This week, I decided to change things up a bit. Instead of doing leg strength training and Tabatas on Tuesday, I did them on Monday, hoping I would have more energy for the hill climb on Tuesday. It partly worked; the next day, my legs still felt a little heavy. I was able to complete the Tabatas; at 375 watts, not at my usual 400 watts.

Epic KOM

In the hill climb, we went up the Epic KOM, a medium-long climb. My best time has been 23:51, but this time I did it in 26:34. Based on my best 20-minute effort in the climb, my FTP was 253. That is more than 30 watts lower than last year. Yikes.

After these hard efforts, I needed a bit of a break the next day, so I did an easy workout on the trainer, a 40-minute spin.

Field along the South river

On Thursday, Paula and I walked for about 2 miles through Conway, some of it along the South River. When we came home, I did a 40-minute endurance pace workout.

Openers crossing the South river

For the race on Saturday, I did my regular openers on Friday afternoon. Just after I left the house, I ran into Dusty. He was testing out his new super light bike. After the warmup and some VO2Max efforts, I did 3 sprints. My right pedal clicking in had improved, so the starts felt faster. Another peak of 985 watts for 1 second.

The start of the last race of the season, Iceweasels, was not quite how I had imagined it, for multiple reasons.

Ice Weasels from the backseat

First, when I was driving on I-93, I heard some rattling sound from the back of the car. By the time I had a place to stop, I was at a Wendy's parking lot in Westfield. And what I was worried about was true; the left rear wheel nuts were loose. I had swapped the winter tires on the week before and must not have tightened them enough. While I was checking it out, someone in a pickup truck saw me looking at the nuts and mentioned he had the right tool at home, a 5-mile drive away. I was in a bit of a pickle as I really did not want to wait too long to be in time for the preride, warmup, and race at 11. So while he was away, I tried tightening the nuts with a big plier from my bike toolbox, but when I tried to drive the car, it was still making a noise, so I went back. When the good Samaritan came back, it turned out his wrenches did not fit, darn. So I decided to take the pliers and take off all the nuts and reseat the wheel. Once I tightened up the nuts, I could drive again. While waiting for the Samaritan, I had called Paula and asked her to bring my wrench and nut adapter.

Definitely needed a drink after all these mishaps

Second, when I arrived at the course event and got ready for my course inspection, I realized I had forgotten my helmet. So I called Paula again, who was now underway with my fat bike, my wrench, nut adapter, and asked her to turn back and pick up my helmet, and nice as she is, she did. In the meantime, I was able to borrow a helmet from my NCC teammate Jonathan, who had just finished his race. And with that, I was able to do the preride. Colin, the organizer, had done another awesome job by creating this great course, with a great addition since last year: the Gravity Cavity. Basically, a 15-foot drop and immediately back up. The first time I hit it, I thought, "Oh sh**," but it was actually fine.

The fun Gravity Cavity section 📸Jeff Dieffenbach

Third, after a great start at my first race (9th) in the Killer Bs 45+/55+, I took a bad line about halfway through the first lap and ended up sideways, getting hit by another rider. I was able to get back on the bike, but afterwards, folks started to pass me left and right. I thought I had blown myself up, but when cleaning the bike the next day, it turned out I had severe brake rub. The crash had bent my wheel, causing it to rub severely against the frame. Ouch. So while I was not very competitive and suffered my way through the race, I had fun trying to ride the technical features such as the stairs and the log. The skinny (a 2x4 across two barriers) I left for the Fat bike race later. In the end, I finished 35th out of 52 in both categories, and 18th out of 29 in the 55+ category.

Riding the skinny on my fat bike

I hung around for the Fat bike race, which went much better. I finished 8th despite the regular late afternoon Iceweasels craziness. At some point, I had to stop taking fireball hand-ups, as I was worried I could not drive back anymore. I only got 1 beer hand-up, and a piece of cheese, which was surprisingly hard to swallow. Again, I rode all the features, which were much easier on the fat bike, and rode the skinny once. Comparing the lap times between the races, they were on par. That surprised me at first until I realized the brake rub.

Between the races, I also tightened my car wheel nuts, as well as the ones on Paula's car. People were looking a little funny at me doing this at a bike race. I also had a chance to test out my new bike washer. Really, a 2-gallon Garden Pump Pressurized sprayer. It worked okay, it got rid of most of the dirt, but the clay-like sand needed a little more power.

The next day, I spun out the legs with a quick 40-minute spin on Zwift.

This week on Veloviewer

Ice weasels openers, course inspection, warmup, race and Fat bike race