Where did you ride OUTSIDE today (2021)

Luckily, weather in Crans-Montana is much nicer than in Andermatt:
Yesterday it was still super cloudy:


But today it was extremely beautiful and a lot warmer than expected at 8:30am



Also, the fair for Haute Route looks fun!

It’s just too easy to get elevation gain:

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Taking the family on vacation in San Diego so rented a bike to do the great western loop in El Cajon. Really nice scenic ride with a lot more elevation than I’m used to in the Midwest.




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It’s been so hot in Minnesota I had to get up early for this one. Nice easy ride with one with a KOM attempt ( :trophy: ) that worked out in my favor. That was a deep effort good for the KOM and power PR.

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Joined one of the local group rides tonight. Had to dig pretty deep a few times but so much fun, definately better then the hour of threshold that was on the plan!
We had a good rotation going at times but every now and then someone put in a hard pull or pushed on over one of the small kickers and it was every man and woman for them self! :slight_smile: There are some pretty strong riders around…


I’m guessing I’ll feel the .92 IF for two hours tomorrow…

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Nothing scenic from me but I upgraded my bike computer a couple of weeks ago so this week’s challenge has been trying to do TR workouts outdoors. Challenged myself with a tempo one today - 45 minutes of no coasting the downward grades and moderating my effort up the inclines was no joke.

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PCC TT again for me again, round Southey Woods. I decided to go with the slower lid (Bambino) as it has a clear visor so I could see the Garmin slightly better (auld age eyes). Its hard to say if it’s better ignoring my first lap (I had a terrible clip in) and the 3rd lap (I met a temporary red light) I’m 1sec slower and all the laps are more consistent in power. I didn’t go 100% though as I was saving something for the weekend.



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Went for a long (for me) endurance ride today.

My goal for this ride was to resist the urge to surge, and keep my heart rate between 135-145 as long as possible (185-205w).

Looking at intervals.icu I made it about 3 hr 20 min with no decoupling, which is pretty solid considering I have only done 3 rides longer 3hr so far this season. Best part of the ride was seeing a McDonald’s like a mirage on the horizon—a burger and fries were speaking to me so I stopped. Legs. Are. Tired.

Tony – CONVOY CC


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Went out for a hilly ~70 miler with friends much stronger than me, picked up a few top 10s, got a bunch of all time power PRs all the way from 391w for 5 minutes to 355w for 9 minutes. Intervals gave me an eFTP bump to 323w, which has always under-read my ramp tests by 4w so I guess I’m at 327, exciting stuff.



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Met some mates who I hadn’t seen for circa 18months.

I tiptoed to the meet savings my legs for the afternoon. I think that worked but I made the mistake of having a toasted teacake with butter and jam. Lol, forgetting butter doesn’t agree with my stomach these days. At least I was lighter for the race. So I rode the 15 miler (15.1 actually :rofl:) conservatively targeting zone 4. Despite that I came away with a circa 3mins PB.


Contrary to its overhead looks it’s actually a quite tricky sporting course on the old A1 which is full of roundabouts which go over or under the new A1(M). One of the roundabouts you descend to it quickly enter it at circa 5 o’clock go clockwise and exit it around 2.30 :hushed:

Despite the photos (which are great by the way) I must’ve got aero, my windsock calculates for my meagre power I had a Cda around 0.219.

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To put things into perspective though John Archibald (pro cyclist) did a 28.40 and my mate who was 2nd did a 31.49 (circa 5minutes faster than me)

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Fast group ride today, and the training is starting to show itself in what I can do on the road :smiley: Two small boat rides across the water bits, and one very hard 20min race pace effort.

Race pace effort:

Some PRs:


The whole ride and a photo of the boat :slight_smile:




And most importantly, the end with a coffee and some porrige :smiley:


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Gravel wheels on for a ride over to the Ronquieres incline and down towards Mons. Beautiful day and at least the first hour was quiet before the walkers were out on the canal paths with their dogs.







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A recovery ride into Rutland for me. Half the roads round Rutland Water were closed so I ended up indulging in a bit of Gravel riding on the road bike.

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A good day for some gravel, however I wore the wrong socks and had to take them off mid ride because foot pain. It’s getting hot here. I drank 4.7 lts of water, a record for me. One side of the climb is not so much gravel but a destroyed old road, lots of holes and washboard, it significantly slowed down the descend.


Cheers

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Holy shit, that is a lot of water! Did you have some kind of drink mix or just water? How many hours were you out riding for?

This weekend was Haute Route Crans-Montana in lovely western Switzerland. The Matterhorn was (and remains) 25 miles from the village, although hidden from sight due to a mountain range.

tl;dr version: it did not go well for me.

extended edition: it really did not go well for me.

If I may impart some wisdom: do not get your second Moderna shot the Tuesday before this type of event, a shot that typically lays you out flat the next day. Bad flu-like feelings, unable to drink or eat for much of the day, seeing after the fact that Garmin’s “Body Battery” values fell dramatically even though I was passed out on the couch made for a bad Wednesday. On Thursday, I felt better and in the afternoon drove the 4hrs to Crans-Montana. That wasn’t an ideal setup and in hindsight I should have moved the 2nd shot.

Friday was the hillier day with 3200m / 10700’ (a bit more actually) of climbing across about 69 miles. (The official distance for this stage was less as it did not include the transition in the saddle to the shuttle back to the race village.) Summer arrived on this day for the first time this year with temps 30-35C (85-95F). I love riding in the heat, but I prefer some sort of transition. And, yes, I ran out of water twice and fuel.

Saturday was “easier” with just two climbs. The climbing was around 10k’ / 3000m but only 61 miles. Though with the climbing in two parts rather than three…


Here, my GPS had some problems: it told me that sections of the second climb were -4±% (see the vertical in the elevation chart, which was in fact not vertical nor a problem with gravity.

However, if I couldn’t get all the cylinders firing on Friday, it became clear I was worse off for Saturday. I was better fueled and hydrated this day, but the heart / cardio simply said no to my demands. At no point were my muscles tired nor did I feel lactic acid build up. Today, my legs feel fine.

I looked at Garmin’s body battery for Saturday, and, well, it didn’t look good. (There are three rides: a short, easy climb to the start from the hotel, the ride, and the short downhill back to the hotel.)

The strain did not seem ok and did not seem like something to compound so I made the decision to bail on the third day, a short uphill tt.

While I did not do well and sometimes it felt like the medical cars were circling like vultures in their overwatch, it was a great event. The Haute Route organization was terrific (they did add a feed station on the second day, possibly because so many ran out of water on the first day, good adaptability) and I’d like to do this event again next year (and not just finish it but finish strong). I met with and rode with some great people, including some Americans who flew from the states for the event, some great Italians, a French guy, a woman whom I already “knew” from Strava (we follow each other, she’s in a neighboring canton and we ride similar routes, and we have mutual friends IRL) but we didn’t meet in person until the feed station under the dam, among others. Misery loves company and that provided good bonding for a number of us as we leapfrogged each other, rode with each other, and pushed each other.

I did not get to meet @Aeroiseverything, though I did see him fly down a hill I was still climbing (and would continue to climb for too long). Hopp! Hopp! Allez! He had a fantastic race at the other end of the event from me.

Not many pics, unfortunately. And none taken in the best spots. The first is the view from my hotel room, which was quite nice. Directly ahead about 25 miles, though not visible due to the mountains even if the clouds were gone, is the Matterhorn.


Getting near the top of a climb when I decided now would be a good time to dismount and take a photo.

And the approach to a massive damn and the end of the first climb of the second day. (The better photo is from the feed station at the top, which of course I didn’t take :man_shrugging:)

Onward.

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Re: Haute Route Crans Montana

Having lived in Switzerland for 8 years, but not having been there for the past 3 years, I was reminded of the sheer beauty of this country.
I had never been to the Uri (Andermatt, see above) nor the Valais (Crans Montana) before. I can‘t think of many places that are more breathtaking than this! The altitude and the brutal climbs play into this, too, but the scenery is absolutely stunning. With the Matterhorn, the Montblanc and the Dufourspitze (tallest peak of Switzerland) looming over you, and the sunny valley of Sierre/Sion beneath you, I was in awe several times.

I arrived the Tuesday before the event (Friday through Sunday) and got to ride before the event twice. The first was an easy spin on the Gravel bike in bad weather and the second ride was a race priming (leg opener) up the Col de Crans Montana in sunshine.

The stages were well described above, but here you go with a quick overview:


The first stage was cut short with the Sanetsch Pass still being closed because of snow (with 30C in The Valley, wow!).

Day 1: I had great legs during the first two climbs and was able to average around 315W on both of them (>4.5Wkg).
The final climb, with its total of 1500m of elevation gain at 7.2% avg was evil and soul crushing and my power dwindled from bad to worse. The climb Itself (Sanetsch) however has to be one of the most stunning I have seen. From village to forest to high alps in one long climb. Many waterfalls and tunnels through the rock, absolutely amazing!












I placed 24th of 160 on the day, so I was quite pleased.
Being 30 minutes down on the leader however felt humbling :sweat_smile:
(255W NP)

Day 2:
The longest climb of my life thusfar, but actually quite a pleasure to ride.
The climb goes up to Europes highest dam and really was a joy. I was able to average around 280W (>4Wkg) which was quite pleasing for over 90min.
Annoyingly, my timing chip got detected twice at the start and the officials just added my times together, f‘ing up my GC time in one go (3 hours instead of 90 min :sob:)
After a the long descent, which really puts into perspective how long the climb really was, it was super hot in The Valley and my legs were empty. I completely blew up on the climb back up to Crans Montana and was clinging on to dear life. I couldn’t cool myself and suffered badly for 54 minutes at a far too low power (264W).
A rather humbling experience, putting into perspective how crazy stage racing really is.








(247W NP)

Day 3: A uphill TT, up the relatively unknown „Col de Crans Montana“. 8.2% average, over 13% max and 1250m however make it a mighty monster, with more elevation gain than many of the HC climbs of the TdF.
I guess my body ran out of lactate, because my legs felt surprisingly good. I started pretty late (GC ranking in reverse order) and it good rather warm. Staying motivated for a full hours was tough, but in the end, it I placed 17th on the day at 314W average for 57:02, which I am quite pleased with. Over 1300VAM was more than I expected after this much racing in the legs.
TT is just rather my discipline than Mountain stages.




(319W NP, 2 minutes of un-timed lead-in)
In total I should have placed 25th in the GC, and hope the ranking gets fixed somewhen. Total time (only the time for the 6 climbs) should be around 5:57:25 (3rd in age group).

The whole experience was top notch, sublime Organisation and great fun. I was a little too tired to socialize and sadly didn’t meet @mountainrunner in person.
Can definitely recommend the area (Valais) and the event (Haute Route) to anyone who is into a crazy challenge in great environment with pro tour level support!

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Water with SiS hydration tablets. I was out almost 5h

Ha, that was my plan for Sunday (not with Valhall) but ended up not having enough time.

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I rode Saturday and went through 5L in a little less that 5 hrs. On my rides, I’ve been working on staying hydrated - as that’s something I need to improve for long rides where in the past I’ve found I never drink enough.

So I brought plenty of water with me, and made an effort to drink more than normal. I felt good by the end, better than normal for a longer ride, and did not feel like I drank excessively.

For future long rides, I’m going to err on the side of drinking more vs less. I’ll need the practice for my A race which will be about 10 hrs or so in dry heat.

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I had Rubicon on the workout menu today so I rode up the canyon to get in the 10 minute repeats without any hassles. Hot, but otherwise a beautiful day.






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