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3 day ride to montreal

Will be a number of posts on this theme. This post will serve as a thoughts and considerations post and then I’ll do a daily summary.

In short, there is no short way to sum this up. The ride was simply too large, too long, too diverse and too epic for me to effectively summarize. I’m still coming to terms with it all several days after finishing.

Astounds me to think it actually happened. What started as a pipe dream to keep me honest ended up being the most epic singular activity I’ve ever done.

I just don’t know where to begin. I keep starting and then stopping for loss of words and for an inability to tell the story in a linear fashion. I’m just going to start at the end.

It is now tuesday afternoon. My general energy levels are coming back to normal. My hunger is still rampant but at least under control. My two toes on my left foot are a little numb. I’m a little weary but not like yesterday. My desire to get back on the bike is coming back and I hope to ride this coming Thursday.

I slept 10 to 11 hours each of the past 2 nights. I suspect tonight will be more normal. I couldn’t stop eating yesterday. Today was a bit better. Yesterday I woke up looking (and feeling) like I had been hit by a truck. Today I felt tired but close to normal.

It was an interesting experience riding all those km (say +-530). I was never close to being in the red and I never struggled or wavered or slowed. I had a slow start to day 2 (say the first 10km) and I had had a low point for an hour or so post lunch on day 2 but otherwise I wasn’t effected by the distance or the terrain. No doubt a function of being fit, all the hill training on zwift and the fact that I was rarely riding fast.

We averaged 25/26 km per hour over the various days but that doesn’t really tell the story. I’d say I probably was riding between 27-29km per hour for 70 percent of the ride. Faster for 20 percent and slower for 10. The math doesn’t work because that is when I was riding free and clear of traffic/signs/lights.

I spent spent a lot of time pulling but also spent time riding side by side and off the front. I don’t think I ever really got to draft. Though I could have as 1 of the other guys is quite strong.

We broke up the ride as (all +-) 180k, 232k, and 140k. We stopped in Napanee, Cornwall and Montreal. We thought the 3rd day might not happen due to severe thunderstorm watch but we were very lucky.

We stopped in small towns along the way. Port hope, trenton, kingston, Gananoque, cardinal, saint zotique and an English speaking enclave of Montreal.

Saw lots of water, hills, rocks, corn, soy and apples. Saw lots of road kill. Also saw lots of birds with fish in their mouths (loon, heron, etc).

No mechanical issues. 1 flat each. I had some ass guy had some hand discomfort. Nobody had any real issues.

the route was good. Sucked in kingston, through Belleville and through the Indian reservation before napanee. Good everywhere else. Some minor construction detours – notable was forcing us onto courtice road (to be avoided at all costs). Lots of highlights. I’ll cover on tbe daily summaries.

I really like the bike trip concept. I think 150-160k days are probably the sweet spot. I dont mind 200km days. Would need to be a good reason to do long days. I think we were good to ride at least 1 more -maybe 2 more days. At least I was.

I don’t think I overly care to ride to montreal again. I do like the idea of making my way east in 3-4 day segments. I like the idea collingwood/tobermory or cottage county but it would depend on the nature of the roads. Lastly, i also like the idea of going to chicago/nyc/Boston.

Last take away is that I’m not going to bother with this Paris brest Paris talk anymore. I wouldn’t have fun. Not a fitness issue. Purely an enjoyment issue.

That is all for now…

Montreal ride – pre post

On the eve of my first multi day long ride.

Plan is to ride toronto to Montreal over 3 days and then take the via bike train home.

Planned stops in Napanee, Cornwall and Montreal. Motel. Hotel. Summer hostel hotel. Wish we were in a nice place in Montreal but oh well. Would have been cool to have been in a boutique place with a roof top pool/etc. Again. Oh well.

Originally I wanted to stay 20 to 30k west of Cornwall but weather concerns and bike train logistics meant that I booked us into cornwall. Means we have a long 2nd day. Is what it is.

3 of us are going. I hope we all finish. 4 would have been great but 3 is fine.

Weather – for now – looks good for day 1, ok for day 2 and terrible for day 3. 2 good days isn’t bad. That is what I’m hoping for.

I fit everything into the Apidura bag. I would have loved to have had a little more room but I have what I have.

Fingers crossed. Nervous about a lot of things I can’t control. The only thing I can control – fitness – isn’t worrying me (rightly or wrongly) as I feel I have put in the work to have n enjoyable experience.

That is all for now…

Monday 30k

In reality, today was just under 30k. I believe it was 28 point something. I did 401m of climbing and I rode for an hour.

I was zwifting. Did the London loop 15k course in both directions. Good solid ride. Highlight was obviously box hill and box hill in reverse.

Good solid ride up bh the first time. Dropped over a minute off my pb. Just missed coming in under the 8 minute mark – something in the high 7 minute range is probably the faster end of my realistic range right now. Was 9th in the game. Maybe 3 guys in the low 7s and then a bunch of guys slightly faster then me. I rode up at an average of 311 watts. Just under 4.2 watts per kg. Good ride for me.

Got to the bottom and rode to tower bridge. U turned and came back. Hill in reverse is a little bit steeper and definitely less traveled. Kom was 8 minutes low. An excellent target if I had been fresh.

I rode up stupidly. For the first km I was under the 8 minute target but I could tell it wasn’t tenable. Then I geared down for a minute. When the rode pitched up again I rode hard and had my Eta as the 2nd fastest. Then I just gave up and spun the last 500m. Brutal job by me. Next time I will likely do the climb in reverse first.

Weather doesn’t look good for my Montreal ride. Pretty unhappy about that.

That is all for now…

Saturday 40k ride

1.5 hour ride today -or just under. Was supposed to ride in the am but I didn’t fall asleep until after 4am and could get up. Did the ride after lunch. I was tired, full and the beer I had at lunch wasn’t a great idea workout wise.

Zwifted up the mountain in reverse, down the mountain, back up the mountain and then down again.

Just under 1000 meters of ascent in 40k of riding. The descents take less than 10 minutes each so I was climbing for 80 percent of the ride time. Solid effort.

I rode hard but measured on the first ascent. I was a little slower than the other day but not much. I kind of flamed out a little bit near the top but I maintained as best I could. Imperfect conditions today -I just did the best I could. I actually ended up with the kom jersey by a wide margin. Usually the case to date with the mountain in reverse.

Riding up I noticed a lot of b and c class riders. I passed all of them. Makes sense to me. I am probably in the faster quarter of the b class riders. Again -makes sense to me.

On the way down I rode with a bunch of “a” class riders. Really just drafting and whatnot. I u turned at the bottom so as to climb back up again.

There was definitely something going on with my trianer/power meter on the way back up. My power was fluctuating widely. Unlike anything I’ve seen before. I am quite steady when running and riding. In this instance I was jumping from 220 to 320 to 380 back to 280. I’m guessing 275 was where I really was.

I came in 10th on the climb. 4 minutes slower than my fastest. 1st was 24 minutes. 3rd was 26 minutes. My pb was 1 second faster than 3rd. I was nowhere near on form. Definitely tired from the previous exertion but i was Suprised to be at 30 minutes.

Interesting contrasting between the 2 climbs. The normal climb is 5-6 percent for a while then a flat and repeat. There are a few 7 and 8 percent sections but that is it. There are also some dips. The reverse is 8 percent on perpetuity with ramps of 10 to 12 percent. It is shorter and more consistent. There are no flats.

I don’t do as well on the regular mountain as the reverse. I seem to have issues generating flat course watts relative to climbing watts. I think it is a function of the fact that I am a bit of a spinner. Thus i will rarely get up the normal kom first but do much better on the reverse climb.

Was happy with the workout today. Legs are strong and fit. Socks are good. Jury is out on the bib shorts. Still not certain how I feel about them.

Hope to be back at it tomorrow. If I get can back door myself onto watopia I will do the 3 sisters. If not. It will be the 60k london course.

Oh. I have almost everested. Another plus minus 1000 meters to go. I get a nice new Emonda if I do.

After I have everested I will either do Italy or California. Not sure which.

That is all for now…

Friday 27k – mountain ride

Mountain ride today. Was going to ride up and over and then up again but I stopped part way up the 2nd time. It had been an hour and I wanted a break before the kids came home.

Got the last of my big things out the door today. Happy about that. Now it’s a game of rats and mice – hopefully -for the rest of the month.

Ride was good. Brutal start. Had to get off/on the bike for things about 5 times before I was able to ride in earnest. Once I got going it was good.

Wore my bib shorts for the first time. Took some serious getting used to. Ugh. Wonder how I will feel about them in the long run. The first 15 minutes were so uncomfortable that I double checked to ensure they weren’t on backwards – ha. Got better though.

Tried to ride at 300 watts the entire ascent. Did a good job of it. There are a few parts where it flattens out – didn’t worry about the watts there. At the beginning I kept spiking into the 400s. Had to cool it otherwise I would explode. As it was I neatly blew in the last 1km. Slowed down. Focused my breathing. Cold water on my face. I was way too hot from lack of air in the basement. I was also feeling the exertion. Recentered myself, geared down and rode 270 watts to the finish. Earned the kom jersey.

At the end the program told me my ftp was 271 which is 3.65 watts per kg. That makes some sense to me. When I do these climbs 270 watts is a nice maintainable number that I could ride at for quite some time. Hard riding but not anywhere near the red. I should probably do a full/proper ftp test as I suspect it would be at bit higher than 271 watts. The goal is to get to a point where climbing at 300 watts feels the way that 250 watts currently feels.

Power outage right now. Quite the storm. Hope power comes back on.

Assuming all is normal tomorrow morning I would like to do 3 sisters tomorrow morning. Good solid 2 hour ride. I will be trying out my riding gear for my Montreal ride. Hope all goes well.

That is all for now…

Wednesday 30k

Uneventful rides yesterday.

Ride in was straightforward. Didn’t see much of interest. I went up Christie. I prefer that route.

Ride home was a bit wild. Big storm overhead. I was pretty much racing it. Wind was gusty. Just beat the rain by maybe 15 minutes. Glad I beat it as it was heavy – though it only rained for 15 minutes or so.

Tomorrow is a no riding day due to inventory counts. No idea about Friday. Will either ride in/out or will zwift when I get home.

Montreal ride is quickly approaching. Plan is to ride the 3 sisters on Saturday morning. I’m going to try to get onto zwift early Sunday morning to beat the time change and do watopia again (if not 60k around london). Will do another london ride on monday and then tues/wed off before 3 days of long riding.

Will be testing out clothing/drinks/etc this weekend. Would be better to be doing 3 to 4 hour rides each day but I don’t have the time. 2 hours is all I can do each day.

That is all for now…

Tuesday 30k

Rode in and out.

Hot day. Storm in the pm cut through the heat a bit but not much.

Stressful day. Not great. Feel like im failing in multiple aspects of my life. Don’t like feeling like this.

Didn’t see much of interest on the way in. Just rode. Big heavy ass touring bike.

Ride home was the same. I moved well across danforth but otherwise I just kind of lumbered around the city.

Not really loving things right now.

That is all for now…