Late last month my friend Tracy and I went out to Clermont for a hill training ride. Tracy came up with a great ~19 mile loop that hit most of the big hills in Clermont: Sugarloaf, Buckhill, The Wall and more. Each 19 mile loop contained more than 1,500 feet of elevation. On that ride we did three loops, which netted about 4,600 vertical feet over 55 miles.
Tracy is a super strong rider, and she has been training very hard for an incredible cycling adventure that she’ll be doing in June: Ride Across USA. Tracy is the mastermind behind this epic plan, and she’ll be leading her team as they ride from the coast of California to the coast of Florida to benefit for Hope For the Warriors. The Ride Across USA team will be cycling an amazing 3,000 miles/~5,000 kilometers over just 35 days. When subtracting the planned 4 rest days, that amounts to about 100 miles per day, nearly every day, for a straight month. In preparation for this ride, the Ride Across USA team has done everything from 400-600 kilometer/250-373 mile training rides (in the pouring rain, no less) and hill training rides like the one mentioned above.
I pinged Tracy on Tuesday, and asked her if she’d be up for another hill training ride on Wednesday morning. Tracy, of course, was in.
My previous single-ride elevation personal record was set late last year at the Horrible Hundred. That ride, which is considered one of the toughest century rides in Florida, includes a little more than 5,000 feet of elevation over its 100 mile course.
I wanted to break that elevation personal record, and I wanted to increase the difficulty level by packing more climbing into fewer miles. So for yesterday’s ride I suggested that we do 4 laps of the Clermont “hill loop”, which would give us more than 6,000 feet of elevation over 75 miles.
It was a hot and hilly ride, but I really enjoyed it. My legs did not let me down: I felt really solid the whole way, and was never in danger of cramping up.
I set a new single-ride personal elevation record of 6,128.5 feet, and I now know I have much more in me. I’d like to break 10,000 feet as my next single-ride elevation goal.
My final ride stats were as follows…
Distance: 120.54 kilometers/74.9 miles
Elevation: 6,128.5 vertical feet
Ride Time: 04:03:20
Weighted Average Power: 231 watts
Strava Suffer Score: 193 (“Extreme”)
Average Speed: 30 km/h – 18.5 MPH
Maximum Speed: 66 km/h – 41.2 MPH
Average Heart Rate: 155 BPM
Maximum Heart Rate: 185 BPM
Average Cadence: 89 RPM
Maximum Cadence: 132 RPM
Here’s the elevation profile, as ridden (click to enlarge):
As you can see, there are no real breaks from the hills on this route!
In addition to the elevation PR, I also set 7 new personal records for time on this ride. Here’s the entire ride with all data on Strava.
Of course while we were riding I posed the question, “I wonder how we could make this route even more difficult? You know, more elevation per mile?” Tracy is all over planning that route, so perhaps that 10,000 feet of vertical ride will be coming in the near future. 🙂
Finally, after completing this ride I enjoyed the most amazing post-ride recovery smoothie I’ve ever had in my life. I’m going to make it again today with a couple minor tweaks, so look for the perfected recipe in tomorrow’s blog!