Monday, March 26, 2012

There's gold in them thar hills........

Well, not exactly. On Saturday the Wingman and I made the trek up to Harriman State Park to get some hill riding in. I shot off an email to Wynn to see if he was interested and, sure enough, he was. We picked Wynn up early in the morning and made the ~2 hr drive to Harriman. The last time I rode up there was when I was preparing for Ironman Lake Placid a few years ago. I wanted to go back so we can get some good hill work in prior to Mallorca.

The happy trio made it up to Harriman and we parked in the lot on Seven Lakes Drive (7LD). We stumbled out of the Element and were in the process of getting ready to ride when a large white van pulled up. It captured our attention because it was almost like the clown car in the circus, except this time it was full of Asian hikers. No joke, 12 of them filed out and made their way onto the trails. That image got me through most of the days ("how many asians can you fit into a van?").

We started out on Seven Lakes Drive heading towards Tiorati Circle, but were told we couldn't go up Tiorati Road because it was closed for the winter. Since the park attendant was right there, we decided not to be too arrogant and ride past her. So we doubled back and went down towards Sebago Beach which lead us to Lake Welch Drive (LWD). LWD was also closed, but we went around the barriers and continued with our ride. There is a huge downhill on LWD that you can easily hit >40mph without trying. Since I am such a nervous nelly, I took it easy on the downhills. At the bottom we decided that we would just make the long climb back up LWD instead of turning off this week. Holy cow, what a long climb it was!! The climb was a tough one in that it was 2 solid miles of uphill at ~8% grade. I slowly made my way back up and was overheating like crazy on the way up. My sunglasses were fogging up.

When I finally made it to the top I stopped to grab a quick bite to eat and to pull my knee warmers off. Then we were off again. We made our way back towards 7LD and at the other circle I told the crew to ride up the 106 section as I remembered it had a hill in there. I couldn't remember how long the hill was, but it turns out it was pretty nice. It wasn't quite as steep as the one on LWD, but it did give you a nice break here and there since it wasn't a steady drive. The road condition was much nicer here. We did the nice out and back and met up with Wynn in a parking lot. He had a big grin on his face which meant "Can we do that again?" Since it was anise roadway with beautiful scenery, we road it again. I brought my camera along, but with all the climbing I didn't take too many shots.

By the time we returned to the car to rack the bikes, we logged ~3 hrs of riding and over 3,350' of climbing. We're not too sure about the climbing totals as my garmin and Wynn's device did not jive. But I can say it was quite a bit. I'm not sure the roadway was ever flat.

Overall the ride was great. Wingman, Wynn and I had a good time riding in the park. The scenery was amazing up there. Whenever you felt like the suffering was too much, you just picked your head up and observed nature. There was so much to take in.

On the way home we stopped at a diner for a quick bite to eat. When we got home I grabbed a 30 minute nap, took a shower and then was off to work for a few hours. 

Next week Teresa will be joining us so it should be a blast again. Looking forward to what round two will bring....

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