Monday, July 21, 2014

Great bay for 50 kay

I took last Friday as a prep day for the weekend as I hadn’t been on the ElliptiGo as much as I wanted to this week (due to rain).  I wanted to do a longish ride but not too long with the 100k ride to follow the next day.  I chose a loop around the Great Bay:
Pre-sunrise drive with 80s on 8
I mapped out a loop that would be about 50k (31 miles) which would tie the longest distance I’d yet to ride on the Go.  It looked to be a nice loop with a mix of major roads with bike lanes and very small roads hugging the bay.  There would be a lot of rolling hills but nothing killer.
I got up at 3am and hit the indoor bike (1 hour) and rowing machine (15 minutes) then headed to Stratham.  I timed it so I’d arrive at Stratham hill just before sunrise.  There is a tall observation tower on the hill and I hiked the quarter mile (115’) to the top and arrived just as the sun was breaking through some low level clouds.  There was a nice view of some of the closer mountains in Maine and NH.

I quickly got my Go together and headed out.  I didn’t want to start too late as I wanted to avoid any serious traffic.  For the most part it was very quiet on the loop.  I enjoyed crossing the Piscataqua River on the old bridge that used to be the main bridge (route 16) but is now just a pedestrian/bike bridge.  I also liked the section on the west side of the bay that is used for the Great Bay Half Marathon, it brought back some fond memories (I’ve got to go back to that race!).  The temperature was perfect (low 60s) and there was very little wind which made for a comfortable ride.  I tried not to push too hard knowing I had some tough riding in the near future.

I ended up covering the 31 miles (with 1,034’ of climb) in 1:57:39 or just under 16 miles per hour:
I headed home and got back on the indoor bike for another hour and finished up with another 15 minute row.  Then I tried to REST and get mentally prepared for the long ride.

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