty good for the first 10 miles. I had to ease up a bit the last 4 into St. Joseph, MO to save a little in the tank as I would be climbing out of St. Joseph, MO toward my parents house North of Town.

I hit the St. Joseph, MO sign and could only smile! Man, I was so stoked that I actually made it to this point and knocked off another Bike Life Goal! I made my way through town and North to my parents house. I stopped the clock at 4 hours, 30 minutes. 90 miles total, door to door, with an average speed of just over 20 mph. Yes, it was definetly wind assisted, but fun none the less!

The moral to the story, is if things don't go your way. Search for the alternative goal and make it happen! One of the best days on the bike this year and I definetly have the tan lines to prove it! Get out and enjoy the Spring weather, embrace the wind, make it your friend and enjoy the Ride!


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