Excellent ride yesterday: set two new personal records!
Yesterday morning I was in the mood to ride hard, and ride fast. I decided that I was going to ride at Wekiwa with the primary goal of breaking my record on the first segment: Sand Lake Trailhead to Marker 13 (Red Blaze Trail). That’s the segment that I’ve was timing myself on long before I started using Strava. My best time, I felt, was going to be very tough to beat.
One note about this segment: while this is the exact same segment that I’ve been timing myself on for a long time, once I started using Strava I extended the segment roughly a quarter of a mile past where I used to stop. The reason for that change is because other people are riding this segment now, and I wanted to have the segment end at a more obvious and logical location than where I used to stop.
Unfortunately it’s been dry here the past 4 or 5 days, and so the trail conditions were very sandy. I thought, “What the heck, I’m going to do the Bike Loop.” The Bike Loop includes the torturous Sand Hell segment at the very end. Sand Hell is not fun under any circumstances, but when it’s as dry as it was yesterday it’s extra painful.
When I set off from the trailhead I held nothing back. Basically I decided that I was going to go all out for the first segment and treat it like it was a 100 yard dash or a 50 meter freestyle. My heart rate monitor quickly rose into the high 180s/lower 190s, but my cardio felt really good and my legs felt strong.
About 2/3 of the way through the segment I almost washed out on a fast, sandy corner. Thankfully as I felt the back of the bike slide I managed to unclip my right foot and dab the sand as I flew through the corner and regained control. That made me smile, mostly because I thought it probably looked cool. Hopefully a deer or something saw it.
That corner also reminded me that I need to get these crappy Continental Mountain King tires off my bike.
Not too far after that tricky corner there’s a place I pass that lets me know if I’m ahead or behind my record pace. When I set my existing record I passed that marker exactly at the 10 minute mark. When I passed that marker yesterday I almost fell off my bike when I saw the time: 9m17s!
I thought, “No way, that can’t be right!” Almost as soon as that thought entered my mind it was replaced by a new one: “GO!!!!!“
In fact, if you look at this segment from yesterday’s ride, you can see exactly what I’m talking about. Switch to the satellite view, and zoom in one level. You’ll see where I cross “E. Ponkan Rd” (which is a dirt fire road)–that’s the marker. If you click on the “Performance” tab and hover and move your mouse over the power/speed/elevation graph at around the 9m15s mark you’ll notice that I cross E. Ponkan Rd at 9m17s. This is followed by a power and speed surge as I realized that I was absolutely destroying my best time.
By the way, the drop in power just before I reach the Ponkan is because there’s a small dip winding through trees there: I lay off the pedals and pump the track for speed as I navigate through the trees (you’ll notice I even gain a little speed as my power drops).
I completed the Sand Lake Trailhead to Marker 13 (Red Blaze Trail) segment with a new personal record and KOM time of 12m56s–that’s almost a full minute better than my previous best time of 13m54!
So when I finished the segment I took just 30 seconds of rest (believe me, I wanted more), and then took off with the goal of breaking my record on the entire bike loop…
That 30 seconds was the only rest I took the entire ride.
I did break that record, and finished with a new personal best/KOM time of 38m56s on the Bike Loop. Yesterday’s time was a 43 second improvement on my previous best time of 39m39s.
If I ride like I did yesterday when the trail conditions are a little better (like the day after a heavy rain), these records won’t last long.