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My Tour of Cowichan Valley 2013
by Rob Scrimgeour

Yesterday was a great day. Yesterday was a tough day. Everything felt fine at the start, but by about 15km into the ride I knew I didn't have my normal power. Of course, the place I felt it first was on the hills. While my speed was fine on the flats and downhills, it was taking longer to accelerate than normal. I'm not sure if it was just getting 4 hours sleep, not being fueled quite right, or my peak power having been burned off by taking part in the Windsor Park Criterion the day before. Likely all three combined. No matter, I had a ride to do.

I adapted as best I could, took breaks when I needed to, and rested and ate more at the controls than I have in the past. That helped get me through. In fact, after the last control in Youbou I was starting to gradually feel more power come back, but at the same time my legs were tiring. A strange feeling, indeed. By the time I was nearing Chemainus I finally had the power to get out of the saddle and push on climbs and accelerations, something that probably would have doomed my ride if I'd tried in the morning.

Having said all this, I am very pleased with my results. My goal going in was to try to ride an average of 25km/h. At the last control I was surprised that I was as fast as 24.5. From there to the finish I did very well, and pulled up the average to 25.4km/h. (I told you my power was coming back. Or was it those yummy ginger cookies? Or was it that there was more downhills?)

It was a great day for riding, with weather from bright sun to windy and overcast. I'm glad I'd chosen the right layers. Rain threatened a few times later in the day, but it held off. The rough roads weren't too bad, except for a handful of bumps I didn't see coming. The hairiest part was riding along the shoulder of Hwy 1. There was gravel strewn all over, and no matter how hard I tried, I couldn't avoid hitting some. This was while doing 45km/h, and 190km into my ride. Thank goodness my tires held up to the onslaught.

I'd been kind of busy, and hadn't really researched the route well enough. I wasn't expecting the hills to add up quite as much as they did. My final was 2252m up, which is 443 more than I've ever done before.

While I was the Lantern Rouge (last rider) for the second half of the day, I know that I met my goal, and survived an under-powered day. Now to get ready for my next 200k.... just 11 days from today. Anyone else want to join me?


Go to: Eau de Hell Stories
Go to: 200 km Results
Go to: 200 km Photos


May 21, 2013