In the spirit of tradition, and because we've been blessed with gorgeous weather this week, I tried to organize a group ride for the Remembrance Day holiday thursday. I'm lucky enough to get this day off but unfortunately, most of the rest of the world still had to work so the group was smaller than usual. Four of us that had the day off headed over to Kensington Metropark, about an hour over the border, in Michigan. Kensington is a popular training spot for triathletes where I live because it is comprised of continuously rolling terrain.
The weather on Thursday was gorgeous for riding. 50 degrees and sunny and clear. No wind to speak of but the climbing would make up for that. I wore my new Cervelo jersey that Paul got me for my birthday with my lululemon arm warmers. I had the matching bib shorts on but pulled on a pair of tights overtop as it was too cold to have just the shorts on. This ended up being the perfect outfit for the weather of the day.
We rode for three hours and I learned alot about riding hills. I learned to make sure that I kept the weight off of my hands and relax my shoulders. I tend to lean forward with my weight on my arms to "attack" the hill but it turns out that just tires me out easily. Leaning my weight back slightly helped to keep me from tiring out and keep my heart rate down. The end of the ride saw us climb the two biggest hills of the day. On the first climb Pete slowed down beside me to coach me through it. My quads were burning with every pedal stroke and I was slowed to the point of almost falling off the bike. He kept reminding me to keep my head up, relax my shoulders, and keep pedaling. I was down to 8 km/h but as long as my legs kept turning I kept going. I really did not want to get off and walk! My legs were numb from the effort but at the top came sweet relief! The downhill scared the crap out of me. I really have to work on my fear here. I was going so fast that I just felt like I was going to lose control from going over a bumpt. I hit 52 km/h and tapped the brakes. I'm such a chicken! The second hill was worse than the first. A steep climb about twice as long as the first with a curve to boot. Again I didn't think I'd make it and wobbled from going so slow and not being able to feel my legs. I made it to the top though! I was so proud of myself! At the top of this hill was the parking lot where our car was and Paul and Nicole were waiting for us. Paul was surprised that I had made it up without having to get off my bike and I got a big hug from Nicole. What a satisfying way to end a great ride.
A quick change (the restrooms in place were spotlessly clean!) and we were off for some food and drinks. We went to an eco-conscious restaurant in Rochester called Mind Body and Spirits. This restaurant serves locally grown/produced, organic food. They even have their own greenhouse that you walk through to get to the restrooms. We shared some amazing appetizers (bacon wrapped dates - soo good) and drank an organic chilean wine that was delicious. Our meals were really good - I had the fish tacos and for dessert we had chocolate coconut vegan ice cream (made with coconut milk). I would definately go to this place again as there were alot of things on the menu I would have liked to order and the service was great!
I did have to get up for work today but my legs felt surprisingly great! Tomorrow it's an early morning swim followed by some Stateside shopping to spend a "Happy Birthday" coupon I got from DSW. Happy weekend everyone!