It's not too often
that I get excited about doing a training ride in the rain, but last night and this morning I couldn't wait to get out and ride, in the rain that is. We planned a 2 hr. cyclocross ride in and out of the nursery roads around East Painesville, Perry and Madison. There are plenty to ride too, lemme tell ya. Lots of sand, gravel, dirt, mud, sharp corners and lots of power sections, good cyclocross training roads and good training overall for the conditions to come later this fall.
Tony and I headed out just after 10:00 this morning in the rain. We were pretty wet already by 1 mile out, but at least it wasn't 55 degrees, it was pretty warm. We got to the first nursery at just past 2 miles and the fun set in immediately. Sandy mud about 2-3" deep and lots of it. HR pegged about 1/4 mile into the first road trying to simulate Broadview Heights' soccer field. Each section of hard to ride through stuff I would try to imagine a section of a race course that I have done that I could compare it to, it was pretty motivating actually. We rode the hard to ride stuff hard, and worked on jumps and technique in the corners. We had to jump out on the road to transition from nursery to nursery and then we would recover until the next set of nursery roads. We rode 5 different nurseries and then decided to head to the Outdoor Y and get a few laps in there before we rounded out the 2 hrs.
We got to the Y, jumped into the upper set of trails and rode to the back of the facility, came out into the clearing and noticed they were having a major soccer tournament back there. there were tons of cars there and talk about tearing the place up with all the mud, it was insane. Between the guy parking cars in the muddy grass areas and the muddy soccer fields that place is going to be a mess for quite a while, and to think they won't allow a bike race there only once a year because they claim it will tear the grounds up.........I don't know.......... Needless to say we didn't stick around there very long.
From the Y we rode to the local elementary school that is 1 mile from our house (the opposite way as the nurseries) that we have a little cross course designed there. We rode 2 hard laps and that put us at 1:55, perfect, 5 minutes to get a nice easy cool down spin home and then start the clean up process. Actually with the amount of road we did, the bikes weren't all that bad. The standing water on the roads washed most of the nursery grime off.
Great ride today and all of it was in the rain and crappy conditions, I sure hope that I can get this excited about racing in these conditions!