This week I was back in Conway. After last week's recovery week felt pretty rested for a new training block. And the start of a new block means... a fitness test.

On Monday did the test. Between the tests in February and March I had a gain of 10 TSS points for my FTP. So I had high hopes for this test. I had anticipated another 5-10 points jump which would bring me at 4 watts per kg. I had what the average wattage needed to be for the 20 minute duration of the test to get that number. During the test right from the get-go aimed for it, but after 5 mins realized it was unsustainable and had to ease off. The end result was that the test indicated that I dropped 8 watts on my FTP, pretty disappointing. Probably wouldn't have been a big of a drop if I had eased into the test. Hopefully better next time.

Power is 2nd line from top, notice it slowly drops, a mental ouchy.

Tuesday morning did my regular run. I varied the route a little and went towards Emerson Hollow instead of the route to the Covered bridge, not much shorter, 2.5 miles just under 26mins. Pace was 9:58 min/mile.

This week the Northampton Cycling Club (NCC) started the outdoor timetrial / hill climb series for their members. Due to the Covid pandemic it is now a do-it-yourself event. So anytime on Tuesday you need to complete the course. This week's course was 9 miles from Whately to Hatfield. On Tuesday after work I rode to the course. At the start hit the lap button and went for it. I don't have a time trial bike setup but tried to be as aero as possible. The wind was for most part of the course fierce, and fortunately favorable. I was even worried for a bit that I would run out of gears with my CX setup. Turned out to be unjustified and had plenty to push against.

Start line at the NCC do-it-yourself time trial

I hit the end lap button at 22 mins 31 secs with an average speed of 25.61 mph. It resulted in a 7th place out 28th. Strangely enough the Strava segment only gave me 21:39. Kinda interesting that it was so far off. Makes sense that NCC rules are that if you use the Strava time you need to subtract 20secs from the segment time, as it apparently has been so unreliable.

On my way back just after finishing, the I-91 sign was the finish.

With the fitness test and time trial on two consecutive day probably did not have much glycogen left as I bonked pretty bad on the last 5 miles on the way back home. Next time will need to bring something to eat after the race.

Wednesday no sports, but I had my first Covid vaccination appointment. Got the shot at the Baystate Health clinic's vaccination center in Greenfield. The Pfizer injection was painless, I was very impressed. Later that day felt a little light-headed for the rest Ok. The following days mu left arm, where I got the vaccination, was a little sore.

Covid-19 Vaccination card

Thursday felt like summer and I went for a quick spin after work. Rode along the gravel roads of Graves, Boyden and Roaring brook. The dirt roads were all dry and and in good shape. Finished of the ride with an extra loop in town to make it over an hour.

Covered bridge Conway

I had been planning to pre-ride next week's timetrial on Friday after work, but didn't get to it. Both work and chores got in the way. I had applied for a brush burn permit to burn of some branches before the rain that was in the forcast after the weekend. And with the nice weather Paula and I had a outdoor gathering with John and Pamela and sat around the fire.

Saturday was a BIG day of riding. John had created a 78 mile route with in the end more than 10,000 feet of climbing. With my previous biggest ride of the year being just under 50 miles with 5,500 feet of climbing, this was a big progression.

Orange on blue - photo creds John Bayley

The route took us along Leyden north to Vermont and then back to Colrain, hitting steep gravel, gnarly climbs and descends. The vistas were beautiful. It actually got quite warm in the middle of the day, then the combination of the heat and the steep hard climbs started to wear me out. By the time we hit Wilson hill I was absolutely pooped. Could not do more than 160-180 watts, crawling up the hill.

Green river, famous D2R2 rest stop

Then there was one last hill... Patton, which some folks may know from the D2R2 rides. Going up Patton went better as it started to get a little cooler.

Top of Patten Hill, another D2R2 staple

By the time we were done it was passed 5:30pm. The 78 miles, 10,080 feet of climbing and 6hrs and 47min riding time resulted in a TSS of 313. Ouch.

Route and elevation profile of 10,000 feet of climbing

As a result of that big day overshot my target TSS of 520, with a total of 623 for the week. Took a rest day on Sunday...

Here the week in Veloviewer.

Last week's three outdoor rides and run