Saturday, April 19, 2014

Quality at last...

... and it hurt slightly (or a lot if I were to be totally honest).

Great day with blue sky as we headed out from Cadence. It was nice to see a whole bunch of Dead Goats also heading out, taking advantage of the weather!

As we rolled out we quickly discussed the plan for the day - I asked for 4-5 no stopping - they heard hammer for 5 hrs! or at least so it felt at times. A feeling I haven't had in a long time - thinking back to the first year or two riding with these guys when this feeling was most of the rides and I rarely made it through the full ride - turning around riding home spending double the time it took me to get to where ever I lost them. Learned that the best way improving is always reaching just above what you are capable with trying not to impact those who are also looking for a good ride - hence early days meant turning around by my self most rides. But the gains from those rides were as good as any race I could have done, and if done right, can only make you stronger. And done right you can't hammer every day! But on the flipside - stagnating in a comfortable place is not why I'm out here - feeling tested to your limit is great!
Today was awesome that way - Craig is feeling good and seem to enjoy going hard and knowing he can do it without cracking, Pat, well I don't think Pat ever cracks, he is just always a steady machine. So I had it made for me today - made for a hurt!

We road the traditional north back roads (gravel) out of town and then Craig led way wanting to show us the historic grocer he had come by last year or maybe before. We did mostly gravel and it was in pretty good shape (bike was necessary but not sluggish like Water Valley - besides maybe a couple of very short section.

Great loop! Only one section on a busy road, wild life (deer jumping fences right in front of us - impressed us with their athletic abilities, besides one who failed and ducked and went under, pretty impressive too, then a new born baby cow that Pat wanted to bring home as well as a couple of bunnies that he also wanted to have for dinner, learning to know a different side of Pat, and of course the Toby looking cat, maybe not wild, but cute). The stop at the Grocer is about half way through, and a good spot to have a drink. From there is mostly asphalt home, but some good climbs and stretches to work hard. Out of Cochrane I was the one bailing out of going through Glendale park - my legs didn't have much more left and we still had to make it home. The boys decided to stay with me - it was windy so I was happy.

Another one to add to one of my favorite loops! And a good Portugal prep ride. Bike is clean again and the morning will tell if I will make it south to visit Jon's new house, right on a great south loop.

Happy Sunny Riding!

Just north of the city limit
If you look really careful, you'll see the loaner Deer that lost all is friend, but then eventually took the leap and crossed the road in front of us... clearing the two wire fences!
A new section of road for me - mountains with fresh snow from yesterday looked pretty awesome with the blue sky.
Our Dutch friends stranded with a "drag", trouble shooted down to a done bottom bracket. And unfortunately in all the luggage they carried there was no tool or spare part - we called Bike Brothers and gave them direction. After the rest of our ride (3 hours later?) we stopped in and still no sign of them. Hopefully they made it there. They were enroute to Edmonton!
The historic grocer! Craig says people take pictures of it, so I did! :) Actually pretty neat though, so worth a stop!
I thought this guy looked so much like Toby, and as friendly as can be - no room on the bike though....

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