Saturday, February 25, 2012

Cool Winter Ramble....

Found myself working in the little town of Cool Friday and decided to bring my bike along. I've been training for this: The Arizona Trail Race - 300 and 750 Mile Mountain Bike Races. I'm about five weeks in and it's been a tough five weeks. The training plan is pretty rigid, lots of heart rate this and power zone that.

This week was particularly tough, long 1 hour intervals at a really uncomfortable pace over the course of the past 4 days, but Friday was a screw off slacker day, nothing but riding my mountain bike for 3-4 hours on an absolutely stunning afternoon. I managed to finish up for the day around noon and was off to the Olmstead Loop. Out on the loop you can find your way out to Rattlesnake Bar Rd if you know the way, soon enough I was on my way to the end of the Salmon Falls Trail.

I made my way to the Salmon Falls trail via the trail that heads up from the campground pay station, it's been so long since I've made my way through the campground that I doubt I could find the far end of the trail out there. Salmon Falls fell off as I remembered it, I often ride that trail, but generally as a looong night ride/overnighter from Foresthill, I'ts been a couple of years since I rode that trail in the daytime and it was a really nice treat.
The bridge at Salmon Falls/South Fork Trail

The rugged South Fork of the American River

At the end of the trail I rolled across the street to the South Fork of the American River Trail and proceeded up the switchbacks towards Cronin Ranch. This is a really lovely addition to our foothill trail system and really makes big loops possible. Once again it was just a wonderful day to be out on my bike, up to this point I'd not seen a soul, nice
I finally came across a couple of equestrians about halfway out, a nice exchange of pleasantries was had and I was on my way to the end of the park and Pedro Hill Rd. for the climb back up to Pilot Hill. I really enjoy a nice country back road on my mountain bike, Pedro Hill and Rattlesnake Bar are really nice this time of year with so little traffic.

I made my way back up through the subdivision to the back side of the Olmstead Loop and was off on some of the little known trails of Cool. The conditions were just about perfect as I mad my way along trails that few people know about.
Off trail Trail?
The Locals
The "Cool" stuff
More fun stuff!

The time was getting thin, Mary and I had theater tickets in downtown Sacramento so I motored back into the town of Cool along the paved service road that would have become the road to Auburn had the dam been built.
All in all a most wonderful day!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Counting down the weeks......

Training for the Arizona Trail Race has begun in earnest, I'm five weeks in and the load is starting to get bigger. I doubt I'll be doing CTR or any other out of state race this year, I want to take the time come spring to finalize the California Sierra Trail Race,1732.0.html and probably do an inaugural run in July or August.

I have actually been looking forward to the harder portions of the training blocks which makes doing monster afterwork rides a bit easier. I suppose it would be a lot easier if I had a desk job, recovery would certainly be a breeze, but such is not my life.

Work has picked up and I find myself trying to make work and training compatible. Yesterday was perfect example of how not to do it. I was on the job at 6:30 and worked for a solid 9 hours digging and setting some vinyl fence posts for a large job I have going on right now. I busted ass home to jump on the road bike for a 2-1/2 ride with an hours worth of zone 4 intervals( approx 167-176 BPM for me). The results for me were this, I ran the dog around the neighborhood for the first 20 minutes and then proceeded to bust out a 45 mile 4500' evening in 2 hours and 13 minutes :

Zone 4 intervals on Mosquito ridge by seanallan at Garmin Connect - Details

Not a huge deal, but 45 miles and 4500' of climbing in a couple of hours is a tough afterwork ride which will be followed up by the same thing today, Oh after I bust my ass all day again. Good thing I love my job and love to be outside doing it. Can't wait for Arizona, hopefully I can keep myself healthy and avoid the "Big One"( the big crash that is) this year that has plagued me the past few years.