This weekend it was finally nice enough to ride outside. The snow ruined any mountain biking for week because the trails are still melting and will take a while to dry out. My brother came home for the weekend, and he always pushes us to ride longer and harder, which is both a good and bad thing. The weird thing about this weekend was the bike choices. I rode my normal road bike. My brother, Heath, decided to ride his hardtail mountain bike, and my dad decided to ride his road bike that is setup with bigger wheels for more rough terrain and is a 1 by 10. All in all, we looked odd riding together, and my road bike was the heaviest bike.
The biggest problem outside was the wind. When you ride inside on a trainer, you are not exposed to the elements and real world. You get used to low stress and little handling. You don’t have to worry about cars, turns, potholes, wind, puddles, traffic lights, or anything else. And it was pretty windy this weekend, giving us what felt like mostly head winds. The best thing about riding for real outside is the changing scenery. This gives you something to look out, which really helps pass the miles with ease.
On Saturday, we did one of our normal loops, clocking in about 45 miles. This ride took us through Crofton, Davidsonville, and Annapolis before heading home. We rode through some nearby farm lands, which is full of nice rolling hills. My favorite part of this ride is when you ride past all the old, beautiful farm houses full of so much character. When we took the turn for home, I opted for the easy way home that didn’t take us up terrible hills. I didn’t drink enough or eat anything. I just didn’t think I could make it through that part of the ride well. The boys were disappointed because they love to hear my whine.
On Sunday, we wanted to get a long ride in, and decided to ride from our house back towards Ellicott City. We rode the B & A trail from our house that way to meet Ron, one of our family friends that we bike with all the time. Then, we headed even farther west on Frederick Road where the hills just rolled and rolled. I knew I needed to keep up on my water and food as I biked knowing we were going for five hours. I had one bottle of Gatorade to help encourage me to drink. It can be really hard to drink when it isn’t hot, or even warm, outside. Heath and Ron really pushed the pace, making us work extra hard, leaving my legs with a nice burn by the end of the ride. We ended up with 70 miles at the end of this ride, a nice way to end the weekend and start my week!
We have some nice rides planned for the rest of the week to clock as many outdoor miles as we can. We have my first NUE race planned at the end of April in Cohutta for the Big Frog 65, and I want to be in good shape for it!