Tuesday, September 4, 2007


Yesterday. Labor Day. I labored.

Yesterday's plan was for 90 second hill repeats. Sixty seconds of pretty darn hard*, then the last 30 seconds out of the saddle for an all-I-am-worth sort of effort. I manged seven.

For the task, I found a nice little steep-ish hill just outside of town to throw down on. Or throw up on. Either one.

But the fun part of all this, the story part, the blog-worthy part, were the spectators. The climb starts down in a heavily wooded ravine. The road crosses two ancient stone bridges, does a quick switchback right, then angles up to the crest of what's called Mongul Hill. At the crest, right across the street from the road sign I was using as an imaginary finish line, for my bike throws, was a little house, with a cute little front yard, and a little old woman and a little old man sitting on lawn chairs under the generous eave of their roof. I'd call it a generous eave. With a broad sidewalk. But perhaps a bit too shallow to be called a porch.

After my first interval I notice them there. I wave. I smile. Sheepishly. From them: nothing.

After my second interval I notice them again. Their eyes are glued to me. I nod. I smile. Still no response.

Again and again I huff and puff my way up this hill. I'm getting a little louder with each ascent. There is guttural groaning. I'm throwing the bike from side to side wildly. I'm loud. I'm visible. But no response from the spectators. To them, I was a Martian.

I tried harder. I went faster, groaned louder, sprinted more wildly. Anything for a response. Nothing. I, alien.

Nonetheless, they lessened the pain. I wasn't working out, I was performing. Spectator value.

*I say "pretty darn hard" because my PowerTap is down and I couldn't gauge exactly how hard. But if I'd had it, I'd been shooting for around 420-440 watts, then 500+ for the last 30 seconds. And my PowerTap is down, I presume, because the batteries in the hub are dead. But I can't replace the batteries in the hub because I haven't been able to get the hub cover off. It's very frustrating.


vfg said...


DAJ said...

Ah, that sounds like a classic Build 2 Training Bible workout--I know because I've got them scheduled for three weeks in a row starting next week!

And as a dad who's trying to keep the training up, I know you'll appreciate this: I was doing my 2-3 minute hill intervals (followed by the 20min TT effort) with the trailer in tow; ditto the 6-8 hill intervals. Of course, a 3-minute climb becomes 6+ minutes with the rickshaw attached, but oh! does it hurt!

IOW, I feel your pain, brotha'