Mud Season Training
March 19, 2006
It has been a long winter in New Hampshire and it is time for me to start training for the 1000 mile bike ride I am planning to take in June. The weather is colder than normal for this time of year (mid to upper 20's during the day) and as always windy (20 mph).
The roads are clear because we haven't had much snow and I have done a few rides on my Longbikes Slipstream but I'm looking for more of a challenge. I 'm planning to start the season by riding the dirt roads on my Cross. It is a very different experience than the recumbent and works different muscles. But it is also harder and I'm expecting this work will help build a stronger riding base. The cross has 700C wheels and is fine on good dirt roads but definitely isn't a mountain bike. It is what I ride when the roads are messy or the bike that I lend to friends when they visit.
Sunday, it was sunny but cold and windy (28 F and 20 mph). Looking out the windows of my home everything looks great but outside the wind has a bite. But I have a bad case of cabin fever so I'm off to Bear Brook State Park. It's the largest State Park in New Hampshire and it's only 30 minutes away. The park is know for its bicycling trails.
I arrive just after lunch and the weather is bright and clear but I forgot the trail map. No problem I'll just stay on the loop road. I ride the loop road and it take about an hour to ride the 7 mile loop. Most of the road is dirt but it is frozen and the Cross has no problem except for a short section that is covered by ice. I can tell it is nippy because the water in my bottle freezes and and the front of my legs are cold.
The first hill is tough for me. I pass a group of Mountain Bikes and complain about what this diamond frame is doing to me. But it is great to be out riding and I finish the 7 mile loop in about 56 minutes. The forest has broken the wind but hums with the sound of the wind in its branches. It is beautiful but I am ready for a warm shower. This is a great way to start the bicycling season.