2012 was my best year cycling.
I set out to force myself to get better at climbing—I really sucked—and while I am still not a great climber I am much stronger. I have records going back to 2007 and I am my stronger now in every measure.
To get stronger I targeted my training at two events: the Double Triple Bypass (two days of 120 miles and 11,000 feet of climbs over three mountain passes) and the Eastern Mountain Tour (1750 miles, 17 days, 130,000 feet of climbs).
I did the first day of the Double Triple Bypass but riding down the mountains in the rain exhausted me and I wimped out and didn’t ride the second day which also would have been largely in the rain.
The Eastern Mountain Tour was very hard; much harder than I expected (an 8 of 10) and I had to be pulled forward (ride in the truck to the next rest stop) a couple of days to meet the times. Those days I was pulled forward were 12,000 feet climbs and 120 mile ride days and in September in the Eastern Time Zone there just wasn’t enough daylight for my pace. By comparison, the Triple Bypass took me 11 hours.
I am quite satisfied with my riding in 2012. I rode 8,866 miles and trained (which included yoga, Pilates and weight training) 747 hours. I finished the 2012 several pounds lighter than anytime since I went to graduate school in the late 1970’s.
My training plan for 2013 is the same as 2012. Two days a week of high-intensity interval training, one hard day usually twenty-minute tempo-paced intervals, one long day either 2.5 hours outside or a 1 hr tempo trainer ride, and an easy day. As the weather warms the long ride increases to 150 miles, the hard ride becomes a major climbing day building to 12,000 feet of climbs, and high-intensity rides become climbing power intervals. Eventually I drop the intervals and just climb mountains especially the steep ones.
This year I am planning on two events and maybe a third.
The first event will be either the Ride the Rockies (RTR) or Bicycle Tour of Colorado (BTC). The route for the RTR won’t be announced until February and there is a lottery for the 3,000 slots. The BTC route is announced and it is a good, not great, route. It does go over Independence Pass which is always fun if you have police insuring the cars don’t crowd you off the edge. I will wait for the RTR route to come out to decide.
The second event will be the Double Triple Bypass. I have already signed up for it although again there is a lottery for the 1000 slots. But last year there was no problem getting a slot as most riders (2500 of them) think going one way is plenty.
If I do a third event it will be half of the Southern Transcontinental that I did in 2008. I really don’t like being gone for a month. This ride from San Diego to Amarillo is 12 days and 1,275 miles and is at most a 6 of 10. I really like riding with the group that runs this ride and want to make this ride but it is a long time to September and a lot can happen. And, three fitness peaks is a lot harder than two and riding either the BTC or RTR extends the peak season by a month. I won’t decide until this summer on the third event—but it has been 5 years since I did this ride and I really would like to do the western half.