Sunday, December 23, 2007

Riding at Lake Placid

We had the best of intentions for riding the trail yesterday. The weather had warmed up considerably in the last few days, and the snow from last weekend's dumpfest was getting scarcer and scarcer. We spent most of the morning at the house waiting for a FedEx package they had been trying to deliver, inexplicably, at the exact same time, three weekdays in a row. It reminded me of the joke, "What's the definition of insanity?" "Doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result."

Luckily, since it was Saturday, we were finally able to retrieve the package, which made me especially happy since it was apparently a present for me. Note to online businesses: If you are going to require a signature when a package is delivered, it is best to warn the purchaser ahead of time. Note to FedEx: Don't check "final attempt" on the door tag if it is not the final attempt. This causes the deliveree to have to call the FedEx 800 number several times and upon not being able to get through, drive to what he thinks is the "main" FedEx location in the area, only to find out it is not the correct location, then have to return to the website tracking mechanism the next morning, only to be confused and bewildered to find out that the package is "out for delivery," and so to have to call the 800 number again and find out the package is indeed out on the truck again and wait around all morning for the truck to show up.

Okay, now that that's taken care of, back to the stuff that actually has to do with riding. We drove out to Rose Lake, marvelling at the fact that it was 40 degrees out and would be a much warmer ride than last weekend's. Chris hit the trail first and came back several seconds later to let me know the ride was not going to happen. Being the obstinate sort I am, I had to try for myself, only to set my own personal record for soonest crash after arriving at the trail. There was still enough snow on the trail to make riding impossible. Due to its slushy nature, it was all we could do to get one revolution out of our tires before sliding off the trail. Chris commented that we should have brought our hiking shoes, which would have been a great idea, but it was too late.

Now I realize that my hero, Alaska Jill, rides in these types of conditions all the time. However, there is the fact that the very race she's training for could turn out to contain these sorts of conditions, whereas that is extremely unlikely for summer mountain bike racing in Michigan. For us, I think actual riding is much more beneficial than hike-a-bike, so we headed home to the trainer.

Now here's where Lake Placid enters the story. Our newest Coach Troy DVD is from the "On the Road with Coach Troy" virtual reality series. Each one consists of Coach Troy riding outside and switches between his helmet cam and a camera following him. He talks pretty much non-stop through the entire DVD, but there is much less gear shifting. This particular DVD is 3 hours in length.

We had some hours to make up from Friday. In an unspoken agreement, we arrived home from work, sat around in the living room watching t.v., and did nothing else all evening. We never agreed not to ride the trainer, but neither one of us even brought it up. However, I think we both knew we'd have to make it up on the weekend. We were also scheduled to ride for an hour and 20 minutes on Saturday as regular training. So, we ended up doing about 2 hours of the DVD before stopping. We didn't do the whole thing because we were tired, my toes were hurting and we wanted to save something for today's ride.

The DVD was actually really enjoyable. It follows the route of the bike portion of the Lake Placid Ironman Triathalon. We're not sure if it will continue to be less boring than our other DVDs when it is no longer new and novel, but I guess we'll find out.

Today we're supposed to try another team training ride. We're trying out a trail down in Jackson at Ella Sharp Park. If the trail isn't rideable, we're meant to use the paved bike path as a backup. Chris is normally pretty anti-bike path. He thinks they're really boring, which is often true, but I feel that riding outside on the bike path is preferable to riding on the trainer for the fifth day this week and he agreed. If anyone would have told me two years ago that I'd ever want to ride my bike outside in the winter, I would have said they were crazy, but riding the trainer, though very useful, is an easy way to get cabin fever. Right now it's pouring rain, but according to the forecast it's supposed to stop raining and cool down before our ride, so I'm hoping it doesn't get cancelled again. Keep your fingers crossed!

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