The Joy Of Riding Solo

More often than not, I ride with other people.  I like the company.  I feel safer on the roads.  Sometimes I like to be pushed by strong companions.  But once in a while, I like riding alone.

This past weekend, instead of doing the PA 1000k, I went on a five-day trip with my wife Jill to the Berkshires of Massachusetts.  We stayed at a bed and breakfast, saw a Shakespeare play (walked out on Richard III at intermission, due to uncomfortable seating and insufficient plot development), walked a ghost tour of Edith Wharton’s old house and saw the collections at the Clark art gallery and the Norman Rockwell museum.

Even better, I was able to go out between 6 and 7 each morning and ride alone until I joined Jill for breakfast at the B&B about 9.  That gave me between two and three hours each morning.  What a great way to start the day.  I rode over Mount Washington (not that one) to Bash Bish falls the first day, then did the same route in reverse on day 2.  The third day I followed a New York Cycle Club route from their ride library, which is a great resource at  It took me through Beartown State Park.  I struggled up a steep broken road for eight miles, seeing no one, not even a house or a campsite.  All I heard was birds and insects and an occasional larger animal breaking brush, invisible in the overgrowth.

Finally I emerged from the wilderness at Benedict Lake and headed back to the homestead.  As I entered Great Barrington, another rider came up behind and passed me, without a word.  When I caught up to him and said hello, still no response.  Proving that I have not completely matured, I decided to put the hammer down.  I have no idea if he even tried to match me, but soon I didn’t see him anymore.  That was probably the fastest I rode the whole vacation.

The last of the four morning rides was to a small falls outside of Sheffield.  The end of the ride featured about a five-mile descent, not too steep but very pleasant.  I rolled into the B&B feeling exhilirated as usual, ready for the rest of the day.


WEEK  11 hrs 15 min

GOAL 12 hrs 30 min

I really don’t have a strict training plan right now.  I’m kind of doing build/intensity training in preparation for the Sept. 19th Hillier Than Thou Century.  I was on the spinner yesterday doing another one-hour time trial.  I must still have some fitness left because I averaged 232 watts (or 835 kcal), a new high.  To give you some basis for comparison, my best time up Mount Washington (yes, that one) was 1 hour and 29 minutes and I averaged 229 watts then.  Of course, I weighed about five pounds less, too.  The most power I’ve averaged for an hour this year was 240 watts up Whiteface Mountain during the race in June.

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