The weekend was stacked with a lot more than it should have been to make for a relaxing weekend, but c'est la vie. It began with a Saturday morning singletrack ride - first for the year - to capture the dirt while it was still frozen with temperatures in the low 20's. Yup. This was my first chance to get out on the dirt due to the long and harsh winter that included snow pack and ice pack on the trails. I don't recall a previous winter where I wasn't able to get out on frozen dirt a few times.
I was quickly reminded that in spite of all the work I have been doing on the LeMond trainer and on the road bike, producing the power needed for the short power climbs in singletrack is always an eye opening experience the first time you are laying down 170 - 180 bpm of the old ticker with the legs and lungs screaming back in pain. In short, I have a ways to go to come into shape for this racing season!!!! And it all starts this weekend in Omaha...
Needless to say, I worked up a sweat even though the temperature was 23 degrees. I finished just as the trails were starting to get soft from the from the sun hitting patches and melting the freeze/frost. The window of opportunity to ride on the weekend was created by temperatures getting so cold over night and providing frozen ground with early morning hours perfect conditions. But that window shut quickly at about 10 AM as the sun started to melt the surface.
The Dos Niner was starting to get some mud splattered on it, so I pulled off the trail...
There were several others out as well taking advantage of the small window of early morning opportunity. I encouraged one rider that the window had closed and not to enter the Riverside trail.
I rushed home from the ride to take a quick shower before driving up with Tara to Des Moines for a luncheon meeting to talk about singing in the High Holy Days this fall. After the lunch meeting, we drove right back to Indianola for meeting number one with the H&R Block tax office. That meeting didn't allow us to get everything done in one hour as we had some issues to take care of with the 2012 return. We had to leave after an hour due to another client and set up a Monday evening meeting. The good news is an adjustment in what I paid for 2012 got cut way back to us only owing $27 to the IRS which is a way less than I paid. So a refund is coming for 2012 from the IRS and the state of Iowa. 2013 will be decided tonight after we run all of the numbers. After the tax meeting, we buzzed over to Hy-Vee for shopping.
When we got home, I got on the fire truck red Roubaix for a 2nd ride of the day on gravel to get my miles and duration in and to work out the legs from the singletrack eye opener. The legs were cooked, but I worked out the kinks and got a good 50 minutes of gravel in before getting out of the cold, blustery wind. After delicious kebabs for dinner, I don't really recall too much outside of watching some movies and falling asleep from the day's grind.
Sunday involved a very early morning frozen bike ride (18 degrees) again on singletrack to adjust to the reality of pushing myself harder off road and complete the 2 week training block of stressing my system. I was pleased with the dramatic improvement from 24 hours earlier, and once again got my miles in before things started to turn soft on the trail. I finished up with 30+ more minutes on gravel where some idiot in a white car approached me from head-on, and as he got close to me - he purposefully swerved way over to try and graze me even though I was riding on the edge on my side of the road. WTF!!!! That was a close call for me and a reminder there are crazies/idiots out there no matter where you are - pavement, or gravel. Between that and the dogs wanting to chase me, it was more of an event than I wanted. I buzzed back over to the car, loaded up and drove home contemplating what I had just experienced.
The RIP 9 got a bit of mud on it, but it was so cold the frozen chunks on the frame easily popped off when touched.
I was done before breakfast, and then we took Alexa back to Iowa City since her Spring Break was finished. I-80 was bumper to bumper as usual on a nice sunshine filled day. We caught the Iowa State vs. North Carolina game and enjoyed the dramatic win. Exhausted, I simply fell in bed again wiped out from the weekend. And I didn't even get several things done over the weekend that I was hoping to get done.