We make holes in teeth!

Monday, July 23, 2007

Trees and Roses, Smell 'Em

Ever since the week I was sick and didn't ride for 5 straight days things have seem to come together in several different ways, probably mostly in my head but physically as well. There was the cash-in on my forced rest week, which seems to have been a peak about 12-14 days after the rest. Then there's the added bonus of realizing that sometimes less really is more.

English please?

What I'm saying is that I had a great weekend of riding. I met up with Chris down at Hartshorne on Saturday morning and he gave me the tour of both Hartshorne and Huber. It was a really nice ride but what struck me the most was that Chris just absolutely loves to ride his bike, and to ride and talk with other people that ride their bikes a lot. The ride was good but the conversation was even better. Ride link here:

Chris asked me to how Hartshorne compares to Lewis Morris and Chimney Rock, as he's never ridden either and wants to check out both at some point. Technically speaking Chimney Rock is tougher and Lewis Morris is easier. For climbing Lewis Morris is tougher and Chimney Rock is easier though of the 3 parks I would say the fire road climb at Chimney Rock is the toughest of the lot. I generally don't include that in my normal loop though because there's singletrack that runs parallel to it.

Here are ride links from the other 2 parks:

* Standard Chimney Rock loop
* Lewis Morris, 2 race laps from 2006

As you can see Hartshorne has the most climbing of the 3 on a feet/mile basis but I'm going to throw out the caveat that in my experience the more a course has short ups and downs, the less accurate the GPS is with its vertical calculations. Given that, I would guess Lewis Morris actually has a bit more vertical, but the climbs are all pretty much non-technical. You can see from the graphs that Lewis Morris has bigger but less frequent spikes, Hartshorne has a lot of small spikes, and Chimney Rock has less frequent but medium sized spikes.

So what does it all mean? No idea. They're all in the same general class of difficulty with both Chimney Rock and Hartshorne being the more enjoyable of the 3. Lewis Morris is almost like a dirt track park which drains well and is a great winter ride as well as being a good place to just mindlessly pace yourself or try out new tires and the like.

So the good vibes from the Saturday ride spilled over the Sunday:

(no ride link, motionbased is still uploading from last night)

I went out and did my Mendham loop but extended it, got lost, and jumped over the hill instead of returning home on 512. I added the huge hill after Mendham which would be the big ass spike on the graph. Then I went left and left but missed the next left on Ironia. Soon enough I realized I was lost so I zoomed out on the GPS map and turned on the next road which pointed me in the right general direction and found my way soon enough. On the return I usually do the head-down and plow-it-out ride on county road 512. Instead I went up and over the hills, opting for peace and quiet, not to mention awesome scenery and that second big ass spike on the map.

I toned it down a little for this ride and tried to pace better on the hills. I'm going to need to do that Saturday if I hope to finish and not be in a world of hurt. I also opted to ride on the nice roads and this is probably one of the most beautiful loops I have ever put together. I'm going to work on a 40 or 50 mile ride that loops as many of these nice spots together and hopefully do a group ride this fall.

It was a great ride because I stepped back to enjoy it a bit more than usual. There were plenty of hills to keep me honest so it's not like I went out there and tooled around on a light cruise. Good stuff, good weekend. Thanks for the perspective Chris.

This post seems kinda vague so let me summarize. Enjoy yourself out there.

As I was grinding up some of the hills yesterday I was thinking that I really do need to dial it back on my pacing if I want to finish these long rides. My pain tolerance is probably a bit higher than average which makes me often think that I'm not going as hard as I am. But then it's not so high that I can ride through cramps or my muscles just giving up the ghost for the day. I rode at a sensible pace yesterday that will be perfect if I take it with me to the race Saturday. 48 miles sounds like a lot of mountain biking but with only 5000 feet of vertical it's a pretty tame climbing course overall. As long as I pace myself I should have a good ride.

Really looking forward to this weekend. I should have the details all ironed out today. Walter's sensible comment will be discussed tomorrow.

I played a little one-on-one with Michael Jordan last night and he beat me, as usual. After that I picked up with Pippen for a second game. I played ball a few times with Pippen last week and was thinking that maybe Pippen had as much run as Jordan but after last night, no such thing. Jordan is still the king and they can both beat my ass any day.

Rain rain rain rain rain rain. I hope this crap clears out today so I can get out there the next 2 days.

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  • At 3:04 PM, Blogger ChrisG said…

    Definitely my pleasure to ride with you, Norm. Thanks as well for offering up the comparison of the three parks. I find it hard to believe myself that I've never ridden CR and LM, but I'm sure that will be changing before the season comes to an end.


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