Uhl in Eagle, ID – After a tiring Chicken Dinner road race, I decided to rest a day before riding long again. Even though it was hard due to the unseasonably warm weather, I didn’t even get on my bike yesterday. Instead I hit the gym and did some light cardio and core work.
So it was a good thing the warm weather held out another day so Heather, Cory and I could do a nice Emmett–Horseshoe Bend loop after work. It was my first ride in just shorts and a sleeveless jersey, thanks to the 80°F weather!
Cory was an “eager beaver” when we headed out and even though my PowerTap CPU display is cracked, I swear I was doing like 250 watts just riding side-by-side with him on Beacon Light. It was probably just residual blockage from racing hard on Sunday then taking Monday off, but then again, I’m not one who can talk and ride unless I keep it to zone one. By the time we were northbound on Hwy 16 my legs felt better and the three of us enjoyed the strong tailwind to the top of Emmett hill. It’s always fun to ride uphill at 20+ MPH!
We cruised through the back roads in Emmett and then hit Hwy 52. For the first time this year we stopped at the Wild Rose park to top off our water bottles. With the warm weather comes increased hydration needs. Then we got back on our bikes and did a nice rotation through the canyon to Horseshoe Bend. Since Heather had a hard stage race this past weekend, she took easier pulls while Cory and I pushed it a bit more.
A second stop at the Chevron in Horseshoe Bend and then we were off to the hill. Once past the first cattle guard, I put it in what I thought was high-tempo mode, and just rode by feel. Cory was on my wheel for a while but then dropped off by the lower bee hives (which are out now). I kept the pace consistent all the way to the top, pushing it a bit more at the top…you know, like you do. Then I quickly turned around and caught up with Cory and Heather who were at about the same spot.
Heather was taking it easy on the hill so it was odd that Cory wasn’t ahead of her. Later I learned that Cory took a wrong turn (huh?) somewhere on the hill! I think I’ve heard of another person make the same mistake. It’s been so long since I first rode the Old Horseshoe Bend Road, that I don’t remember any sort of confusion on where to go. But I guess there’s kind of an intersection lower on the hill that may lead one to bear left and ride up a dirt road, instead of continuing on the “real” road. Hmmm…I’ll have to pay attention next time and see what could be misleading people.
So I rode with them back to the top. After we crested, we pushed the downhill and enjoyed a fast paceline back into Eagle. After downloading my ride I was happy to see I averaged 293 watts on the hill, with a time of 27:02. Not bad considering I wasn’t really trying. I think a true FTP test is in order. It’s been set at 305 watts for the last couple months and I’m sure it must be higher by now.
Riding in the warm weather felt so good today. I just feel better when it’s warm,or better yet, hot out, and I seem to generate more power as well. I realize it’ll probably get colder before it’s consistently warm, but for now I’ll take it!