Rode the North Shore Circuit Race (http://www.wwucycling.com/events_northshore.php) course today with Fanatiks Stewart Bowmer and Chad Clarke. Stewart started at 7 a.m. with the intention of doing eight or nine loops of the eight-mile course. I showed up about 7:30 or so having parked at Bloedel and ridden the five miles out to the course. Though I did just 4-1/2 laps, it was tough, very tough.
Stewart is a font of race experience, always full of tips, advice, etc., and race wisdom. All of which I try like heck to absorb and make sense of--when to attack, when not to attack, when to not do any work at all, etc.--but it's not really going to make full sense until I'm back in a race again. Which should be sometime in March.
The North Shore course is challenging with two hills which, in the Cat 4/5 race I'm planning on doing March 29, is really 10 hills because we'll do five laps. Total elevation gain is 2,934 feet. It ends on a short but very steep hill that Stewart had us practice sprinting up on consecutive laps. He'd lead Chad and I out and we'd sprint about 150 yards until my quads felt like they'd explode. Heartrate hit 183 and 181 at the top. When we came to that spot the third time, we were talking and kind of forgot about doing another sprint. (Thank god).
In all, I got in 50 miles riding with 3,200 feet elevation gain. Good for mid-February.
Bake's birthday tomorrow--9 years old!