Going faster in SLO County

Training Run XV Key Data:

  • 93.76 Miles (new Team Springer record)
  • 7 Hours 29 Minutes
  • Top Speed 34.6 MPH
  • Average Speed 12.5  MPH
  • Elevation Gain 5,890 ft
  • Improvement of previous 50 mile best by 16 minutes
Last weekend we headed down to San Luis Obispo to partake in Passover/Easter festivities but did not take a break (that’s this weekend) and brought the bikes down with us. The ALC ride heads right through this area and due to this fact I tried as hard as I could to choose a ride that did not overlap the ALC route. So all signs pointed to heading north, heading north of course meant tackling the Cuesta Grade of the Santa Lucia Mountains on 101, a 4 mile long ascent of 7% average grade. Later I would discover this is roughly equivalent to a TDF Category 2 climb. Huffing and puffing up the side of a highway over a 4 mile climb is interesting to say the least. You can see said climb in the elevation graph below, it would be the giant massive spike heading up to the 10 mile mark.

If you are actually looking at that graph you will also note that this ride was not flat in any way and nearly 3/4s of the way in we ascended the Santa Lucias again on rt. 41 heading to the ocean town of Morro Bay. But first, the jagged section in the middle! Here’s the thing… San Francisco is not a warm place, minus that one week in October, and I’m pretty used to heading out in wet, foggy, 50 degree weather. San Luis Obispo is not these things and even at a measly 70 degrees, the heat was absolutely killing me. At some point in the middle of our loop around Santa Margarita Lake I started to overheat massively while in a short climb, like bright-red face and throbbing pulse overheating. Once I got to the top of the hill, I got off the bike, laid it down on the side of the road, took off my helmet, laid the helmet on the side of the road, and started to pace (and swear) while contemplating (mostly swearing) and thought about ways to cool down (more swearing). Leah met up with me a couple of moments later and after realizing that I was not in any mood to talk, pedaled away while I prepared myself to continue (by swearing). We both downed our two water bottles and fortunately were able to resupply ourselves in Atascadero with fluids. The country side was nice though and I managed to sneak this shot from the saddle of Leah in Ranch country.

Ok now back to the Santa Lucia Mountains. After we had crossed them (again) on rt. 41, Leah says “Let’s do that thing where we go fast and cover ground quickly.” So we did that and next thing I know we are setting a 17 MPH pace down to Morro. As we turned on to Los Osos Rd. to head back to San Luis Obispo Leah took the lead to set a pace. After a minute or two, and a couple of upshifts, I noticed that we were really cranking on the flats back to town. I was a little surprised when I looked down and noticed that we were cruising along at a 23 MPH average. What a great way to end a 90 mile ride! To make it even better, when I woke up the next day a) I felt exceptionally undamaged from 90 miles of riding and b) I got to spend time with family.

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