Monday, June 9, 2008

Single Speed Sunday

Since the weather's been so good, and I've been having such a good time riding, I decided to take my Fisher Rig single speed on a five-hour trip yesterday. The right of choice was around Glen Wild, Flying Dog, and my favorite, Round Valley. I did the same route last week on my gear bike, and with this week I rode it in a different direction with my Mad Dog teammate Bill Dark.

Although it was a little on the chilly side, the weather couldn't have been more perfect. The skies were sunny and there was a breeze, but not stiff enough to hold you back. Although the Glen Wild trailhead parking lot was jammed with cars, the trail was not as congested as we thought it would be. We left the parking lot around 10:45 a.m. and headed towards Jeremy Ranch and up over the top the traditional way to the Cobblestone turnoff. The trail was smooth and dry and pushing the 32 x 21 felt real good. About a third of the way from the top we ran into water and mud on the trail, which was significantly greater in volume than last week. Instead of coming back down the way we came up, Bill suggested we take the Jeremy side down and connect to the 24/7 trail. I've never done this variation before and it turned out to be spectacular. We got back to the Glen Wild trailhead in just a little under two hours and refilled with water. We didn't hang out very long and headed on the paved road over to Round Valley. Bill and I did a half lap together and he broke off at the National Ability Center and headed back home. I finished up a traditional lap on the E-100 12-hour course and did a second lap finishing up with a steep and sustained climb up Somewhere Elks. During the climb I hit the 4-hour mark of my ride and started to feel a twitch and cramp coming in my right quad. I popped couple enduro-lytes, backed the pace down a bit, and made it to the top cramp free. Somebody has cut a new swooping trail on the northwest face of the Round Valley Loop that provides a fun variation. It's still pretty new, and the horses have left some nice pockets in the surface, but it's well worth the ride. I took the variation and hooked back up to the main trail and finished off on the main trail to the RV trailhead. I finished up on the road riding to the Glen Wild trailhead, into a stiff headwind, to a waiting ice cold coke (compliments of Ironhorse) and Power Bar recover bar. Ah, life is good!

I seem to have recovered from my funky slump of a few weeks ago and feel stronger and more motivated. I've giving myself more recovery time and picking up the intervals, so maybe that has had a positive effect. The snap is coming back and so is my confidence. I'm still hooked on the data, I'm riding with my Polar HRM, I'm blocking the HR with tape during my races, but I'm not stressing like before. I guess somethings will never change, I like data ;-) What's the old saying - you can put lipstick on a pig, but it's still a pig! I'm always going to be hooked on data. It's my destiny!!!

When I got back to the car I saw Bob Safel and his wife Lyna who just finished their Sunday ride. Ah, nothing like family time on a Sunday... After talking to them for a while, I got all excited about soloing the 24 hours of Grand Targhee. They did the race last year and said it was an excellent event, and solo friendly. Now I just need to find a pit crew and I'm going to go for it, I think... It's 2 weeks after Leadville and the same weekend as the Brian Head stage race. What to do!

Ride recap: total time was 4 hours 45 minutes, 45 miles, 4800 feet of climbing. This was a zone 1 and 2 ride with very little time in zone 3, which makes for a pleasant recovery ride after a Saturday race. Interestingly, I did the same route last Sunday, with a slight variation on the Flying Dog section, 4 minutes quicker and my total caloric expenditure was only 25 calories more this week. I have to say, it was a lot more fun riding the single speed, and having someone to share the experience with.

Each time I ride that 29er I'm more convinced that I want to go to 29 inch route when I buy my next bike. The question is, what bike?


UtRider said...

I wish I was strong enough to classify a 4 hour 45 minute ride on a single speed as recovery!

Brad Mullen said...

After sitting in a chair all day, I'm not feeling too frisky anymore. So much for recovery...

ER Dad said...

Wow! A 5 hour post race ride! Are you nuts or are your nuts made of Kryptonite! I rode 1.5 hours sunday and was regretting it. How do you spell R-E-S-P-E-C-T?

Brad Mullen said...

Humble followup: I rode on Tuesday and my legs felt like lead. How do you spell R-E-G-R-E-T! You'd think I'd be smarter than that. NOT.