Wednesday, March 9, 2011

climbing the coppermine

I'm off every other Wednesday, and when I can, I like to ride with this group of mostly-retired guys that ride together every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. An email from their ride leader said it was too cold for them to be out today, so in the afternoon, I decided to go out on my own.

From my garage door to Coppermine Road in Griggstown, NJ, is about 7-8 miles, a nice bike ride, because a good deal of it is on Canal Road along the old D&R canal. When you turn onto Coppermine, you then get to climb almost 400 feet in about 8/10 of a mile (Coppermine Road has the nickname, "The Wall" among some local cyclists; a few months ago I found an elevation diagram online, but I can't find it today). You can then come down Old Georges Road to Canal Road again, and if you turn around when you get to County 518, it's a 21-mile loop round-trip to the garage with a memorable climb in the middle.

Now, I built my bike to be a long-distance and climbing machine, and I'm training for the Anchor House Ride. I rode with the Hill Slugs this past weekend, and I was cranking up the hills... so I decided it was time to test my bike and my legs, and climb the Coppermine today.

The good news is that I made it up with energy to spare; with a rest (like a few miles of a flat ride without too much headwind), I could have done it again (despite the cold; it was a windy low-40's today). The bad news is that my average speed for the ride was only 17.31, and that includes a top speed of 33.6 on the downhill. In mitigation, I'm claiming the cold, the earliness in the season, and the almost constant headwind all the way back. (Whine, whine, whine...)

Nonetheless, I've now got over 150 miles of the 1000 recommended for training, and I'm in pretty good riding shape for the season already. I should be ready to do some good riding in May, and 500 miles for Anchor House in July should be no problem. (Now it's time to reel in some more donations!)

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