Sunday, March 18, 2012

Foggy Glenwood Hills

The plan was for Ross and I to meet at the shop at 6am and go do a 50-60 mile gravel ride. A couple of things happened that changed those plans one the wind wasn't coming out of the right direction for the route we had planned and two somebody slept in. So instead of riding gravel we jumped on the road bikes and headed towards Glenwood.

Things were a bit sketchy when we left the shop. It was still dark out and when the sun started to rise we found ourselves riding through some dense fog. Not the safest conditions to be riding on a busy highway, but we needed quality miles. To add to the fog there was a stiff headwind on the way out, if we were to paceline we would have made some better time, but when Ross and I ride together we see it as a sign of weakness if the other needs to be sucking wheel.

If your not familiar with West Central Minnesota, we don't have many hills, it's not flat but the hills our power rollers. Glenwood is the exception, the climbs are not world class and would probably be considered rollers in areas with actual hills, but for us we find our versions of Alpe d Huez, Gavia, and the Tourmalet. Once we got to Glenwood the real fun began, first up was the East Climb. This short little beast has an average grade of 9% with a max of 19%, great climb to rip your legs off on. After that we went over to Snake hill (Pamida) this ones a real leg burner, average grade is about 5% with a max of 17% all over a mile. Ross couldn't handle my Contador-esque accelerations and I danced up to the summit alone. Next we head over to the Golf Course Climb and Don Dero Climb. These are short but steep, and again my light 250lbs body danced on the pedals and left Ross in the dust. Next up THE Glenwood hill...

The Glenwood hill isn't the steepest but it's a grinder. The top of the hill is always staring right at you and unlike the other hills in Glenwood that have some real steep sections to break up the climb, the Glenwood hill keeps a constant grade of around 7-9%. I felt pretty good climbing, but I had a pretty easy week. Ross on the other hand was struggling, but according to him it was a high intensity training week.

Once we crested the Glenwood hill it was a tailwind all the way back to the shop. We had two more unexpected stops, one for some Gatorade, and the other to fix a flat. Having the wind at our backs we were able to set a pretty good pace without having to work to hard. Next week were aiming for a longer gravel ride 60+. Good news the Bike and Fitness Company Weekly rides have started so if you're in the area Tuesday Night Sprints and Thursday night social road leaves the shop at 6pm sharp. So get out and ride you bike.

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