Second time this week I was able to head out to Shenandoah National Park and ride Skyline Drive. Really a must ride location for those who haven’t had the opportunity. This was a solo effort of just over 80 miles with nearly 8500 feet of climbing, starting at the most northern entrance in Front Royal, VA. The goal of the ride was threshold efforts (Z4 around 300 watts) for all sustained climbs. Reasonably successful and finished with 85 minutes in Z4. To make the ride more interesting, I play time games for the out and back. Since the climbing is more prevalent on the ‘out’ portion, I always negative split the ride. Total ride time was planned for 5 hours so I turned around at the 40-mile mark, a little short of Skyland which is the highest point on Skyline, at 2:46. I made it back to the car in 2 hours. Better than expected. Efforts were the same, Z4 on sustained climbs, and easy on the descents. Scenery is spectacular and today was exceptional as visibility was perfect. No mist or fog to disrupt the views from any of the overlooks. Granted, today was a no-stop day. Farthest I’ve ever ridden, both in terms of time and distance, without unclipping and putting a foot on the ground. Anyways, scenery was great and many folks were out enjoying them. Even saw a couple of folks I knew riding as well.
A long ride always makes dinner taste better. Tonight’s meal was baked rigatoni and sausage. We always make our own pasta sauce using canned diced tomatoes, tomato paste, a little sugar (brown and white), and spices. Freshly sautéed mushrooms, garlic, and onions usually accompany the sauce. The Missus prefers less cheese on hers which explains the difference in the picture below. We also had fresh, homemade bread. Yes, we use a bread machine but not pre-packaged bread mixes. Tonight was onion and cheese bread.
The following day was out the door by a little after 7 am for an easy 3.5 hour ride. French toast after any ride is most delicious.