Well today was supposed to be a big training day and it was all of that and a bit more. As those who rode in toronto can attest, the day was not particularly nice, cold to cool, wet, and ohh those cross winds.
As I began my first of three ascents of the hamilton mountain into Ancaster I came across this truism from none other than the man himself - ok maybe it was the sign guy, but I am sure he was working on instructions.
My ride started with 3 repeats of the Ancaster climb with drizzle and cold. Ascents felt fine, descents were not pleasant and not particularly fast as the wind wipped up the hill. Following 3 of these, I made my way through Dundas on the same route we used for the end of season ride. My next stop was rattlesnake. My focus on riding was to keep the watts in the 265-275 range believing that this is what I will need for California to stay with the group. I made it to rattlesnake in reasonable time - about what I thought it would take me which wasn't bad given the wind. Rattlesnake was not particularly quick as dirt and sand was washed all over the road making grip tenuous at best. According to Strava, not a great go of things as it took 3:51, well back of the leader in my age group at 2:53.
I decided after 2 climbs of the snake that I would stop at our coffee shop in milton, grab a coffee and a little reward. By this time I had averaged 277 watts over almost 80kms. Here is my reward.
While I felt good, the worst was yet to come. As I made my way south to Brittania it was clear that the wind was not going to be my friend. Coming out of the north east. meant the entire ride from here was going to face a cross wind, which always makes it feel like a headwind. So i just hunkered down and turned the pedals. But here is where a dumb error at the beginning of my ride and rookie mistakes caught me. I had forgot my bottles at home, which I load with Eload carb and electrolytes to ensure I get quite a bit of feeding from liquids. Now i had been sipping powerade - no real caloric intake. With all of my layers on, and full finger gloves, it was a pain to access my gels and cliff bars, so I didnt reach for them as often as I should have. Well, you know the rest. The power started ebbing and with a constant wind, the ride was becoming arduous, with nobody to take the lead, I just had to grind it out. I got it back to toronto with nothing in the tank but the legs were still feeling reasonable well just nothing else wanted to play. I will not make this mistake in 3 weeks time!
140kms, 1,111m of climbing, 28.2 avg speed, 267 avg watts - this was a butt kicker.