Less than a week now until my ride…final preparations underway for the big day!
On Saturday I drove back up to Hagg Lake in order to give it a pre-Livestrong Challenge test ride. I was nervous to see what would happen. On one hand, if I got into it and hated it, or couldn’t finish, then it would make this whole next week stink, knowing what would be waiting for me 25 miles into my 70 mile ride. However, if on the other hand I could get around the lake without too much trouble, then I could feel like I was ready for the challenge at hand. So without going on and on, the good news is…I think I’m ready!
The day was beautiful despite forecasts calling for showers in the morning. The air up around Hagg is brisk, and I was thankful for arm and knee warmers (see image below) that kept me from freezing on my ride. I’ve been enjoying the sun, but know that colder mornings are coming, so I’m slowly starting to gear up for riding in Oregon fall days.
On my bike I have three gear rings up front, and spend most of my time in the middle ring. If I get up over 20 mph, then I’ll shift up into the outside ring, but that doesn’t happen all that often. Only once or twice before have I shifted into the smallest ring for climbing, but I figured I may need to use it at Hagg, which is either uphill or downhill the whole time without any real flat spots. As it turns out, I only dropped down to it for one longer hill, and pretty much stayed in my saddle in the middle ring on the other hills, aside from standing up for one shorter steeper segment. Below is the arial satelite view from my GPS export of the ride. You can get my Motion Based animated version of the route by clicking here.
I also passed a couple on one hill (they *were* on mountain bikes) and left another guy in the dust who was following me up the first hill. All in all I felt pretty strong, and finished the 15 mile ride with an average speed of 15.3 mph, which combines the slow climbs uphill and the fast coasts down the other sides.
On another note, I made a pitstop back at Maggies Buns after my ride and picked up some rolls for the fam. Let me just say, they are ginormous. See the picture above…I put an oreo sized cookie on top of one the rolls so you can see just how big they are. And that’s a big old trough of icing for them too. Definitely worth the stop!