Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Good and Bad Day on the Trail
Distance Up, Speed Down

Today's ride was 43.2 Km on the W&OD trail from Purcellville to the 30.0 mile marker and back. Outbound, that is away from Purcellville, the trail has a slight slope down, which steepens slightly before arriving at Leesburg.

After a short time on the trail I realized that the wind was going to be helping me on the outbound leg. As a result I was zipping along at better than 24 kpm, then up to 32 kpm for the steeper downhill run into Leesburg. My enjoyment of the brisk pace was moderated slightly by the knowledge that both wind and hill would be working against me after I turn around.

Certainly that proved to be the case. At the turn I took a several minute break for a snack and some Gatorade, and have a chat with one of the Loudoun County Sheriff Deputies who ride the trail "to make people feel safe." I had arrived at the turn around about 53 minutes after leaving Purcellville. The return trip took about an hour and eighteen minutes with the labor of bucking the wind and climbing back from Leesburg. Altogether it led to an overall speed of 19.6 kpm. As a result my average speed for the four stages (such as they are) dropped to 20.4 kpm.

Over in France the boys had their Team Time Trial today - first since le tour 2005 - and logged only 39 Km. So, I decreased their distance lead by 4 Km, a nearly insignificant gain. And completely meaningless when we take speed into account.

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