Recovered after a week of no racing, I was back at it again at Secret Squirrel.

Monday, I spun the legs out on a trainer for 45 minutes. A good way to get the blood flowing without fatiguing.

Tuesday ran the shorter 2 mile loop, followed by some leg strength training. After work I raced in the NCC Zwift time trial. This time we did the UCI Worldseries route in Richmond. The loop is 10.2 miles, starts out pretty flat, but then had some venom in the tail, with 3 steep short climbs at the end.

10.2 UCI World series section highlighted in grey, notice the 3 climbs at the end

Since I was curious to see how my body would react to a harder but controlled effort, decided to first keep my heart rate below 160 bpm and started with a sweetspot pace on the flat section. Then at the three climbs I ramped it up to 350-400 watts until my heartrate hit 165 and then eased it up to stay below that number. I finished the time trial in 26:24, not my best time, but 5th overall.

Here the stats for the TT segment

Since I was going to race my Fat bike, on Wednesday decided to take it for a training loop in the woods. Since it is hunting season I put on my reflective PBP vest, to not be mistaken for a deer. With this vest I should be safe as long as they are not hunting randonneurs. I started with two 1.2 mile loops. Each began with a steep climb and then some tricky descends. During the descend I saw a hunter's four-wheeler, but not the hunter, he probably saw me... I then did a few loops in the yard to to practice more steering.

Fat biking on the Conway trails

Thanksgiving morning I went for a ride with John and Pamela, a short 20 miler, to start building up the appetite. So we are chatting along and then on Conway rd I crash on some loose gravel in an off camber corner. After the dust settled, we made an inventory of the damage: hole in my tights, jacket and sweater. Scrapes on my right knee, hip and elbow. John noticed I broke my left shifter, which was a little surprising as I fell to the right. That was a bit of a mood downer. We were able to ride back home, but not on the more adventurous dirt road John had in mind.

(Black) Friday was a wet day, so I did my openers for the CX Secret Squirrel race Saturday, on the trainer.

I signed up for two races at Secret Squirrel: the Sports 50+ at 11:30am and the Fat bike race at 2:30pm. The course was awesome, a nice combination of technical, hard efforts and cool descends.

Secret Squirrel 50+ race first lap (photo Michael mcGabe)

The first race was over after 1 lap. My chain kept dropping. First conclusions were that the one-by chainring was worn.

Caption this... (Photo Michael mcGabe)

At home, a closer inspection, seems to indicate that the freewheel hub is stuck, causing chain suck, which pushes the chain of the chainring. John and Jason agreed with that assessment, time to clean up. Update: John opened up the rear hub and as expected was filled with mud. The  bearings were shot and the housing had cracks. New wheel?

Before and after cleaning. John's photo on the right shows damage on the housing.

That left a lot of energy for the 2nd race, the fat bike race. This was the first fat bike race I participated in. We started together with the single speeders. My start was not great as I had it in a too low of a gear and then shifted up to quickly causing the chain the choke.  I was 3rd at the holeshot. But then I worked my way up to 2nd place and stayed there they entire race. In the end I finished 18s after the winner.

Cornering with the fat bike (photo Katie Busick)

On the Fat bike the course was even more fun and with its momentum and fat tires was able to ride every feature: the steep bank with the crazy looking root at the top, the sandy dune climb, the logs and the even higher bank where all the specators were hackling.

Jumping the log (Photo Katie Busick)

Cool thing was that Leone and Patria from Ride Studio Cafe were also racing their Fat bike and we cheered eachother on during the race. My first podium spot this year with this 2nd place finish.

Here the week on VeloViewer:

Fat bike cross practice and gravel ride in Conway, races at Secret Squirrel, Raynham MA