Sunday, June 07, 2009

Bear Notch Loop

Was hoping to get out and ride again with DEA this weekend but he was busy with work or something like that. I was figuring I was going to be spending my Sunday morning riding solo but at about 9PM Saturday night I got an email saying there was a ride heading out this morning at 8AM to ride up and through Bear Notch. I decided I was better off riding with other folks than alone so I met up with 3 guys and we set off. About 4 miles later we connected with our 5th rider. The pace started off pretty easy as I expected. On of the guys in our group, Sam Anderson, is in college on a cycling scholarship, the others are not. I was riding off the front at the start and all of the suddden this young kid stomps on it and I don't know why, but he dropped me so fast it was stupid. He let up and about a mile later we reconnected. The other three were straggling back some and this was how it was for most of the ride, us two and them three. We'd ride along and then stop and wait to get back together.

Th goal of the ride was Bear Notch. Its a pretty good climb going up almost 1,200 feet in about 4 miles. No let up either, basically one you start up you continue going up til you get to the top.

The ride takes about 21 miles or so to get to the base of the climb and we were there about an hour 20 minutes. We all regrouped and started the climb.

Sam at the base of the climb

Sam stared off in front and I grabbed his wheel. The climb is about 4.5 miles long and averages about 8.5% for the entire time. Sam we keeping a pretty good pace but I was able to stay with him. It had been a while since I had ridden this climb and couldn't remember any landmarks to know where I was or how far I had to go. Sam had his iPod on and I could hear the music faintly over my heavy breathing. I was not sure that Sam even knew I was with him. We got to about the 2/3 mark and he stood up and I thought he was going to make a move but he actually eased up and I rode past him. I think I spooked him. He hopped on my wheel and we rode together a bit further and we came to a scenic vista and he said "want to take a break?"

Vies to the West

I said sure, who knows how much of a lead we had on the rest of our crew at this point. We stopped at a scenic pull-off, had a couple granola bars and talked something we did have in common, shoulder injuries. After comparing war wounds, Tom rode past us.

View to the North

Not wanting to get beaten we both put our helmets back on and started the chase. We caught Tom a bit up the climb but well before the top. I noticed I had a gap on both Tom and Sam at this point and decided it was my chance to get the KOM points. I tried to make a go of it and was able to widen the gap, figuring any minute that Sam would go riding past me. It didn't happen and I hit the top with a few hundred yard lead.

We cruised down the other side a little bit to an overlook to wait for the other two guys. I looked at my watch and realized with all of the stopping and waiting that my hall pass was going to expire before I got home. I told my wife the ride was about 40 miles and I would be home by 11AM, no problem. Well at the top as we waited I saw that it was a few minutes past ten and I was over 23 miles from home. I miscalculated the ride distance by about 8.5 miles, oops.

I told the guys that I had to go, even before the other two had reached the summit. I headed down the descent and was moving along at a nice pace. As I made the turn on the the Kanc, I was hit in the face by a pretty stiff headwind, that probably knocked 3-5mph of the ride pace for that 12 mile stretch but I was able to move right along at about 23mph. It is a fun stretch that you can really go on if you have no wind or a tail wind. With a tail wind you can comfortably ride at 30+ for 12 miles without drafting anyone, pretty cool.

As I made the turn for home and the final 8 or so miles I saw I was going to be about 20 minutes late. I tried to push it as much as I could and kept the pace up the whole way back. I hurried in figuring I was about to be told I was 15 minutes late. We had made plane to leave the house by 11:30. As I opened the door, nobody was home. I checked my phone and I had a txt. They went out to run an errand. Great. I was saved. I hopped in the shower quick and was ready to go by 11:30, just as they pulled in the driveway. Nice.

So the ride ended up being just shy of 50 miles at 48.4 and had almost 2,700 feet of total climbing. Overall pace wasn't too bad considering the makeup of the group and the amount of climbing.

Garmin Edge Summary Data
Total Time (h:m:s) 3:11:44 3:57 pace
Moving Time (h:m:s) 2:50:27 3:31 pace
Distance (mi ) 48.40
Moving Speed (mph) 17.0 avg. 38.4 max.
Elevation Gain (ft) +2,702 / -2,701

Avg. Heart Rate 151 bpm Zone 4.0

Temperature (°F) 66.2°F avg. 69.8°F high

Hope to get out more this week than last. Maye I'll get over to Bridgton and see what DEA's new trails are looking like.



weak and feeble said...

sounds like a good ride! wish I had been there.


Dennis said...

You coulda, sent ya 2 txt messages and called and spoke with your bride Saturday night.