Sunday, July 08, 2007

NOT the Four Horsemen

So Elvis has arranged a couple of psycho, hard core, high tempo, bleeding out your eyes rides. Not something that would work for my training schedule or, to be brutally honest, that I could keep up with (I think bleeding out your eyes is not recommended for contact lens wearers). Didn't stop me from wishing I could keep up with the "big boys" though!

The second Elvis/Four Horsemen epic was to conquer two peaks - Seymour & Cypress. that sounded like a great idea but I had no intention of going Elvis' pace so Teresa and I made our own plans, with directions given to us by Elvis. Luckily Heather (aka Turbo) joined us so we had a rock solid navigator and

We started at Park Royal then Heather took us along bike routes to Dollarton then up Riverside to My Seymour Pkwy. We had a quick stop to doff layers then headed up. The first four-five km were brutal as usual, someone told me the grades are close to 9% in that part. After that, even though it gets less steep, you're so done in from the start that it hurts the whole way. A few km into to the climb we saw a doe, a deer, a female deer (sorry!) on the side of the road munching on a tree. She was unfazed by cyclists, I swear she gave me the "Roadie Head Nod." We heard woodpeckers and grouse further up the hill, very cool.

Time up: about 1:12

Down was more fun than last time (more comfortable with the road), aside from the occaissional idiotic mountain biker trying to ride me off the road.

We went back the way we came to Park Royal then Elvis' route up to Cypress. The turn off Marine Dr. onto 31st was blind corner so I was completely unprepared for the sudden steep ascent. I was yelling behind me to Teresa to gear down so she wouldn't stall like I did. Getting to the highway was probably tougher than getting up Cypress!

I didn't start my watch until we got to the "official start" (where club had started on our Wednesday climb a few weeks ago). I was okay on the first flatish bit but as soon as I ronded the first hairpin bend and hit the hill I was seriously struggling. I was getting a little demoralized, unprepared for how tough the second ascent was. Then realized I was in my big ring and was much happier, although somewhat sheepish, when I geared down.

I saw another deer, a male this time (I passed the buck!) (sorry) just before the picnic area. It was standing in the trees about 50m back from the road, in just the right spot to show off its beautiful rack of horns. We saw more wildlife at the top, although having vultures circling us when we stopped was more disturbing than cool.

Time up: about 1:02 - 4 min slower than the Wednesday hill climb but I was happy with it.

It wasn't my fastest time down Cypress but still a fun ride nonetheless. We then did the boring route back to Park Royal via #1 & Taylor Way.

We then ran from Park Royal along the seawall to Ambleside. I thought this would be a nice long stretch of beach to run on but apparently Ambleside has shrunk since I used to hang out there as a 13 year-old. Still a decent run, even if we had to weave through parking lots and amblers.

We ended the run by hitting the schi-schi-est coffee shop in that side of Park Royal, always fun to do when your grimy and smelly from 6 hours of exercise, and loaded up on food and caffeine.

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