As a matter of pure training principle, on the day before a big ride I find a 5 hour trailwork session to be just what the coach ordered. It's Saturday here in Earallysville, and the expert track at Preddy Creek is starting to look mighty fine in the sunshine.
Not to get away from the matter at hand, though. There's business to be done tomorrow, and the confirmations are rolling in faster than 29 inch wheels. Scotty D, in. BigJohn in Richmond, in. C-Ham, 50/50. Although he did throw his oldest child a pirate-themed party today in honor of Il Pirata himself - so that's worth something.
What's not going so well, however? Our map. Apparently, the fine individuals at MapMyRide haven't been making quite enough money spamming my email address, so they've decided that you must sign up to be a "premium" member of their service in order to print the coveted Pantani map. And premium costs money, honey. Again, going with the pirate theme here, that makes it sort of like a treasure map, and I think that's swell. But please, don't submit to the forces of capitalism when Google can provide anarchy in a slightly less feature-rich format.
The Pantani Map, redux: http://www.google.com/maps/ms?doflg=ptm&ie=UTF8&msa=0&msid=203936983407151735185.00049c1eb9ca9800b9fa1&ll=38.23791,-78.558083&spn=0.130516,0.220757&z=12
Don't sweat the lack of mile markers. Here's how it works. It's a big, clockwise loop. The dark blue sections you're riding BOTH ways. And the lollipop loop on the north side of the course is also ridden clockwise, although it's slightly more painful than the average lollipop.
Interestingly, Google believes the time you would need to drive the course is just under 2 hours. However, I can confirm that a stud like Bob Anderson can rip around this thing in a great deal under 3 hours. So perhaps some day we can spectate a Bob versus 76 VW Beetle race on this very same route and settle the score once and for all. But for now, we'll just try to hold his wheel.
I had some questions rolling in regarding course conditions. So I took a little jaunt up to the top of Fox Mountain at sunset. It's absolutely perfect. No snow. No ice. Not even as many carelessly discarded wild animal carcasses as you might expect. But the road has just enough moisture in it to be super smooth and really hold in the turns. The conditions are ripe for a course record, or just an all around fine afternoon.
why yes, that is duct tape holding my right grip on.
money for Sunday.
That being said, I suspect there's a little ice up on the top of the pop. So be careful up there; if it looks greasy, it probably is. There's no shame in walking a bit up there if you can't, as CHAM likes to say, "come in hot, lick it and stick it."
60 degrees tomorrow.