Distance: 25.3 mi.
Avg. Speed: 19.15 mph
Weather: 59ª, 98% humidity, wind NNE1 (I didn't check the weather stats after the ride)
Song stuck in head: Highway Star - Deep Purple
Set out to do the MRC Saturday loop for two laps. The Harpoon Brewery B2B was also today, so I didn't expect any takers to the invitation to join me, but nonetheless, I would pause at the Stow Plaza Parking lot in between laps to gather up anyone looking to do the second lap with me. I'd missed two days of riding due to a very busy work schedule and my legs felt quite rested.
The weather looked great, considering how lousy it has been for what has seemed like forever. I left the parking lot at 6 a.m., targeting HR at 150 (except for climbs) and cadence to 100 (especially on the climbs). I took it easy the first 4 miles, averaging 18 mph or so and pushed harder than usual up the little steps that lead up and across Rte. 2 on the way to Littleton Station. The Oak Hill climb went very well (10' 18" climb time) and so did the next one up Bolton Road out of Harvard Center.
TRAINING NOTE: I think I've just about nailed down a technique that works well for me regarding pedal cadence and gauging available effort: on a climb, if I'm able to spin up to 95 rpm or better, I seem to be able to maintain at least 90 rpm while in the next smaller freewheel cog. Also, on flats/rollers, if I can spin up to 105 easily, I seem to be able to kick it over kick my speed up a mph or two in the next smaller cog.
The descents back into Stow were uneventful and I seemed to have plenty of power to keep my speed at or above 21 mph all along S. Acton Road. On Red Acre, I really made sure I kept my speed at or above 18 mph by doing mini-sprints up every little rise in the road all the way back to the parking lot.
I got to the parking lot at 7:20 a.m., 10 minutes before I predicted I would, shifted to an easy gear and pedaled around the lot to wait for anyone arriving to do the second lap. As I did so, I really hoped no one would show: today is my wife's birthday and I decided that I wanted to sneak back home and make her breakfast in bed (she is a very late sleeper on weekends). Besides, I want to do a 4 hour or so ride tomorrow, so it made sense to cut it short today from that standpoint as well. Today's ride was on the short side but very good.
When it hit 7:35 a.m., I turned for home and got the scrambled eggs going.