I am now just two days away from my penultimate cycling event of the year. The Tour de Franklin a.k.a. “Halloween Hunard” will be my last ambitious mountain climbing challenge. To be honest, I hadn’t even heard of the event a few weeks ago. It was sort of a whimsical decision to participate. A friend of mine mentioned the ride and there was a registration offer I could not resist. So, here I go again to the mountains. This time there will be a lot of climbing, although not quite as extreme as other rides this year. The grand total should be around 8,500, a big chunk of which will come on a lengthy 10-mile climb.
The most difficult aspect will be the temperature. It is going to be on the chilly side. Scratch that, it will be freezing, blistering cold. I have been watching the forecast all week and the low has ranged anywhere from 25 to 32 degrees. Right now it is saying 27 degrees at 8AM, which is when I’ll be preparing my bike and getting dressed. It will be below freezing when we scoot out. The temperature will rise quick and after a few hours should be a gorgeous day for a ride. But that start is going to be brutal. Needless to say, I am over-packing heavy, layered clothing. I picked up some new winter gloves and heavier socks for riding and packed my shoe warmers, balaclava, and everything else I can think of. This time I won’t be caught off guard.
On the bright side, this will prepare me for some of the winter training I’ll be doing. While I will be spending considerably less time on the bike, we will be planning some occasional ride challenges just to keep the fitness level up.
Since this is the last mountain challenge of the year and I am technically in transition mode, I will not be pushing myself. I could care less how fast I ride. I’ll coast along with the crowd, enjoy the Fall colors, and try to make it up the hills without killing my quads.