Getting Ready For Lake Anna

As I am an experienced cyclist with literally several organized rides under my belt, you may be interested to know how I get ready for big events such as the 1st Annual Lake Anna Century.  Here’s how I managed things this week:

First, it is important to taper your training to just the right level so you hit the event at your peak level of performance.  This week, my training consisted of the following:

  • Saturday:  Ride 30 miles in the wind and grumble at my poor performance.
  • Sunday:  Ride 16 pleasant miles with my wife, including a lunch break at midpoint.
  • Monday:  Decide it is too hot and windy to ride.
  • Tuesday:  Buy my wife a lilac bush and arrive home too late to get in a ride.
  • Wednesday:  Look at the rain and not ride.
  • Thursday: Plant the lilac bush and not ride.
  • Friday:  Rest and write this blog post.

In addition to proper tapering, there are several coordinating functions which need to occur, not the least of which is figuring out where the ride actually is.  Failing to arrive at the start point for an organized ride is a poor way to begin the event.  The Lake Anne Century website helpfully provides the address of the start point, but the published route had the unfortunate quality of NOT INTERSECTING THE START/FINISH LINE AT ANY POINT.  This was clearly a problem which needed rectifying.  A quick note to the ride director clarified the problem and a new route was posted on their website.

click for details

I like to study the route ahead of time and ponder the various ways I can meet with disaster.  The route for this century seems fairly straightforward, so the chances I will become lost are low.  There is little elevation to the route, so I shouldn’t be overwhelmed in that regard.  It would seem the most likely cause of misfortune is rain and/or lightning.  Right now, it looks like I’ll be dodging thunderstorms with temperatures that start in the low 60s and rise into the low 70s.  I’ve already come close to death in a lightning storm at last year’s Reston Century, so let us hope I am not yet due for another one so soon.

Finally, it is necessary to pick out all the clothes and equipment I might need.  By having everything laid out in advance or packed in the truck, my morning routine is greatly simplified.  All I need to do is wake up at a ridiculously early hour, get dressed, and leave.  Clothing decisions are based largely on the weather forecast, which has vacillated wildly for this Saturday over the past several days.  The forecast calls for arm warmers and plenty of ziplock bags to protect phones, cameras, etc… from the rain.  Water bottles are filled, foods are placed in the truck along with shoes, helmet, gloves, pump, sun glasses, chamois cream, Garmin, and a few other odds and ends.  The clothes are lovingly laid out at the foot of my bed, making it unlikely (but sadly still possible) that I will have a wardrobe malfunction in the morning.

Having completed these complicated but necessary steps, I am now fully prepared to excel at tomorrow’s event.  I am not aware of anyone in my vast reading audience who also intends to be there.  If that is not the case, feel free to say hello.  I promise to be very polite and an engaging conversationalist.  The flat course suggests a fast time may be possible.  If the rain holds off, I will be shooting to break the six-hour barrier.  Wish me luck.

13 thoughts on “Getting Ready For Lake Anna

  1. Have a great ride tmr, take good pictures!! Based on your carefully planned tapering schedule, you’ll pedal it to the metal. Don’t forget to waterproof that map. I once rode in a thunderstorm, got lost, map all smudged, no phone reception, other ‘lost’ people asking me for directions. A ride I’ll never forget.

  2. Good luck with the ride Steve, I am sure you will be just fine. As you seem to have low expectations you will probably take it steady from the start and not start off too fast “because you are feeling good” which is the way to go and a recipe for success.

  3. You will have a great ride as repayment for getting your wife a lilac bush. Lilacs are beautiful to look at and picnics in your yard near the lilac bush will be wonderfully fragrant. I “borrowed” some from my friend’s garden last weekend and my apartment smells amazing.

    Enjoy the ride!

  4. Hi Steve,

    Have a great ride on that gorgeous new bike of yours and good luck with the 6 hour mark.

    Tomorrow when it is (finally) raining and I don’t ride I will think of you and be relieved that I am following an authorized plan from someone with mega more experience than me in group rides, big rides and long rides. Now if only I was supposed to be tapering…

  5. I hope everything goes as you would wish. You certainly seem to be supremely well prepared. I admire your sensible approach to cycling in the rain.
    p.s. I wish you wouldn’t keep mentioning what seem like very high temperatures to us here. It makes me feel chilly.

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