The weekend involved some good rides. I knew I was pushing a bit hard last week becuase the muscles started to hurt a bit and felt a little depleted on the Thursday ride.
On Saturday I was super fresh after a full day off on Friday. I started off with an ascent up Mount Majura on the road. This climb is a steady 9-10% on a realtively rough road that winds through the trees of majura. The road is fairly narrow - but the upshot of it is that you will never see a car on it as there is a locked gate that stops them - awesome. This climb just puts you at LT and you suffer for a good while. On key days I might use this climb to also perform some sprints - to every powerpole - over about 15 metres. This is the good stuff! The view at the top is pretty good - I can see my house from the top here! The descent is 70km/hr and fully wicked as the road is rough, narrow and covered in she-oak leaves and nuts. There is also the risk of a kangaroo hopping across. Plus you have to throw out the anchors to avoid slamming the gate.
From there it was over to Stromlo which is about 45 minutes away. Stromlo is a 5% grade which is not difficult. Again this puts you at LT after about 90 seconds in. The cars give you a fair bit of room because a lot of cyclists use this hill for power training. The view at the top is pretty good - you can see the trails of Stromlo due to the distinct lack of trees. The descent is about 50km/hr and you pedal the whole way (just about!). Another bonus of Stromlo is that there is a tap at the top. Good opportunity for a refill.
Next on the list was Black Mountain. This is back near the city so about 15km from Stromlo. Black Mountain is a brute. It starts out at about 15% and feels like you hit a wall about 35 seconds in. After that it is really hard to get a good rhythym going - as it varies at around 10-ish%. As I was going up, I saw Sean Lewis going down - smiling - bastard! Black Mountain feels the longest of all the mountains - but funnily enough they are all pretty similar in times - it just hurts the most. There is no view at the top (due to trees) - but on the way up if you look sideways, whilst suffering you can see the lake. It doesn't help at all though. The descent is pretty awesome. The road is nice and smooth and the corners are tight - 60-70km/hr all the way down. On my way down, I saw Sean heading up for another one - the smile had gone as he had gone into the pain cave.
From here i dissected the City and made my way over to Mount Ainslie. I can say that I almost enjoy climbing Mount Ainslie. Even last on the list. It starts off reasonably mellow and only kicks up to 10-12% at the top in the last 2 minutes. It almost always feels like it has a tailwind! At the top I can see my house - which is pretty cool again! This climb takes you into LT territory at about 1/3 of the way up. The view again is really cool from the top. The descent is awesome - 80km/hr+ fully tucked. There is the slight possibility of ramming a roo, but you don't think about that! After the descent it is about 10-15 to get home all uphill unfortunately, but that the secret training part!
So that was Saturday's 3 hour ride. This was followed up with a protein shake and a massage. Pretty good after ripping up 1000 calories per hour. So Sunday rolled around, and I was doing some Big Dog slogs up Stromlo. After 3 of these I got a call from Kylie, and I flew off down to the Cotter to meet her for a bit of a spin. Climbing out of the Cotter, I started to feel the onset of a fringale. A fringale is the worst hunger knock you can get. I pretty much shoved down all the food I had in my pockets. 2 powerbars, 1 clif bar, 1 packet of clif shots. 10 minutes later I started to feel a bit better, but all the power had gone! Spin smoothly was my mantra to get home. I was toasted - and a pretty good sign that my flirt with overtraining was working! Time to just kick back and eat now in readiness for the weekend's race at the Sparrow Hill Sunday World Championships!