Leading to 24 hour events, I like to do a big volume push about 2-3 weeks out from the race. Since Lynda is doing the race as well, and we are doing TransRockies together, it seemed only natural that we torture each other for a week. We had the double perk of testing our TR strategy - towing. We chose Saint George, Utah (her home town) as the jump off point for the week. I've never ridden in the area and didn't know exactly what to expect...but whatever my expectations were, they were far exceeded. Great riding, great scenery, good clean desert air, good food, and tumbling with a 3 & 6 year old for a week - who could ask for more?
One of the weeks' highlights was the Jem trail. This is a 25 mile singletrack loop over a network of trails near Hurricane, Utah, just west of Zion NP. These trails are heavenly! Think the best parts of the Road Apple Rally, Rage in the Sage, and 12 hours of the E100 courses combined with views worthy of national park status (hey, it is Utah) and you're getting close. If you ever are in the area, it's a must do - fast, flowy, slightly tech in spots. Email me for more beta if you need it...
Another highlight was the last day of the ride week. Lynda mapped out some sort of torture fest up local climbs (scrub peak and hellhole pass/peak) - the 2 peaks are pictured above. This was a long day - we left around 8:30 and got back just after sunset. The second climb was pretty long - something like 2500' to 7400'. How many climate zones is that? Mohave desert to pine & fir...the real surprise came the final 20 minutes of this ride. Since the sun was setting and we were cruising in on paved roads, we didn't want to get caught in total darkness. Lynda dropped the hammer and probably clocked the best power numbers she's ever seen for 20 minutes on the mtb. This came at the end of a very long day and a hard week of training...take home point for me? She's gonna be tough to keep up with at the end of TR!
This ride was a solid validation of a lot of hard work the past few months. Power was rock solid steady throughout, and in fact the finest part was the last climb. For the TM savvy: CTL hit 145 (a new high) and 30 day rolling TSS is a touch over 5100. The composition of that TSS is a bit higher intensity than previous seasons, so we'll see how it turns out. I've always got some experimental ideas floating between my ears and the winter/OP is the time to test them. It's tough to be too serious about results in February... We'll see how it turns out.