Saturday, April 11, 2009

Cycling to Cochrane and Back

I originally had a 54 minute indoor ride on my schedule for Thursday. It looked the weather was going to be pretty stellar on Friday so I figured an outdoor ride a day later might be a better idea. I was thinking about driving out to Cochrane to ride my usual route so I asked a friend to join me. He's been doing the triathlon thing for quite awhile (and he's really good at it) so...I was a little nervous... And he wanted to ride out to Cochrane, not drive out there.

The ride out to Cochrane is along a highway and you always see a ton of cyclists riding there and back. But Cochrane is at the bottom of a big hill that I have yet to tackle. Next month our team will start doing regular hill training out there so I'll have to get over it pretty soon. Plus, I need to start practicing for the Lake Stevens 70.3 in August: But, number one, I'm a total scaredy cat on downhills. Number two, what if I couldn't make it up the hill? I know...I'm a wuss... But I agreed to it anyway.

We headed off down Highway 1A, and thanks to a nice large shoulder it isn't too daunting with the traffic speeding by. Some parts of the shoulder are clearer than others and at one point I looked down and saw pieces of broken beer bottles. Crap. A few seconds later and I heard tha-thump, tha-thump, tha-thump. There was no denying it, the back tire was flat. We pulled over and I completely blanked on everything that I knew about changing a tire. Thankfully I wasn't on my own though, and we were back on the road a short time later. We took the somewhat more gentle hill down into Cochrane, rode up to Horse Creek, then turned around. We had been riding into the wind the entire time, but it changed direction on us when we turned around. We were looking forward to the wind pushing us home but we were back to riding into the wind again. Thankfully the wind was nowhere near as strong as last weekend though! We rode through Cochrane, then time to tackle the hill climb. I opted to take the more gradual hill - same elevation gain, just over a slightly longer distance. My quads were burning, my speed was nothing to write home about, but it actually felt really good to climb. I hit my highest heart rate on the bike ever. After that it felt like we were flying on the way back, despite the wind. 31 miles later and I was back home!
It was really nice to have some company out there for the ride, and I was so grateful to have the help with the tire too. (Thanks Greg!!) I did learn a few things from this ride:
  • I need to spend some quality time in the comfort of my living room, getting comfortable with how to change a tire. Let's put that on the to do list...
  • I need to add another bottle cage on to my bike because one bottle isn't going to be enough for my longer rides, especially as it starts getting warmer.
  • In hindsight I probably should have downed my bag of Sport Beans before we headed back.
  • I need to remember my T2 runs after long bike rides. I forgot all about it until it was too late...
Tomorrow is a big day - I race the Spring Trio 5K! I'm hoping for a huge PR here. I actually have 20K to run, so my plan is:
  • Run a nice and easy 5K as a warm up.
  • Race the 5K.
  • Run the last 10K after I've had a chance to enjoy some post race refreshments.
I'll be back tomorrow with a race report. Hope everyone is having a great weekend!!

**Oh, and hooray for the Vancouver Canucks, who clinched the NHL Northwest Division title this afternoon after they won their final game of the regular season against the Colorado Avalanche!!


Anonymous said...

excited for the report. and you win i will change my wallah now!

Trihardist said...

Wow. That looks like on big ass hill!

I only have one water bottle holder on my bike; I keep a second water bottle in my jersey pocket.

You rode that far and all you had was Sport Beans?! Eat more, girl! Figure on 150-300 calories/hour.

And good luck on the 5k :-)

Keith said...

Down the Cochrane hill is a total blast. Pity there's a stop light near the bottom of the hill. Up isn't much fun. Sounds like a great ride!

Melanie said...

Awesome ride... I have no clue how to change a tire, I'll add that to my to do list too :D Good luck today, I have a good feeling about your PR!

TNTcoach Ken said...

Lessons learned before the longer miles is always good. Go Red Wings!!!

Marlene said...

That looks like an intense ride! Way to be brave and tackle some of your fears.

Can't wait to hear about your 5(+15)K!

joyRuN said...

Whew - that elevation looks insane!

Good luck with the 5K :)

Run For Life said...

Awesome ride, I think you'll be fine with hills especially once you start doing the hill training. :)


Wes said...

Good choices! both the ride and the company! You need to embrace the downhill. That's your reward for working so hard to get up there!! :-)

lindsay said...

nice ride! glad you had help for your tire, that's definitely my biggest fear of cycling - getting a flat and not being able to fix it. lol