80 miles was the order of the day. I started early and was on the road by a little after 5am. I had thought about the route and instead of doing an out and back along Pacific Coast Highway I decided to throw in some hill work and ride a familiar square and add a short PCH out and back to top up the mileage. It was dark and cold when I left, the darkness was gone a lot earlier than the cold and my layering included a windjacket, tights, feet warmers and winter gloves, and I needed then all, the first downhill was bracing with tears streaming from my eyes as I grimaced in the dark. As I rode further out of town I went to check my back light and realized it was missing, I still had a least another hour to dawn and so I took the light off my handlebars (which was white) set it to strobe and mounted it facing backwards on my seat stem, this left me a headtorch and a small “to be seen by” not “to see with” light at the front end, Other than being pissed about losing the light I wasn’t too worried about seeing as I knew I had 10 miles of climbing ahead and by the time I got to top the sun would be up. An hour later I was at the top and the sun was setting the sky of fire as it blazed through the thin cloud on the horizon, see above.
I had been noticing that as I got higher and closer to the ocean the wind had been picking up and as I started the descent I was being buffeted across the road, from heavy sidewinds and then I encountered a headwind that actually slowed me down as I was going downhill! The wind was going to be a feature and mostly in my face what ever direction I followed for the next 45 miles, bleeding my average speed from 16mph to a pedestrian 13mph, and where only two weeks ago I was averaging 17mph! I pushed out for 9 miles on the out and turned around heading back south along PCH enjoying the rolling road when I wasn’t being blown from side to side or to a virtual standstill, finally after two hours I had covered the PCH section and turned into the final climb through Topanga Canyon, a mile into the Canyon the wind dropped and I was able to make good speed, speed is relative when you on a 10 mile climb, but I felt good and kept my cadence up. I had one eye on the clock, as always, as the decrease in average speed had meant a slower than anticipated journey time. I topped out 50 minutes later and enjoyed the 2 mile descent the other side. Five miles after that I was home and enjoy eggs, bacon, Belgium waffles fresh coffee and a liberal handful of RecoverEase!
I seem to be destined to not quite make the distance on these long rides and this week was no exception coming up four miles short; but I’ll take it, I easily had the missing four in my legs and in fact, time notwithstanding, I could have gone on for another 20 or so.
So the final tally was 75.77 miles. 6:04 total time, 5:48 saddle time and a smidge under 8000' of climbing, my average pace sucked due to the wind, a fact that was reinforced in the short periods of time when I was out of the wind. On the way round I got through 4 gels, 2 packets of Cliff ShotBlocks and a Cliff Kid's Bar as well as over 60oz of fluids.
I have one more long ride next week and then I switch up to weekly long runs. No significant photos this week but here’s the MotionBased data: