The family and I are going away on vacation next week to the Catskill Mountains in upstate New York and with Timberman70.3 coming up in just a few weeks, this is about my last opportunity to get in some serious training before it is time to taper.
For those earth science aficionados out in the blogosphere, the Catskills aren't officially mountains. They are officially a "dissected plateau" and this "dissected plateau" has more than 30 peaks (things that look like mountains to me) over 3500 ft.
BikeMike didn't fail me and put some volume on the workout schedule knowing I'd be away and wouldn't have to squeeze in work. I expect to ride at least 200 miles on my bike and plan to climb a few of those non-mountainous inclines as part of it even though fat, old guys and "dissected plateaus" probably mix like milk and cranberry sauce. Mix in a few runs, some golfing, fishing and I doubt I'll miss going to the office that much.
But where to ride? I have ridden in that area before but not riding any structured route, let alone routes or hills with "names." Of course, named routes and hills don't typically have names like "slow gradual nice" hill or "tranquility" hill. For example, near my house is Mt. Misery Road - need I say more?
Mike asked if I was going to be anywhere near Devil's Kitchen (a classic hill name). I didn't know where it was so I looked it up. Various reports have that hill at 2-3 miles long with parts of it more than 20% incline. When the now extinct Tour de Trump raced past there, rumour has it that some pros walked up this hill. Think this might be a bit much for me now, maybe next year.
I saw that a relatively new race, the "Tour of the Catskills" has a stage near where I'll be. I think I'll do a portion of that ride (the Pro 1/2 32 mile extension) as part of Sunday's scheduled 3.5 hours. Might be too aggressive for me as I'd pick it up near Durham near the bottom of a 1000ft or so climb per the map ( http://www.farmteamcycling.org/catskills/CatskillEpicmap.pdf ) but writing about it on this blog will help me not wimp out.
I figure this route would be a good test of my fitness. The Tour of the Catsills has King of the Mountain (KOM) points that can be won during the stages and some of them are on this route. Instead, I think I'll shoot for the Rockstar of the Dissected Plateau (RDP) award. I doubt the RDP jersey is polka dot like the KOM in the Tour de France but I bet the only size available this year is XXL.
Next year I'm sure they will have to find a smaller size.