Tour: 70km @ 2hr17 (CN Cycle route)
"Cool-down" commute: 10k @ 25min (Short trip back)
I actually got my Felt S22 bike out for this! Last night was a bit later than usual because I really wanted to take it out and see just how I'd improved (if at all) with the winter trainer rides. With everything loaded - a bottle of water, a bottle of thicker Perpeteum, and a full gel flask, I headed out rather leisurely to get to the venue.
The first thing I noticed was the wind, which was much stronger than I had anticipated (I found later that the wind was steady at 20kph, with gusts to 30kph all from the northwest). I got there with plenty of time to get familiar with the surrounding and get setup for the start of the tour.
I ended up being a little too far from the front, and had to patiently navigate through the other rides to get to a comfortable training pace. When I finally did get to it (about 10min in), poof! I launched a bottle right off the back. I hop off and reset the bottle and keep going. Not 10min later bam! I fire the other bottle out...right into the ditch. Never did find it...and it had the Perpeteum in it. Not even 20min in and I'm down to the 400 calories in my gel flask. :(
But the rest of the ride was smooth and very fun. I managed to stick to the aerobars the whole time (except when navigating traffic or the couple of monster hills), and held some solid, consistent power on the whole ride. I stopped for a couple of minutes at the 35k turnaround to get a banana and some extra water, then turned around to head back. There were a few of due-west legs that were full-on into the wind, but the southern sections were rather smooth with a bit of a tailwind (finally!). Oh yeah - I almost forgot - I never once drafted off of anyone. I wanted this ride to be just like a triathlon ride: All me, all the time!
Things were getting tired as I entered into the finish area, but I felt quite good - much better than my rides on that bike last year. I rested for a few minutes, and then headed home.
Now that home part was tough. The wind had picked up, and it was a full-on headwind the entire way. To say I was happy when I got on my driveway would be an understatement.
This was a great event - well planned, great support crews, and lots of community participation. This is a ride I'll most certainly do next year.