Back out to Mt. Dora yesterday for a great ride (with my clothes on).
Yesterday morning the weather was pretty dreary: dark cloudy skies, light rain and a chill in the air. After my, er… “Wardrobe Malfunction” on Tuesday’s ride (full story is in yesterday’s blog, “Have you ever mountain biked nude? I have.“), I really wanted to get out there and ride. Also, I promised that I’d head back out there and clear the tree that fell across the trail and caused me to wreck.
The crappy weather actually made me happy, as the chances of running into pedestrians walking their unleashed dogs on the mountain bike trail were practically nil. Sure enough, the place was deserted when I arrived.
I brought a saw with me, but I decided to ride out there and see if I could figure out how to clear the tree without a saw. Turns out someone had already cleared the tree that caused me to wreck, but there was another pair of thin (but strong) trees that had fallen across the trail in that same area. The trees looked almost identical to the one that I ran in to. It took me about 10 minutes of work to clear the still-rooted fallen trees, but eventually I managed to muscle them into submission.
With the trails cleared and running fast I decided to make another attempt at the same KOM I was going for on Tuesday. I was wearing my baggy shorts just in case another tree decided it wanted to rip my clothes off.
I got off to a shaky start on my KOM attempt, and botched a couple of early corners. The trails were slick in spots from the rain, and I came in to a couple of corners a little too hot. I didn’t wreck, but I had to dab my foot to keep upright, and that really slowed me down. Also, because of the speed reduction I found myself in too hard of a gear after those corners, and that didn’t help matters.
I contemplated re-starting my lap, but decided to go ahead and complete the ride. I don’t think I rode the lap as well as I did on Tuesday, but I didn’t make any more egregious errors.
The last part of the segment I was doing is a pretty tough climb up a section of trail called “Mini-Destroyer” (AKA “Cardiac Hill”). Normally after doing an entire lap for speed this final bit is ultra-tough, but I flew up it as if I were on fresh legs. No doubt all of the cycling training I’ve been doing is responsible for my increased stamina. In fact, I was only 5 seconds off of my all-time best time on that climb (which was done on fresh legs)–pretty amazing considering I’d been riding all-out for more than 7 minutes.
I was pretty happy when I saw my time: 7m53s! I not only got the KOM on the Gravity Destroyer up/down and Florida Flow Loop segment, I beat the existing KOM time by more than 30 seconds. I’m also the first Strava rider to do this segment in under eight minutes. No doubt Coleman (the old KOM) is going to be back out there this week, and I would not be surprised if he either gets the crown back or comes very close. Coleman is about 20 years younger than I am, is in amazing shape and has been racing bikes for more than 10 years. Of course my friend Mike is a serious threat, too, but he’s out of town right now (sorry, Mike!)
I’m not sure what I’m doing today. I might get a weight training workout in, but my legs feel pretty fresh this morning so I might ride. There are still two segments at Mt. Dora on which I’m 2nd on the leaderboard.. 🙂