Ride Bully got a great team ride planned and it happened to fit into my schedule (my new favorite thing is taking semi random days off from work when the weather is nice and doing sweet activities). Originally we had planned for a 4 pass ride doing out and backs over both Gonzo and the Kanc. Greg wasn't too thrilled with the out and back idea and requested an audible after our first ascent/descent of Gonzo Pass. Ride Bully obliged but mainly only because the alternate route wasn't really any easier.
Heading into this ride I was a tad apprehensive due to Adam and my horror fest last time we attempted Gonzo. That was several years ago now but all I remember is a blur of frozen ice shards and a massive bonk...I'm happy to report that Gonzo did not wreck me like it did years ago but I was definitely not warm yet by the time we tackled it this time around. We started the ascent about 3 miles into the ride. I felt ok on the climb, just sluggish. Had a hard time getting into a rhythm. According to my Garmin data (I used laps to track my climb) I climbed the 5.5mi in about 35min at an average speed of 9.6mph. Unfortunately I forgot to use laps to track my ascent of Kinsman later in the ride.
topping out on Gonzo (cut the slope!)
Descent of Gonzo was pretty scary. Sandy spots and frost heaves made it real interesting and I think I may have caught a frost divot just wrong and took a solid shot to my rear wheel. I was a bit worried when it happened but everything seemed fine immediately after. Must have been a really slow leak because I eventually went flat several miles later on some rolling farm terrain heading to Pike, NH. I then proceeded to make an ass of myself trying to get my tire on and off. The bead was stupid tight and the first two tubes got pinched by my lever trying to get the bead back on. Finally on my(our) third try we were able to get the bead back on without a lever and get on our way.
Couldnt have asked for a better day. We ended up heading almost all the way out to the VT border and were riding in the CT River Valley for a bit before heading back into NH to get up and over Kinsman and back down into North Woodstock/Lincoln. Kinsman is much more a climb to my strengths, plus I was actually warmed up by that point. Felt strong for 50mi into an early season ride. Calories were running low though and we were all looking to get back to the cars and to the bar. We were all very much digging the scenery and how lucky we were to snag such an awesome day when this Spring has been struggling to be awesome lately.
I'll take it
I'm used to having it look like I'm about to ride off a cliff skiing, not so much road biking.
Every time I get a ride like this in I remember how awesome road riding is, particularly big rides like this. Hopefully I can find some time this season to squeeze a few in.