Northampton, Massachusetts is rad! If you ride bikes, definitely bring one if you find yourself heading to the east for business. The staff members at the local shops were great and helped me clean my bike after two long days of travel, so a big thanks to Competitive Edge Ski & Bike and the Noho Bike shop!
There is something to be said for just cruising around on a bike, stopping at coffee shops and taking way too many photos. Definitely therapuetic after many months of structured training and stressful racing.
Northampton is also home to a third of the WetBandits crew this spring so my trip was filled with some serious sounds! Check out this most recent find: the ultimate mashup!
Over the weekend I traveled down to Manhattan to visit another Wetbandit. Since I'd never been to the Big Apple (or the east for that matter), riding the train and the subway were cool. After some spicy Indian food and a bit of a party, Sunday included a trip to the International Comtemporary Furniture Fair since Straus is in the industry. Check out the big swing between conventional and just plain wacko! Who needs a carbon fiber chair anyway?
On Tuesday it was back to riding and BAM! did I find one hell of a road. Mt. Holyoke (right in town featuring a 7% average for 12 minutes with long straight sections in the first half and a dizzying mix of switchbacks in the finale kilometre) served as an ideal location for some difficult intervals before dropping down into an "all-day rythme" for the remaining 70mile loop west of Northampton. The loop included four monstrous climbs, the final of which included an 8 minute section at 45rpm! Near the end of the 100 mile ride I started to get into that special "just want more pain in the legs" place so I tried to breaks my cranks on the way home, arriving home in just under 5.5 hours with just a touch of bonk.
Nothing really to novel to report. It was a much needed mental break, something that I think a lot of athletes forget to plan into their plan. You can't push on the pedals everyday unless you are doing so sustainably; Mind before Body, Body before Bike.