Funny how things can change in a year.
After work I headed up to my parents' house to get in one last bike ride before Saturday's triathlon. It actually worked out great since my parents live 5 miles from the park where the tri is. So my plan was to bike from their house, go through the park and loop back.
My main goal for the night wasn't to just put miles on the bike. Nope. I was set to reacquaint myself with the cliff road. It's the road I have to tackle within the first mile of the bike. And just in case that wasn't painful enough, I also get to run up it - but at least I also get to run down.
I haven't downloaded data from Gus yet, so I don't have any elevation numbers. But just trust me. You go up. A lot.
Last year the cliff road scared me. It was hard. But I kept pedaling and eventually made it up. The running part? During the triathlon it wasn't pretty. And since I haven't seen the hill since last summer and really haven't been doing a whole lot of hill training, I was a bit nervous to tackle it tonight.
I set out from Mom and Dad's. It's about 7 miles of relatively flat roads from their house to the park entrance. Kept it easy. Didn't push myself too hard. I got to the park and it was go time. That hill? It was going down (or I was going up). I switched into some low gears and started pedaling. I wasn't going fast, but I wasn't stopping either. And I wasn't really struggling. While it was hard, I didn't feel like it was impossible. I knew this hill wouldn't get the best of me. Kept going. Passed another biker who lost the battle with the hill and was walking her bike up the steepest portion. Got to the top and didn't even rest. So much better than last year's experiences with it when it was hard and tiring.
Kept pedaling and pretty soon I was out of the park and at the end of the first road of the bike course. That was my turn around point. I stopped. 9.5 miles in 42 minutes. Not bad considering it felt like it took 5 to 10 minutes to get from the park entrance, up the hill and onto the country road. I stopped, popped a few Sport Beans and I was on my way back.
And as slow as it seemed I was going on the way up the cliff road? Yeah, I was speedy on the way down. I believe I broke 30 mph on the way down. And let's just say the speed limit for cars on that road? It's 25 mph. Can you get a ticket for speeding on your bike? I dunno.
Ride back was uneventful. In all I felt pretty good. Finished 19 miles in 1 hour, 22 minutes. Not really tired when I pulled into my parents' driveway. Makes me feel a bit more confident about this weekend's triathlon. Especially since I know I can tackle that hill and it will seem easier than it did last year.