New personal best, in the snow !!

Lonnie Utah

Aug 21, 2004
All I can say is WOW, what a ride. As we all know winter sucks. (well execpt for the fact that I love to ski...) Boring time in the gym, or not riding at all. I've been working really hard, looking forward to next spring. I've been (seriously) riding less than a year, but still have a lot that I want to do (including crushing the guys I ride with at work ;) ) In Salt lake, winter riding days are a treat. My schedule at work doesn't make it easy at this time of year either. 7:30-5:30 with every other friday off. Oh well, as I said, there's always the gym...

Anyway, I got of from work early to get a vaccination. Turns out the clinic was closed today. :( I started looking at the watch and the weather and thought, "Hey, It's kinda sunny, 39 deg., I can get in a quick ride when I get home." Well by the time I got home, walked the dogs, changed and opened the garage, it was lightly snowing. "Screw it, I've only been on my bike once since the new year, I'm going." There's a very nice climb basically out my front door. 4.25 miles at 8.0% avg. It's my favorite ride and one of my goals for the year is to do it in under 30 mins. My best time previously was around 33 mins.

I pulled out of the driveway and took off. If felt good just to feel the pedals again. The "snow" was actually "gropple" which is like little ice balls, not quite as dense as sleet. They still sting when they hit you in the face. No worries, I'm in the saddle. I get to the first steep hill. Ahhh, the burn that feels soooooo good. Upward and onward. 1 mile in, I'm so excited, I push myself into the red just to do it. Time to back off and let the heart recover. Ok, that's better. 2 miles in. The real fun begins. 1 mile of 10%. Last summer I was happy if I could stay above 5mph in this section. Today in the driving wind and snow, I didn't drop below 5.5 and was at 6 most of the time. At 3.5 miles there's a short (but sweet) downhill section that allows a quick HR recovery for the last, short high gradient push to the top. It's gotta be over 15% for about 200-300 meters. Now I'm in full on fog, and the snow is really building up on the road, my glasses and my tights at this point. No worries, almost there. No time to quit. I don't like to watch the clock when I climb since I tend to push myself too hard. But being so close to the end, I clicked over to see how I was doing. 29mins and change! DAMN, time to stand up and kick! 90 seconds later I'm done. New PB, 31 mins! Heart rate 1 bpm below theoretical max (which we all know is BS). I'm spent but it was worth it. Had I not farted around half way up to take off my stocking cap and put my helmet back on, I felt I could have made my goal on my first try on the year.

The trip back down was a bit sketchy. Snowy road, skinny tires and my glasses so fogged up I can't see. I pulled them off, and basically had to ride down with one eye closed. Still hit 35 somewhere along the way (I was on the brakes the whole time....)

I know that all of this doesn't mean much to anybody here but me, but I felt like sharing anyway. It was just one of those rides. Now time to jump in the shower an warm up my toes (they're still cold and hour later :) )
Great job. I love those rides where your just looking to get a quick simple spin in and you really feel great and can spin like there is no chain. Thanks for sharing, I feel more inspired to get out in the cold weather and just spin myself.