Sunday, October 22, 2006

What happened to Fall?

As one who likes to ride in cool (but not cold) weather I was looking forward to Fall here in North Carolina. It's normally an absolutely fabulous time of year for long rides and the good weather seems to last into mid-December some years. Last year, I was able to do lots of outdoor riding during January and February, too. This year the weather went from uncomfortably warm to uncomfortably cold in a week's time.

Speaking of weather... October 22nd was the first of several Winter Time Trial training events put on by the local club (of which I will be a member for the racing season next year) and I had been looking forward to these monthly 11-mile sufferfests as a way of staying motivated during the off-season. However, on Sunday morning the conditions were not exactly ideal for a ride. It was rainy, windy and cold.

I drove over to the start a bit early hoping the rain would stop but it got progressively worse and worse. I was surprised to see several other riders who were apparently unphased by the weather and were planning to do the TT anyway. So, I hopped out of the car, put on my warm weather gear and joined them.

I got absolutely soaked and, in fact, my PowerTap actually stopped working for two minutes during the TT because of the water. It was wet and windy enough that I wasn't comfortable going as fast as I could on the downhill stretches but--for better or worse--the course is essentially one rolling hill after another so there were plenty of opportunities to go hard on the uphill sections without going dangerously fast.

My goal for the 11-mile course (and it turned out to be around 10.5 miles I believe) was to end up with a normalized power of 315 watts. I ended up with an NP of 312 but given the weather I'm not going to get my chamois in a wad over coming up a few watts short. Here are the numbers (keep in my that the PT was frozen up during part of my ride):

Norm Power: 312
Distance: 9.552 mi
Min Max Avg
Power: 0 642 305 watts
Heart rate: 128 181 176 bpm
Cadence: 24 183 93 rpm
Speed: 0 35.1 24.6 mph

Not earth-shattering by any means but I did have the best time of the 5 guys who braved the weather. Assuming dry weather next month I'm going to shoot for an NP of 320.


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