President's Day weekend was a great weekend for cycling. It didn't exactly go down the way it was planned but it worked. My coach and teammate were all geared up, hotel reservations made, and psyched to go to work on the Friday before President's weekend knowing that as soon as work was over the fun would begin. We had made hotel reservations, multiple rides planned, and the big 'ol snowstorm that was heading into Blacksburg VA had other plans.
It was forecasted for Blacksburg to get 3-5 inches of snow that Sunday. This meant that there would be no riding Sunday and Monday with conditions being that bad. We were taking fat tired road bikes so conditions were going to play a huge part. Wonderful - FML. Last minute suggestions had us swinging our target from Blacksburg to State College PA. I love the terrain that the Wilderness 101 is on, and the roads in the surrounding area had to be entertaining, so why not give that a shot. Besides, my coach went to Penn State so he had to have some insight on the area...pull the trigger. We loaded up the truck and headed out.
What a great idea. We rode for all 4 days. Sometimes on amazing roads, and not so amazing roads. Great conditions, and not so great conditions, but we were glad to be out and get our miles in. Day 1 had us searching out some random hills and we got our fill. Hoping to get a nice 4:30 day in, we did 5:45 instead. We couldn't help ourselves. The roads were nice and traffic free, debris free, and nj free. Riding through the farmlands and endless hills was great. Just what we were looking for. Actually it reminded us a lot of Blacksburg. Temps were a little cooler but not nearly as bad as they could have been. The cooler temps didn't help on one of the climbs as it turned all to snow and the road bike push began. About 20 mins of pushing crested the top and we were able to ride away to the warm cozy hotel, not too far away.
Day 2 gave us the twofer day. A morning ride for 2 hours with some hills, followed by a nice jump in the hot tub, relax session, and then ride #2 in the afternoon for 1:45 or so on some mellower roads. This was great to spin out the legs and get them ready for our century day on #3. It was another successful ride as we avoided a snow push, but we did hit one pass where it was ice instead of snow. So that was sketchy yet fun. It was a MUCH shorter section than that of the previous day so we were all fine with that. So far all the rides had been turn as you go and the next days ride would be a garmin connect choice. Why have to find nice roads to ride when someone already did it for you?
Day 3 was our century day and it resulted in some beautiful valley climbs, amazing open roads, and jaunts through the Amish farmland. Evidently Monday is laundry day as it was everywhere. It was great to see the Amish kids playing outside during the day and waving as we sped on by. We even got to roll through Jersey Shore PA and give a nice fist pump or two as we wondered where Snookie was. We brought our own version of the lycra situation to the area. The route we did was very entertaining and one that I would do again. The climbing was good as we did somewhere around 6k vert and wrapped up with some of our familiar roads and just had a great day.
Day 4 was the recovery ride from our century and still seemed to put in 3:30. We had found a nice coffee shop in Lock Haven on day #1 so we decided to visit it the last day and make our trip there and back the recovery ride. Flatter, slower, and happier we rode to and from the shop and put the icing on a sweet weekend.
4 great days with just under 300 miles, 20k vert, and 18:30 of riding was perfect to jump start the season. The intensity ramp will start soon and racing will soon be upon us. The bad part of the training camp is that once I got back I ate everything in sight...for a week. I couldn't stop eating. So my previous weight loss was halted. I'm on the downswing again and back under 160 which is right were I want to be. Next goal is 155 by the end of March.