Monday, August 6, 2012

Quivering Quads and Map My Ride BS

The Tri club starts a "Hills of Fury" ride in August every I've been told. The first one for this year was on Saturday. Since I've been told that Branson 70.3 is hilly, I figured my legs could use the hills. Something also interesting about Missouri and Illinois, I don't think either state has more than a Cat 5 climb. If a Cat 5 climb is even recognized.

As is usual with triathlon training, the day started early. Unusually, the ride started at 8...mainly due to the location of the ride. It took over an hour to get to Pere Marquette State Park. The ride was scenic but, I don't think I'll be making this trip every weekend. Especially since it screws up my training plan.

To get to the start of the ride, we had to take a ferry. That was a first...kind of fun...until you get off the ferry after the ride and realize you still have 2 miles to the parking lot.

Anyway, this ride started off great with some easy rolling hills for the first 15 miles. I was following 2-3 people in front of me and having no clue where I was going I trusted them with directions. They missed a turn and we got "lost". Not really lost as the "island" has 2 roads running mostly parallel to each river and all the perpendicular roads connect the 2 roads. We just went down a different road but ended up losing the rest of the group. The ride went great and we got in 55 miles total with 3 decent hills and a few steep rollers. However, the steepness of the hills combined with the length of the ride made this the toughest ride I have ever done. I felt fine until the last 3 rolling hills, after that I was wrecked and barely made it to the ferry. There was a sign for 3 miles to the ferry...those were the longest 3 miles of riding I have ever done...did I mention there was a headwind?

The ride was so tough, for me, that right as I hit the parking lot, and thankfully not anytime sooner, my legs cramped up and I could not straighten them out without an intense pain. I'm not sure how I made it off my bike in time before I fell over but I did. Then I sat on a wall for 5 minutes and walked the 50 feet to my car. Yes, that's correct...I couldn't even coast another 50 feet to my car.

I also barely made it home without falling asleep.

Now, to the BS part. The only reason I discovered this is because I forgot my Garmin. Very disappointing due to this being the toughest ride I have done to date. I think I may have reached my max bike heart rate on the second hill. Here is a map of the ride with the climb information according to mapmyride:

According to Mapmyride there were two Category 5 climbs on the route. (There were supposed to be 3 but we screwed things up.) I agree with this. However, the second climb was clearly steeper than the first as it was impossible to sit in the saddle and I thought I was going to fall over at a few points. According to MMR, the second climb has an easier grade. If you look at where the climb starts according to MMR, it doesn't even start at the What's the point of having this info if it's not going to include the whole climb.

I decided to head over to Strava and see if anyone made a segment out of these climbs. According to Strava, the first climb has an average gradient of 4.7% not 3.0% and the second climb is 5.6% not 2.6%. The second climb has a few periods of 17.5% gradients. How can the difference between these 2 websites be so much? A 2.6% climb should be a piece of cake. It wasn't even close.

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