An informal log of training rides as I prep for the pain of the Pisgah Mountain Bike Adventure Race on May 1.
Training Exercise #1 – 40-minute ride time at Blackwater Creek. Orthodox Church, Creekside Trail to bikeway, Sticks ‘n’ Stones, back out on Creekside Trail. Off day, bouncing all around on obstacles.
Training Exercise #2 – 1-hour ride time at Candler’s / Liberty Mountain. Saturday Group Ride, Blind Faith, A Trail Too Far, Lasso, lower Lake Trail, Perimeter to Raptor Run to Bald Spot, Peak-to-Peak to Five Points, out on Lower Dam. A day of firsts – First time getting the big log crossing on lower Lake Trail, and first time riding the dam from the downhill side.
Training Exercise #3 – 2-hour ride time, +2,200 feet altitude gain in 12-miles. Sunday Group Ride at Candler’s / Liberty Mountain. Lake Trail to Perimeter to the fire road leading up to Power Line. Power Line Loop rocky DH, Horton’s Loop to Oak’s Way, right on Split Decision to the skills area, fire road to Logo Rd. Alternate Flight Pattern to Psycle Pathe, to Racoon Alley to Perimeter back to Camp Hydaway. Out on A Trail Too Far. Firsts – railing the big log ride on ATTF from the lower side, getting the final climb on ATTF, including the final pitch with the log.
Training Exercise #4 - 2.5-hour rambling small group ride, lots of exploration and putzing about in the clear cut area. Upper Dam to Luge Trail. Luge climb to Peak-to-Peak to Horton’s Loop. Down the big sets of switch backs – had brake problems. Aargh! Shredded the little spring clip that holds the pads in. Or doesn’t. When I finally broke the clip, the pads stayed in and worked fine. All of Hortons, back to Five Points. Then, DH trail, back up on the climb, up Powerline fire road side, middle ringed it the whole way up that steepy as a challenge. Rode out into the clear cut on the fire road descent. Hit Perimeter for a bit, then headed off over logging roads. Meandered through the clear cut, finding impossibly steep climbs and rough stuff. Back up to the top of Powerline hill, down the fireroad, over on Flames Rd., cut across country to Split Fork road. Back to the Perimeter at the power line crossing.
Training Exercise #5 - 1.25-hour ride time, Tuesday night group ride at Candler’s / Liberty Mountain. Lower Dam to Five Points. Peak-to-Peak climb, to Playground. Playground DH to Horton’s Loop descent. Oak’s Way to Perimeter Loop, turned right, Perimeter to Camp Hydaway. Lake trail around the lake to Lasso, bridge ride on Lasso – a first for Chris, A Trail Too Far with the new and repaired bridges. Had a bit of a challenge with the new skinny to wide contraption, but got it. Out via Candler’s Mt. road and Candler’s Climb. Firsts: Riding the Dam coming from the parking lot.
Training Exercise #6 – 10 lap swim at Lynchburg’s Jamerson YMCA = 500 yards.
Training Exercise #7 – 1 km swim at Lynchburg’s Downtown YMCA.
Training Exercise #8 - 4-mile solo skills ride on A Trail Too Far and Lasso. Practicing my elevated feature work and flow. Videoed some tutorial stuff for elevated features riding. Hope to create a skills video. Modified the uphill entry to the new bridge on ATTF, which I’ve dubbed “EZ Doz It,” because it is best done casually and without getting too aggro.
Training Exercise #9 - 11.3 mile solo ride on a modified perimeter loop ride. 1-hour 50-minutes, brisk pace in the hot sun. Lower Dam out to Five Points, DH trail to perimeter, to the Power line crossing, then off perimeter, on Split Fork Rd to Flames Rd. To Clear Cut Rd., up the climb to Power line hill and a tearing big-ring descent through the clear cut all the way back to the perimeter loop. Continued on perimeter, came out on Lake Trail, riding the off-camber log there from the lower side for the first time. Slipped a cog on the final climb and almost put my bars through my ribs. Came into the parking lot out of water and with an almost flat rear tire. But I made my goal of sub two hours.
Training Exercise #10 – Swam 20 laps in 25-minutes at Lynchburg’s Jamerson YMCA = 1000-yards.
Training Exercise #11 – Swam 20 laps in 20-minutes at Lynchburg’s Jamerson YMCA = 1000-yards.
Training Exercise #12 – Saturday Group Ride at Candler’s / Liberty Mountain trails. 2.5-hours ride time, I had 11.7 miles on my GPS. Scott measured 15+ miles on his cycl0-computer. Struggled with mechanical problems – mine revolved around my Crank Bro’s cleats. Firsts – Made the Dam ride on a roll through from the South. Swung wide, dropped into the fall line next to the tree, bounced around the roots a bit, only straightened it all out once I was out on the thing. Rode across. E-Z. Firsts – Made the final switchback coming back Lower Dam Trail to the parking lot. One time out of six or so, but it was a go.
Training Exercise #13 – Sunday solo in the ‘hood. Wind sprints on the hill by the Y. 4.2 miles of up the 50-foot vertical gain climb and back. Did it in leap frog fashion, sprinting up a 1/3 of the way, back down, sprint 2/3 of the way, back down, sprint the whole way. Good work out, though boring.
Don't let 'em tell ya it don't hurt!
Training Exercise #14 - Solo on Candler’s / Liberty Mountain trail system. 13.4 miles via an extended version of the Perimeter Trail, reversed – starting with Candler’s Climb and down Lake Trail, back up to the top of A Trail Too Far, all the way down and over to Camp Hyde-away lake to pick up the Perimeter. What a tough ride. Bit it on the big log ride on A Trail Too Far. Freaked out on the next bridge. Then, on the cut-across on Split Forks Rd, I rode through a limb and tore the derailleur off my bike. Luckily I had a spare hanger along. Glad when this one was over!
Training Exercise #15 – Group ride on Candler’s / Liberty Mountain. Fast-paced reverse perimeter extended. Hit the bridges from Lake Trail to Lasso, only missing the skinny on ATTF. Put the hammer down for the last bit, racing gravel road against singletrack back to the parking lot from the end of Dead End Rd.
Training Exercise #16 -Friday solo on Candler’s / Liberty Mountain. Rode till I had heat exhaustion. An even more extended Perimeter loop, with the Powerline Loop and one of Split Decision’s climbs thrown in for good measure. Rode till I was ready to drop.
Training Exercise #17 – Sherando Lake State Park with my race partner, Randy Lewis. Despite a few mechanical issues (chain break and flat tire), and Torrey Ridge trail being even rougher than I had remembered it, we made it through 20 some miles. Don’t consider it a good sign that we were both at the end of the tank when we got back to the truck for a late lunch. The Mills Creek trail with its huge climbing switchbacks put a nail in our coffin. Went over the bars in the big rock garden, but landed on a soft spot.
Training Exercise #18 – Solo frontside ride on Candler’s / Liberty Mountain. Stuck to the front side, riding Upper Dam out to 5 points, DH trail to Boblsed up to 5 points again and then the Powerline Loop. Climbed Peak-to-Peak all the way over two peaks to Monorail Trail, and then out on Lower Dam.
Higgedly Piggedly but rubber side down. Yee-ha!
Training Exercise #19 – Solo hill climb up Candler’s Climb from Wingate Inn to the ATV trail to the powerline to top of the FAA tower hill, then down to Lake Trail via rogue trails and climbing Lake Trail back to Snowflex. Met up with Scott. Rode casually all over the mountain, hitting Lake Trail again, Lasso, to ATTF, branched off on a rogue trail or two and looped back to Lasso. Then up past Hydaway Lake and up that hill to the old jeep trail coming down the back of the Snowflex mountain. Over to Racoon Alley and up the new, soft climb to the fire road. Split Decision to Rogue’s Gallery and up past Horton’s Loop to 5 points. Lower Dam out to the parking lot.
Training Exercise #20 – 15 laps in the Jamerson YMCA’s pool. 750 yards.
Training Exercise #21 - 1-hour solo ride at Lynchburg’s Peaks View Park. Enjoyed riding the newly cleared (love trail gnomes!) trails at this fun, tight and twisty park. Nice small jumps on Squeeze Trail. Still can’t get the big log ride. Doh!
Training Exercise #22 – 3-hour ride with Randy Lewis, my team mate for the Pisgah Mountain Bike Adventure Race. Rode the 2008 Assault on Liberty Mountain race course at a moderate pace. Humid and slick conditions. Wore out my rear break pads. Time to mend and tune the bike, pack up and get ready for the big ride. It’s on like Donkey Kong!
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