Back from Louisville and recovering from a cold, this really was my last chance for training before taper. It was hot, very hot. The difference in humidity was very noticeable, I had acclimatized to mositure in Louisville and now the air felt very dry.
To simulate the race conditions, I headed out 10:30pm with lights and a support car behind me. I choose Serria Rd, for my night route. Let me first say, I regret the large dinner I had, it was good but not the best thing before steep climb. So i started the ride, it funny how having a car constantly behind pushes you faster. Of course we also had to be mindful of other cars on the road and be sure to let them pass. The night was clear a view of the lights of the valley was great. As I was about halfway up the hill I could feel my stomach turning, but I told myself this just meant for better simulation afterall by this stage of the race I wasn't going to be feeling great. With the car behind I continued with a strong pace. This being the first time I had done the climb in the dark, I found myself constantly looking down at my Garmin to check the mileage and the elevation to get my bearings. The twists and dips in the road meant that all of sudden I could lose the light from the car's headlights, which was part of chalenge and something we would also face during the race, though it did make for some scary moments.
After reaching the top of Sierra Rd, I continued along the road and turned in towards Calaveras resevior. That steep turn is no better whether it can be seen or not. It felt just like I was on the race even though I'd only been out there just over an hour. It sounds a little crazy when you think about it. I could just see someone saying "What were you doing Saturday night?", to I'd need to reply "Well I was conducting some race simulation by riding my bike till midnight with a support car following me" :-)