Sunday, November 13, 2011

PNP Final Race - The Mostest Fun I Have Had In Ages!

I've just finished having a great weekend on the bike. Friday evening I headed off to the gym for my first weights workout in a month... I knew it would hurt (and it did), but I was happy that I was still pushing the weights and reps I was a month ago. Saturday was a bit of a drizzly morning and I headed out on a road ride on one of my favourite routes up the Pohongina Valley and then up Valley road to Colyton and back via Ashhurst with a series of hill repeats on Valley road (lovely hill for it!). I really enjoy this route because it's quite scenic, the roads are good quality and there aren't many cars (or magpies for that matter)... My legs felt quite heavy, but surprisingly strong. It was quite a warm morning, but with a little bit of rain to keep the heat off. Very pleasant indeed.

This morning (Sunday), Sasha and I headed off to Wellington for a day trip and a little jaunt around Makara Peak for the last race of the PNP series. My legs were pretty stiff and sore, so I wasn't holding much hope of a smashing performance, but I was pleasantly surprised that I was still able to push my heart rate quite high, despite my fatigue, which is something I have struggled with previously, so hopefully that's a sign that my cardiovascular system is recovering more quickly post-ride (now my leg muscles need to catch up!). I took the GoPro with me and strapped it to my chest to get some footage (once I figure out how to edit it, I'll post some to my blog... For now, though, you'll have to make do with photos!). The course was spectacular... We started and headed straight up a 400m climb off the start line, which was hard work. As we climbed (and climbed and climbed), views started to poke into view as we made our way up Hawkins Hills. On the right was this random castle thing with a Brazilian flag (huh?? I don't get it) and as we looked down to the left, we could see the treat that awaited us at the top of the climb as line of ant-like riders descended the switch backs down with the wide blue ocean as a backdrop... Breathtaking (just like the climb).

As I hit the descent, it took me a bit to get into a rhythm after having climbed for the last half hour, but the trail was just as sweet as it looked... It flowed and wound it's way down the side of the hill. We were right next to Wellington but it felt like we could have been hundreds of miles away from anywhere. I was quite surreal. For the most part after this point, we were descending, but there were a couple of really nasty little pinch climbs (some up to about 30% gradient). It was totally worth it for the ride and the views, though! The last little piece of singletrack was super slick and sooo much fun to just hoon and slide around on... I ended up in 4th place in senior women's and also took out the 3rd place Masters series (I thought I disowned my age in round 3 when I changed divisions???). It was certainly the most fun I have had on my bike in ages... Looking forward to next weekend now... Le Petit Brevet, a 230km (add or take a few kms) ride around the Banks Peninsula... Really looking forward to hanging with John and working on some team tactics!!!

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