Niagara Rides – You’re welcome to join me!

Finally, some decent weather to work with over a long weekend that aligned nicely with my training plan.  Well, I could have done without the Saturday morning rain, but it is April and as my daughter reminded me – April showers, bring May flowers.   The week started out pretty hectic with lots of plans being discussed as we headed into a long weekend.  Peter was back from the mindset CYCLING California trip and we picked up from where we left off.  It was also a week of meetings and discussions, regarding fundraising, as it was the final week to submit entries to the Wine Survivor program.  My team has lots of great ideas and some fun for everyone, but this week we are looking forward to the next phase of the Wine Survivor program.  Great response from everyone and perhaps we may do another one of these, but with a twist.

As Peter and I have been mostly working together via indoor rides, this past weekend offered us the chance to set some planned training rides outside.  Of course, it didn’t hurt that I would be spending some time in Niagara, which would afford me the opportunity for great roads and scenery.  Any ride in Niagara is a treat.


I should also note, part of my riding this weekend in Niagara was for route recon purposes.  The team and I are in discussions with a local winery regarding an event that would involve an early bike ride and then some sampling of Niagara’s best.    Lots of opportunity to join the team and I as we continue to prepare for Race Across America in 2018.


The week started out pretty easy with a rest day after a hard riding Sunday.  I mentioned in my previous weeks post that I pushed too hard and should have backed off before bonking 10km out from my destination.  So, it felt good to rest the legs and prepare for the upcoming week of training.  Plus, with Peter Oyler back in town and a scheduled intensity training for Wednesday, I was happy to rest and prepare.

Tuesday was just an easy 75 minute spin keeping the HR at 135.  Nice and easy!

Wednesday I was at mindset CYCLING for some intensity work followed by 30 minutes on the rollers.

Thursday I was instructed to do another ride, but keeping the HR at 135.  Instead of a flat ride, I thought I would do a little testing to understand how I can deal with hills.  I wanted to understand how slow I would have to go in order to keep my HR at 135, while climbing hills with average grade between 5% and 10%.   Surprisingly, it can be done, but it’s pretty hard to go that slow.  It’s not what I am accustomed to, but Peter and I both agree, that it will be absolutely necessary to keep my HR at 135 or below during the initial climbs in RAAM 2018.  Otherwise, it could make things very difficult once we get out of the mountains.

Friday was supposed to be a rest day, but with it being the Easter weekend, Friday quickly became a ride day.  My children were coming back to me Friday evening, so I had the day to ride.  The goal was to put in a 120km ride keeping the HR at? You guessed it, 135.  It’s harder than you think.  Especially, since the weather was fantastic, but I really wanted to stick to the plan.   Again the last 10km I found my HR spiking and I had to find ways to bring it back in line.  This is primarily due to not eating during my ride, which is planned.

Saturday, was a rest/travel day to Niagara.  I decided to take a drive through the vineyards and check out the roads.  It started with a stop at Fielding Estates Winery.


I was looking forward to my Sunday ride, especially when I heard the wind roaring outside.  Wind, like we encountered Sunday, is something that we can use to simulate some of the RAAM experience.  In Ontario, we don’t have the climbs or the heat, but winds on the Niagara escarpment can be pretty harsh.  Wind is something I never have a problem with – put it in the right gear and just keep turning the cranks. Niagara roads are usually pretty quiet with respect to cars.

I am really looking forward to the warmer weather and spending some more time putting in some long rides throughout Ontario.  Feel free to follow me on Strava if you want to pick up on some routes.

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