Final Training and Grooming
With just one weekend left in Cayman before flying to California on Sunday, I thought I should probably simulate a full day’s racing to see how my knackered knees hold up.
Our basic strategy for the race is for each of the guys to do six x one hour solo efforts a day. We’ll split into pairs, with two guys going up the road in the RV for six hours to shower, eat and (hopefully) get some rest, while the other two alternate hours on the road, riding three hours each during the six hour block. The pairs will then switch for a further six hour block, and so on and so on, with each rider doing six hours’ riding at pace every 24 hours.
That’s the plan anyway, so I set out at 5.30am on Sunday for a one hour ride, one hour rest, one hour ride, one hour rest, one hour ride. After a break I repeated the set in the late afternoon / early evening, finishing in the dark at 9.30pm. Apart from being a truly miserable Sunday, all went well. My knees didn’t bother me, and despite hot and windy conditions I managed to ride all six sets at 21mph + while keeping my average heart rate in the 130s. That sort of effort felt very sustainable, and our target pace is “only” 18.3mph, so if I can just repeat it for seven days across the Rockies and Appalachians with almost no sleep I’ll be fine!
In other news, after cycling for six years with (very) hairy legs, I decided that if I can’t ride like a pro I might as well try to look like one. So out came the Veet and off came the hair. The legs feel good, but on reflection I probably should have left myself some more time for tanning!