Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Rideau Lakes Tour - Supplement to Mark's Post

Since Mark has already given you a good description of the conditions on Saturday, I will not get into that too much detail. For me, the RLT was going to be a good test of perseverance. I knew it would be different this year because I have not trained for distance really. I have concentrated mostly on intervals, sprints, hill repeats, etc. My longest ride before RLT was 90kms and I only did that distance. I have been sticking with rides under 70 kms. So this will be double my longest ride two days in a row.

So, as Mark mentioned, we took the two little Ringers along for their second tour. Melissa and Siobhan alternated in the motherly duties.

Declan and Amelie taking a break from getting into things - Angels...

We left Carleton U at 7:45, in our group were Tobin, Rick, Mark, Siobhan, Matt, Paul and myself. Things were pretty tame for the first few kilometers, then Tobin and Matt started to jump from pack to pack. For the most part, I was happy to join them. This went on more or less until the first stop, Ashton. My intention was to wait for Mark and Siobhan at Ashton but I succumbed to peer pressure and rode off with them. Again, we jumped a couple more packs until we came upon one with about 20 riders, that was moving at a fairly brisk but comfortable pace, around 32km/h, decent speed given the head wind we were fighting.

Matt and Rick in a Peloton

After a few clicks in the peloton, some of the boys, mainly Coco and Matt were getting impatient and decided to bolt the group, Rick joined them and I elected to stay. While they managed to stay ahead of the pack, they remained always within our sights. As we hit the dirt road leading to Perth road, the pack slowed considerably; those roadies are afraid of a little gravel! I decided to bolt knowing that we were only 5kms from our Perth pit stop. That was a lot of fun weaving and dodging riders, who were clearly not comfortable riding on dirt!

We arrived at Perth around 10:30 and Melissa, Shaylagh and the kids had a picnic ready for us. Following Mark and Siobhan's arrival. Melissa got her gear together to join Mark and I for the remainder of the ride to Kingston. Tobin, Matt and Mark went off on their own. You can read Mark's post for his account of that leg of the trip. Indeed, there were large groups of riders slumped in the shady patches along the route!

Riders going into Devil Lake to cool off...

Curvy bum cooling off head first!

We stopped at Melissa's friends in Inverary, where Siobhan, Shaylagh and the kids were waiting for us. Shaylagh rode the last 20kms to Kingston with Melissa.

Shaylagh, ready for action!

The stats from Day 1 : Ride time 6h56mins, max temp 49c, avg temp 33c, calories 5200.

Day 2

Sunday did not start our very well for me. I hardly slept the night before, only about 4hrs of sleep - too hot, bed not big enough, etc. I also woke up with a wicked sore back. When I finally made it down to breakfast, I grabbed a bag of ice and put down my back and swallowed (Hannah, if you are reading this, cover your eyes) a couple of Ibuprofens. After breakfast, Siobhan, who was riding the first leg, left before Mark and I. We hit the road at 8am. We rode out leisurely and hung out in a pack out of town. As we hit the first hill at the 401, Mark and I slalomed though just about everyone to the top and off we went with a tail wind at our backs. This could be good! My back? Didn't feel it. We picked up a few riders along the way and made it to you our rendez-vous point with Melissa in Westport 30 mins ahead of schedule! There, we met Matt, Tobin and Rick. No Siobhan??

We decided not to wait for our support crew and headed off to Perth with the three amigos. That part of the ride was a lot of fun, again we had a great tail wind. I lost the group for the last 40mins after Coco and Matt launched a suprised attack. Coco, having complained that he had "cement legs" and was not feeling well, launched a sneak attack. I got caught off guard and let them go. Although, I wasn't really worried, with the tail wind I could maintain 35km/h comfortably but I did hook up with a few riders. So, that was all good.

When we got to Perth, Siobhan was already there. She had made the trip, non stop in a blistering 2hrs45 - we will need to ask her for a urine sample!

At Perth: Big Ringers - me, Rick, Coco, Mark

Again, at Perth Melissa had lunch waiting for us. Following lunch, she joined us for the ride to Ottawa. The boys went out on their own and Melissa and I were joined by Mike Caldwell, the Mad Trapper . The ride between Perth and Ashton is pretty boring, it was great to have Mike along. At Ashton, we ran into the boys and we sat in the shade with them for some well deserved freezies! Mike, Melissa and I rode the remainder of the ride to Ottawa together. Day 2 was quite pleasant in contrast to the previous day. We ended the day with a tasty BBQ at Mark and Siobhan's!
Stats: Ride time 5hrs35, max temp 42c, avg temp 28c, calories 4521

So, if you are wondering how my shortage of long rides affected me; it didn't cardio wise but the lack of time in the saddle did affect my comfort. I had very sore shoulders and neck and numb hands which I never had before even during long distances.

I should also mention that the eLoad and Zone Caps worked well in those hot blistering conditions. I had one small cramping incident on Day 1. After popping a couple of additional Zone Caps, it took care of the problem. Great product!

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