– the blog –

Picnic Training - Week 15

April 21, 2019 to April 27, 2019

Sunday - 1.5 hours bouldering at NE Circuit

Monday - Rest Day

Tuesday - 50 minute swim (2,150 yds) with 5 miles of bike commuting + 1.5 hour bike ride (20 miles, 1654 ft)

Wednesday - 20 laps on Mt. Tabor stairs (2800 ft) and 7.5 miles of bike commuting

Thursday - 1 hour bike ride (16.5 mi, 958 ft)

Friday - 47 minute swim (2,125 yds) with 5 miles of bike commuting

Saturday - 3 cool, windy laps biking to McKenzie Pass from east side with lunch break in Sisters (75 miles, 6,246 ft)

After the previous Saturday's potent combo of Lost Lake biking and skinning up Mt. Hood, our normal Sunday bouldering session lacked oomph. After about 90 minutes of relatively easy climbing, I found my energy levels quite low and decided it was not worth pushing myself much harder. Thankfully my normal rest day is Monday and I recovered well.

The rest of the week was fairly moderate with an additional couple laps on Tabor but mostly keeping the training going in preparation for another hard Saturday.

So, on Friday night we drove down to Sisters, Oregon and camped out at Cold Springs Campground with the intention of checking out McKenzie Pass Scenic Bikeway on Saturday. Plan A was to go across the pass towards Belknap Hot Springs, if it was passable, and do two out and back laps. Saturday morning was quite chilly (33°F) and we started out layered up. By the time we reached the pass, the sun was out and it was reasonably comfortable with a light wind. Unfortunately, the plows had stopped only a few hundred meters beyond the Dee Observatory, so we were blocked by about five or six feet of snow from continuing over and beyond.

Plan B was simply to head back down to Cold Springs, turn around, and do a total of four laps up to the Dee Observatory with a lunch break in Sisters. The second lap was sightly warmer but also slightly windier. Saw a number of additional bikers this time too. We then zoomed all the way into Sisters and enjoyed a nice lunch at Melvin's Market. The wind had definitely picked up and while in Sisters it gusted so hard that it picked up Tina's entire backpack off a table and tossed it many feet away.

After lunch, we started back towards McKenzie Pass. The first 10 or so miles the wind was either nonexistent or a constant, wearying presence. Once we passed the first snow gate though, it started becoming an energy vacuum. Windy Point lived up to its name and wind gusts made steering challenging as our front wheels would try to turn as the wind caught them. The last half mile felt like going straight into a wind tunnel.

We reached the pass and I simply laid down on the pavement to recover. A fourth lap uphill into that wind was out of the question. On the upside, the ride down had a powerful tailwind and it was fascinating how often I was using my brakes to prevent myself from going too fast. So, even with a shorter distance and elevation than planned, this was probably one of our most exhausting days ever. Thanks, wind!!