Sunday, March 11, 2012

Planned Events Improve Riding Season

Looking back on my riding last year, it was basically uninspired. Sure I had fun on the shop rides and rides, but normally I have some big rides coming-up. Tour d Lacs, STP in one day, RATPOD, etc. I usually need at least one big ride to shoot for and keep me focused to ride miles I do not necessarily want to ride. I planned on signing-up for RATPOD, but forgot the date and missed the entry before they cut it off.

Last year the only goal was a total mileage goal. No real anticipation or joy, just getting it done. I did enjoy riding and training and racing the 24 Hour Round the Clock Race on Memorial Day Weekend. Alas, will not be able to race that one this year due to a conflict. I also made it out for the last Wednesday Night Mountain Bike Race and had a blast.

Shop rides are a given again this year and will commence each Thursday evening at 5:30pm in a couple of weeks. Free pizza will be served every couple of weeks.

I was teased mercilessly for missing the RATPOD sign-up so made sure that I had it on my calendar this year and made it in before the cut-off.

RATPOD requires a certain level of fitness with 6,000 feet of climbing, and a maximum altitude of 8,000 feet. So that means some longer road rides and a lot more climbing. The ride is on June 23, so there wont be any time for messing around in getting in shape. I have to get 2,000 to 3,000 miles by the ride date to feel like I can do it without embarrassing myself too badly.

Usually after training for a road ride like that I am ready for a change of pace and look to having some adventures on the mountain bike. The adventure for 2012 is to ride the 30 mile Kettle Crest Trail out and back in one day. I had the good fortune of snowshoeing up there last year and vowed to return for a mountain bike ride. It should be a good long day ride without being a death march (depending on with whom I go).

It has been something I wanted to do for a long time and the planning has begun. Given the altitude of the trails and the amount of snow the area received this year, it will probably be sometime in July to make sure the trails are clear and we can plan on reasonably dry weather. It should be a great change of pace after a lot of road riding and the local mountain bike scene almost like a mid-summer break. Here is a brief write-up in MTBR.

So that is the humble plan for the season until it changes, but it is a plan which is more than I can say for 2011.

See you on the road.

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