Two Hour Challenge Ride, Thanksgiving 2014

It seems like almost every year, Thanksgiving has perfect cycling / running / whatever weather.  I think the universe is telling us to burn some calories before taking too many of them in.  :-D  This Thanksgiving, it was 50 degrees and sunny, so I decided to do my 2 Hour Challenge Ride!  This is a name I made up for a very popular road route near Pocatello, which I wrote about in this article.

I hadn’t done as much cycling this year as I have in past years (life just seems to get busier as you go along, huh?) so I didn’t expect to set any personal records.  I had tried this ride a few months earlier, and I couldn’t even finish it due to the hot temperature in combination with my wussiness.  However, today was cool which gives a massive performance advantage so my time today shouldn’t be all that bad, I thought.

As a side note, I usually like to do these personal challenges by myself, as I’m sure many of you understand.  Being able to think about how your cardio and legs are feeling, and the appropriate gear you ought to select based upon those feelings (oh, the pain), works a lot better if you concentrate without distractions.  Okay, okay, sometimes riding with others can give you extra oomph and can help you to ride harder.  But that’s for another article.  :-)

The route is in a big loop with a big hill climb, followed by a long downhill, followed by rolling hills and flats sprinkled here and there.  I usually tackle the mountain first while my legs are fresh, even though it never feels like I’m warmed up enough for it and I’m slower than beans.  Also, I’m a heavy-weight, and hill climbing is my personal biggest challenge.  It’s hard.  Really hard.  So, yeah, I was doing the granny gear up Buckskin Canyon.  Yes, my road bike has a granny gear.  Bite me.  :-p

After the agony of that, I usually reach the top at around the 45 minute mark or so (starting from the Booth / Pocatello Creek Road intersection).  And, oh, the joy of the downhill is the elixir of life after that.  And, wow, is it a long and joyous downhill.  Miles and miles of it.  And I really like giving it hell on the downhill, using downhill momentum to accelerate up the occasional hill, getting into an aero position, and having a general blast.

I reached Inkom at about the 1 hr 20 minute mark and I thought, “Ugh… nope… 2 hour finish is not going to happen.  It’s gonna be more like 2:30.  I should have exercised more, not drank so much beer, blah blah blah.”  Also, the onset of my-legs-are-starting-to-feel-toasted syndrome was setting in.

But then as I headed onto Portneuf Road on the other side of this circular route, I felt a small, steady tailwind pushing me from the southeast.  Oh, glory, all may not be lost!  And I was very grateful for it, for by the time I was nearing Pocatello, I was looking for my friendly Bannock Highway Sinclair to stop at and rest.  But, as I neared it, I thought against it.  Especially since the temperature and conditions were so amazingly fabulous.  You can’t ask for any better conditions than 50 F and a tailwind.  That seldom happens.

So I plugged on, talked myself through it, spun a lot in a lower gear, kept moving, and finally arrived at that glorious Benton / Main intersection.  And then I wadded my mouth with granola bars and chugged water like mad.  Felt pretty good after I got some sustenance.  ‘Twasn’t a bad ride.  According to my cyclometer, my time was 2:10:10, average speed was 14.7 mph, top speed was 39.8 mph, and distance was 31.8 miles.  Whee!

Leave a Reply

You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>