Sunday, July 22, 2007

Not Crawford, but...

I seriously considered climbing Crawford Road today. Then I looked at the profile - it's about 2 miles and 1000 feet of climbing, averaging about 10%. Given that I'm working up to next week's tour, and the worst hill on that route is about 6.7 miles and 1000 feet, averaging less than 3%, I decided to try something more closely matching that, and giving me a longer time climbing instead of something short and mega-steep. So I set out to climb NY160 from Pattersonville to Mariaville. That's about 6.5 miles and 1250 feet, with one 8% section in the middle, so it seemed like a good match. My only mistake was misjudging the overall distance of the route I had in mind. I was thinking a total of 18-20 miles, so only brought one large water bottle. When I got to Mariaville, and the odometer said 16.3 miles, I realized my error. Had a Diet Pepsi and some chips at the store as I rested and regained my legs from the climb, and then headed on. But first the climb...

This was really not bad. Even the 8% section didn't get me down to my lowest gear. I did the bottom 3 pitches without any trouble, and stopped at Thayer Road, as it leveled out, for a quick standup breather and drink. There were several more (3-5) climbs after that, but only the first one had any length to it. These were interspersed with short downhills, which I coasted to conserve the legs for the climbs. When I got to Mariaville, I felt a little wobbly, but the break there at the store recharged me.

So now, seeing 16.3 to this point, I'm thinking maybe 25 miles total, as I climbed Weast Rd. and then headed down the Kelly/Scotch Ridge/Currybush descent route back to NY159 and Putnam Road. 25 miles came and went, but I was feeling great and it didn't matter. Even the few remaining uphills on NY159 and Putnam seemed easy. I had an interesting thought, that of continuing back up to Mariaville, to test doing another 1000-foot climb after having already done 30 miles and some significant climbing earlier. That's what Day One next week offers as a choice. But it was getting late, and I really wanted to be done, so I skipped it.

Overall the day came in at 31 miles and about 1800 feet of climbing. And for once, I feel great! No late-day cramps or residual soreness, and even some energy left once I got home.


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