Rainy Tapering Week

This Friday is the Hot Doggett ride. It’s a big one — over 100 miles and (I think) around 9,000-10,000 feet of climbing. It won’t be challenging as Mitchell or Cashiers, but it won’t exactly be a cakewalk either.

In preparation for the punishment I’ll be taking (inflicting), this is the week I take it easy. I am recycling the same plan I used for Mitchell since it worked well. That time it really showed in my performance and I’m hoping the same will happen Saturday.

I had a relatively hearty ride on Friday and a longer, easier ride on Saturday, for a combined total of nearly 100 miles. I dropped my bike off at the shop for the rest of the holiday weekend and enjoyed some overdue rest. After I picked up my bike on Tuesday, the plan was to do some light riding that evening and Wednesday, with maybe a moderate spin on Thursday and a ride around the block on Friday. It sounds like a lot, but it really isn’t. The plan was to ride an easy 50-60 miles in total during these days just to keep my legs moving without tiring them out.

Needless to say, the rain got in the way. On Tuesday there were some scattered storm pockets in the area, but the group headed out anyway in the hope that we could dodge them. In the early going we were successful. We rode in the fort and the only storm cloud in the area was heading northward away from us. After riding a good ten miles or so, we checked the radar and saw another cloud forming behind us, also heading northward, right into our path. We picked up the pace a little and modified our usual loop in order to avoid the rain. That worked for the moment. We then turned back towards the big loop, business as usual. Since I was in recovery mode, I peeled off to the shorter loop while the others continued on. Almost immediately a light rain started hitting me. I pedaled a little faster, hoping to get out of the storm. As I approached the fort entrance, I had beat the drops for a moment, only to be pelted even harder after exiting the fort. Even though the two-mile ride to my car was damp, I made it without much difficulty. This wasn’t the perfect workout, but it was good enough.

I found out later that the rest of my group got hit with a nasty, torrential downpour. Ugh, hate it for them, but I am glad I took the shortcut home.

Tonight we had big storms and there would have been no dodging them. Ride canceled. Tomorrow looks to be the same. I will probably only be getting yesterday’s light ride and the easy spin on Friday. That should be plenty. In fact, it may be a good thing to go in with fresh legs since I haven’t done much true mountain climbing since Mitchell. At worst, it will take a little longer than usual to get the legs warmed up on Saturday morning, but I have all day for that. This isn’t a ride where I’ll be racing the clock. My only goal is to enjoy myself and finish comfortably.

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