And So It Begins, Training for DALMAC Over Freedom Weekend
DALMAC, at the end of the season, is a grind. Three 100+ mile days followed by a 72 as we take it to the barn. Most days are above 19-mph for an average.
The first day is fairly easy – or, as easy as 100 miles can be at 5:10-ish hours in ride time. The second day is where you’re tested. The second day hurts. Uphill almost the whole hundred and maintaining that pace, a day after we rode a hundred, can be more than a little brutal. The third day, you’re feeling a little better as your body gets over the shock… right up till about mile 90 and The Wall. A quarter-mile at 18% after you’ve climbed 1 to 3% for two miles to get there. I walked my Venge the last eighth the first year but rode every year since (I changed my drivetrain specifically for that hill) because I climbed the first two miles way too fast.
The Fourth of July weekend is tailor made for DALMAC training. We’re staring at a three-day weekend and day one is in the books.
We rolled out to unseasonably cool and cloudy conditions but with barely a breeze as wind goes. I regretted not wearing arm-warmers for the first hour but it warmed up after.
We started out into what little wind there was but it felt like forever before we had the help of the breeze.
The pace was steady and enjoyable throughout and I was feeling quite spectacular.
It was heading home in the last ten miles of our 56-mile ride that I started contemplating, “Why is it we ride our bikes so far?” By this question I mean, we’re out there three hours yesterday… but I never had a dull moment and as we took it to the barn all I could think is “I wish we had another hour to go…”
I’ve got no good answer, my friends. I’ll pass 4,000 miles (6,437 km) for the year today, I’ll be more than 1,000 miles over my pace to hit my yearly goal of 6,000 miles (just wait till August and September, I should be over my goal by the end of September, easy). We ride more than most folks drive their cars… but look at that smile on the face of the old fella up front.
That says all you need to know about “why” right there. Thank you, Sir. May I have another?
PS. When I refer to the Fourth of July as “Freedom Day”, do not mistake that I was referring to our freedom from British Colonial rule. While the Declaration of Independence has much to do with that, I’m thinking bigger. The beginning of the United States of America is based on the Freedom of the People from government. Unlike most other countries the world over. Some have famously complained that this is out of date, that our Constitution is too hard on the government’s efforts to progress. I’d argue that our Constitution is doing exactly what it was designed to do in that regard.