Better than Sex...
Today was the cycle team's 80 mile ride, with the Tahoe Century coming up in two weeks this was the last long ride. We started out at Natural Bridges in Santa Cruz and headed north on Highway 1, we rode in a pace line which was beneficial going into the head wind. After passing through Davenport, we took Swanton Road, which took us into some rolling hills, followed by a tough climb and fast decent, through this we rode individually and I got the charge some hills. We got back on to Highway 1 and reformed the pace line and then hit our first rest stop at mile 25. Just beyond that stop we turned away from Highway 1 again leading to some more hills, were in pace line on and off through this section, which passed through Pescadero.
The Race :-)
This lead us to Stage Road, which has some great climbing and exciting descents, it was at this point we came across some riders from a couple of local cycling teams, Webcor and Apline Velo. My coach gave me the ok to charge up the hill with my other team and chase the other riders. Ok, well maybe he didn't want me to chase the other riders, but that is what I did :-) I manged to pass them going up the first climb, but at the end of the twisty descent they were right by side again. You can see on the graph just coming up to mile 40 my heart rate hit 190bpm, this was the second climb and I managed lose them all.
At mile 40 was a are second rest stop much needed after that burst of energy (great thanks to those who supported the ride). Shortly after this rest stop we back on the Highway 1 now heading south with the wind at our backs and in a pace line. At this point all I could think of was the big hill just before Davenport, I knew the conditions were perfect for some great speed, but would I be at the front of the pace line when we came to hill?
At mile 60 mile, my coach Matt, told me go up ahead what meant was join the fastest two people at the front of our pace line, we were heading down a hill and picking up a lot speed. Really all I needed was the word "Go" and I charged forward quickly accelerating hit 45mph by the time we hit the flat, I then took that momentum and went for it! I soon hit another uphill and at this time I could still see my group not to far behind, I slowed down a bit but wanted to get up the hill so started going harder. Of course once at the top this hill there was another chance to build up some speed, so I did :-) Then I realized I would be at my favorite hill every soon so I continued on.
The hill was just up ahead I increased my speed and with the wind in my favor I started my descent, there is a narrow bridge at the bottom, so traffic can be an issue. I waited for the cars to pass me, and then pulled in to the center of the for a safe decent. I cranked at the pedals as hard and fast as I could, watching the speedometer and road the I kept increasing my speed, I had never gone past 49mph before. I was going along 48mph, wondering whether I get any more speed so I spun faster and the next thing knew I was at 52mph. At that point it was down to aerodynamics, so I got lower and faster hitting my new max speed of 54mph. The feeling was amazing, my heart was pounding at 190bpm, but I just felt great. I slowed down a bit after that looking back taking in the moment, wondering whether I should wait for the others to catch up. However I was having so much I had to continue, my speed was in 20mph to 40mph all back to the start. I arrived back at 12:59pm, then turned around to find my teammates who weren't too far behind. I'd like to thank Coach Matt, for not giving me a hard time after ride for ditching the group, it was a tremendous ride!
Ride Details (Click here to view on Google Earth):