Thursday, October 18, 2007

13 October: When 70 became 105...!

Well, this is a post that almost wasn't meant to be. The first time I went to create it, the blog website was down for scheduled maintenance (4pm Pacific time for 10 minutes, not sure how that explains the 10pm Atlantic time downness); so I gave my fingers a rest and tried again the next day, and just after I logged on some car-born rube in a hurry to get home (rush hour) took out the power to a large portion of the Hants counties; by the time the lights came back on it was time for bed...

Anyways, Saturday the 13th. The first time I have ventured past Kentville for a ride. A bit of a grey day, with mist spilling over the North Mountain down by Middleton to Annapolis Royal, but the colour of the leaves was good despite the lack of sun. A bit cool, and some rain just after the start. But we actually did pick up a couple of hours of sun on the way home.

The loop was advertised as about 70km but turned out to be more than 100: I estimate 105 for me, but I didn't stick with the route all the way due to a knee that was having uphill problems (gardening strain, I think). Can't be more accurate on the distance, since I actually had no speed/ distance computer on my bike (what a shock!) although I did have the usual altitude record, as can be seen by the profile charts below.

Despite the weather and extra distance it was a good ride, and enjoyable (having been a sailor I ain't happy unless I am complaining, and I did a fair bit of that on the 13th...) 15km of the route was dirt road, but the steeper slopes had been washing away since the recce ride several years ago so traction wasn't always great and most of us ended up walking the bikes up the steeper slopes. Even moi. I also ended up walking one particularily lumpy downhill.

Not too many statistics this time, since the only data recorded was altitude (oh, and heartrate but that is of no interest to you). Total riding time for me, 4hr 47min. The main group of 4 rode longer, they weren't back at the cars yet by the time I left for home. I hope they got back before dark. The total ascent was about 850metres according to the instrumentation, but there was a high pressure system building in the whole time, which gave the barometric altimeter a fit (at lunch we were supposed to be at 37m below sea level, it said). The map shows the route crossing the 225m contour, but my max altitude (adjusted for the "sea level drift") was only 156m; so probably there was rather a lot more ascent than recorded. Energy expended by me, 2900Kalories. This was a significantly harder ride than most other CCC rides I've been on, in terms of rate of energy expenditure. It helped keep us warm though, so that was okay...

Since I didn't have any distance data, the following charts are "altitude vs elapsed time". This means that uphills will look more gradual than they would on a more usual "altitude vs distance" profile, and downhills look very steep indeed by comparison (especially coming off the North Mountain).

Another noticeable difference with today's charts is that the rest stops are not edited out due to the time involved in doing so. The broad blue bar along the time axis highlights periods of movement; no highlight means stationary.

The whole route.

The first segment, from Bridgetown to about halfway to Annapolis Royal; we stopped when my bike threw its chain (again!)

The second segment, to Annopolis Royal, where 3 others joined us.

Annapolis Royal to a rest stop at the Pony Express plinth just on the near side of Victoria Beach.

Pony Express to the lunch stop. About a km or so into the unpaved section.

The rest of the unpaved section. There was about 130m of ascent in this section.

Along the coast on pavement to about Parker's Cove where we split into 2 groups of 4, and I went over the North Mountain instead of continuing along the coast to Hampton before heading back to Bridgewater.

Flying back solo along Highway 1 from about Granville Ferry. Flat and with a tailwind; what a run! And yes, the knee that didn't appreciate hills was perfectly happy to work hard on the flat road, and although I didn't understand it I was happy to go as hard as it let me.

Definitely a fun day. although the dog I left at home might have a different take on my 12-hour absence. Ah, but at least I did spend more time on the bike than in the automobile!