The PA Hawk Mountain 200k: Hanging With A Good Group

The start of the Hawk Mtn climb, you end up crossing over the (Georgia to Maine) Appalachian Trial, originally uploaded by Shane Beake.

The last couple of weeks before a target event are always tricky. On the one hand, you can’t do much in those two weeks to improve your readiness, but on the other hand, you can do a lot to hurt it.

Shane B. and I decided to ride the Hawk Mountain 200k yesterday, eight days before the Hillier Than Thou century. That’s me on the paceline above, second from the back. Shane is behind the camera. The other guys in the picture are Bill F. (back), Matt F. (second from front) and Don Jagel (front).

That picture was taken at the foot of Hawk Mountain, the big climb on the ride at two miles and 8 percent grade. It was a tough climb and a tough course. For most of the ride, Shane and I rode with a group that included Bill and Matt. For the first 50 miles, Doug H. was the fifth rider. Doug dropped back due to mechanical problems and Guy joined us for the last half.

This was a very strong group. The only rider in front of us was Don, who stayed there without needing to draft anybody else. I didn’t have the use of my power meter, so I can’t give actual numbers, but I felt like I was riding well, comparably to the Hawks Nest 200k of July 31st. Then I finished in 8:31. Yesterday Shane’s and my unofficial time was 9:00 even. This course seemed harder, which would explain the slightly slower time.

The other guys in our group are all very strong riders, so I felt it was an accomplishment to hang with them for nearly the entire ride. We ended up a few minutes behind at the finish when Shane got a flat with about 12 miles to go.I felt like this ride was a good dress rehearsal for Hillier.

WEEK 13 hrs 54 minutes

GOAL 12 hrs

This was the last of three build/intensity weeks. I will essentially be doing a rest week this week, with shorter endurance pace rides plus a 30-minute threshold workout on the indoor spinner. Then my last big event of the year, Hillier Than Thou, on Sunday.


Leave a Reply

You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>