This summer, Felkerino and I spent the months since the D.C. Randonneurs 600K continuing to log long miles on the bike to prepare for the Endless Mountains 1000K brevet, which starts on August 26. It feels like every weekend has been spent with keeping the bike in good shape, keeping ourselves in good shape, building our mileage base, and trying to climb as many hills as we can in order to be as well-prepared as we can be the day we start the ride.
For the most part, I’ve enjoyed this training except for the lack of sleep, tandem team meetings (only two, though, yay!), 2:30 a.m. getups, flat car tire on Interstate 66 en route to a ride start, lack of reliably good coffee in the country, gas station lunches, neverending heat advisories during our 500K tuneup ride, vomiting, and crying. Yes, other than that, I loved it.
I mean it! Weekends spent exploring the roads around the Blue Ridge and the Shenandoah have otherwise been outstanding.
- I love riding with Felkerino (excellent captain),
- I love our Co-Motion tandem (an elegant bike that fits us both so well),
- I enjoy a bit of night riding (particularly if it actually happens at what I consider night, as opposed to 3 or 4 a.m., which is just ridiculous), and
- I like the challenge of 300K+ distances.
The occasional feeling that I’m rushing from work to riding only to rush right back to work again has been a bit of a challenge, but I realize now that I was getting used to it.
Two weeks ago, we started our taper and entered what Felkerino calls “the quiet period.” Riding miles have been cut back, we are getting lots of sleep, the household chores are being attended to (somewhat), and the weekends have had plenty of downtime.
I liked the quiet period for the first week or two. I rode shorter rides, spent a little time in Rock Creek Park, meandered to Old Town via Gravelly Point, did a weekend ride on the W&OD (gasp!), and even did a few miles on the C&O (until the pouring rain drove me away).
Now the quiet period is making me bonkers! I want to be outside on my bike, taking full advantage of the long summer days. Our training made me feel like I should just be riding or working out whenever I could. More miles equals more prepared! Plus, I liked not doing housework. Housework is not nearly as fun as bike riding.
However, a century ride or more at this point is not the best ride preparation strategy. No, instead we need to
look online to see what long rides our friends or other randonneurs are doing, obsess over training logs to examine and re-examine whether we are ready for the ride, regularly search the web to see what additional randonneur gadget we need, and obsess about the big day as much as possible. rest, relax, and save our energy for the start of the Endless Mountains 1000K.
Felkerino and I have put in a lot of miles (for us) this summer and the quiet period is a reasonable payoff for all that hard work. However, it took me by surprise that I haven’t relished it as much as I thought I would. Lucky for me, the quiet period will soon end, and at 4 a.m. on August 26, 2010 we’ll clip in for a three-day extremely anti-quiet period. I can’t wait!