And now the waiting begins. We think we’re ready, but only time will tell. Last long ride is done; last set of intervals accomplished. Now, we wait and find out if it was sufficient. Is the human ready? Over trained? Under trained? Wrongly trained? Ask us again in Ruidoso.
But, *I*’m ready. I have new cables, a new chain and a new cassette. My frame has been polished and everything lubed and oiled to perfection. On Thursday, Edwin and I will go down to Sharon to get packed into the trailers and driven to San Diego. Whole! Not in a box!!! We’re going to get to hang out with Route 66, and the bikes of some of our most favorite-est PAC Tour crew bikes for the drive.
And, we hear that there are also some bikes from Wisconsin and Illinois coming along. It will be good to get to know them because…well…you know my human…slowest thing on 2 wheels….so we don’t get a lot of time to talk to other bikes as they whiz by us every morning (“Hey, good mooorrnnninngg… (woosh)”). And, sigh…Moots isn’t coming this year….we’re really going to miss Moots and rider. Sigh…just won’t be the same….
…but of course it won’t be the same. It will be different. New people, old people; new bikes, old bikes; new routes, old routes…..and, of course, Mother Nature will happily throw in new twists….rain when you don’t need it; headwinds when you’re tired…yeah, always different.
But, is the human engine ready? Beats me. This year, we trained differently. More long weekends with longer rides (always 120-150 miles/day), but also more easy weekends to recuperate (hey, the human engine is getting old). This pattern seemed to let us build up some good miles for the long weekends, but….when the human got hurt, we also found ourselves moving slower…(yep, apparently, slow can become slower…who’d’ve thunk?).
So for the last 6 weeks the human has been doing intervals. We pulled back sooner on the long rides and focused on short intervals and shorter faster rides. It seems to have worked and we’re toodling a little faster, but…you know, the thing about riding is that speed is relative. One day it is hot, so your speed is down; another day you could be sluggish, but it is cool and the winds favorable and you ride faster. So, are you really stronger on that second day? How do you really know?
But the riding is over. Last time we over trained; this time, I think we’re risking taking too much down time, but we’ll see. Now it is just organizing and inventory. GPS routes are generated and loaded. We have enough salty drink mix for several desert days….the human is not going to get chastised this year by Susan, “We don’t drink water in the desert!” Ice sock packed and read. Riding just enough to keep the legs fresh, but not tired.
And focusing on the first goal as put succinctly by the rider of that pretty Waterford from Indiana, “You just gotta get through the mountains of New Mexico.” Yep…Ruidoso….ask me in Ruidoso and I’ll tell you if our training worked.