Saturday, February 14, 2009

Fort Mountain Training Day

The TrailBlazers AR club hosted a "training" event today up at Fort Mountain State Park. About 30 minutes before my alarm went off (4:45 am to be exact..) I awoke to the sound of thunder as a storm rolled on through. Great... When my alarm went off at 5:15 am, I could still hear drips and rain outside and I strongly contemplated just going back to bed. Knowing I'd never motivate myself to go ride locally, I dragged myself out of bed, got ready, and headed up to Fort Mountain. It was foggy and misting, so we decided to do a running section first. The navigation wasn't very tough and you couldn't see 10 feet from the overlooks, but I just wanted to run on some nice trails. We finished that section in a little over 2 hours and then headed out on our bikes to ride the East-West Loop.

Normally I wouldn't choose East-West for a rainy-day ride, but it sounded better than going down the Pinhoti connector and riding the likely sloppy ATV trails down by the Lake. I was a bit worried that the powerline descent would be slick and nasty, but it actually seemed easier than Thursday, and I was much more relaxed. The trail ended up being in good shape and our bikes were hardly muddy by the time we started the long climb out. The climb was tougher this time around, as I didn't stop on the way up, and my legs were feeling it a bit. I was trying to keep my HR low-ish, which is a bit of a challenge on a 20% grade!

Once we finished that trail we decided to ride halfway down the Pinhoti connector to pick up another checkpoint. The trail was a bit chewed up and muddy and I was NOT looking forward to the ride back out. Once we hit the CP, I had decided to call it a day and just ride back up the hill back to the park. Jay pulled out his maps and was contemplating going for a few more checkpoints... The ride back up wasn't as bad as I had anticipated and I only had to push my bike on two short sections...mostly due to the mud. I've dialed in my steep climbing technique on the S-Works, so I was able to climb some horrifically steep pitches. By the time I returned to my car, it was still misty and still much for AM showers...but I guess Fort Mountain has its own micro-climate being situated at the top of a mountain and all. Anyways, it was a good day and it was nice to feel good on the bike.

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