A short entry–it is Father’s Day after all!
The past rest week, I decided to take a true “active recovery week”: no riding on Monday, Wednesday or Thursday, and only a real recovery ride on Tuesday. The result was that on Friday I felt pretty fresh: good for a reconnaissance of the start and finish of the Horribly Hilly Hundreds near Madison Wisconsin.
Yesterday was the test: 200km and 11,400ft (3,600m) in Wisconsin country. The team started out together: 5 ladies (including my wife Shannon who finished the 100km in good form!) and 3 men (Neal, Al, and I–obviously no picture of us…). My test was to see how long I could hang with Neal, who did Haute Route last year ranking around 25 until he got sick on day 5. Neal wanted to do this “race pace”… After 75km, Al kept going straight at the 150/200km split: he had decided to let us turn and go. I managed to hold Neal’s wheel for 6 hours, only because he did all the pulling–that man is strong! Then my head no longer wanted to, and my legs no longer could, push it as strong on the hills and the last hour I rode solo.
Finished in 6:57, about 10min after Neal only because he let me draft the entire day. I bet he was the fastest 200km finisher and should finish in the top 20 or 30 of Haute Route–way out of my reach :). Yet I am happy with my test: this was by far my longest and hardest ride ever: my powermeter showed 540TSS (equivalent of 5.4hrs at my max). The short, steep hills are violent and the ride long, but Haute Route will have it 7 days in a row. We shall see how that will go … (said with trepidation).