Friday, March 9, 2012

Road Trip: Tour of Battenkill Prep

For those in the Northeast, you know we have had a little break in the weather the last few days!!  Well Hunter and I took advantage of the weather to schedule a last minute road trip to complete final preparation for our Tour of Battenkill webinar series...and to get in a a couple of miles on the toughest course in land!

The mission sounded simple.  We needed to get all video equipment working, pack up the old FJ, drive 15 hours +, ride the course at pace and match power files to video, all in under 48 hours.  Yep, good old fashion road trip!

It worked great!  Like a well oiled machine we completed our prep work and were on the road less than an hour late of our start time.  Driving up to Cambridge, we were able to make up some time using ninja highway driving skills and Hunter's super stealth radar detector! We were actually able to make our hotel in Troy, NY more than 30 minutes ahead of schedule which left plenty of time for a great visit to the local Brown's Brewery and one too many beers for the "night before Battenkill".

FJ Hotel - Prepping for the ride
Even with the previous nights "tasting paddles and follow up beers" we were up on time and moving early.  We arrived at the Cambridge Hotel only 10 minutes late and after a quick meeting with Dieter Drake and his two local guides, we were ready to roll.

We hit the road around 10:00am to a quickly warming day and were ready to ride.  Our guide quickly filled us in on the first challenge, which we hear from most folks that have done this race successfully, you need to get to the first covered bridge in top 20 position!!  Here is a little "teaser" video to to better understand how it leads in:  there are plenty more in webinar

As most of you know, the Battenkill course has a real reputation as being tough and once into the first dirt section and following Juniper Swamp climb we remind just how hard it is.  The conditions were great but the recent snow melt left the dirt section smooth but tacky.  As we got close to Juniper Swamp my hangover was gone and I was ready to attach the first climb!  Ouch!!!  Climbing these dirt roads is tough and is such a factor in the race!  You need to employ a different kind of power to get up the hill (blatant selling alert: attend our webinar and learn how to climb the dirt). The rest of this amazing day was spent videoing sections and recording power data for each unique piece of the ride!  The weather was amazing and in the end we were again reminded just how tough this course is, even when just "staging" race sections. After a "cram everything into the truck" and sandwich, we were off and heading home.  The ride home consisted of high speed driving and low speed video editing as Hunter combed through the video and matched it all up to power files. If you are racing Battenkill you need to attend this webinar as the learning curve here is steep and we will review the demands of each of the tough sections and help you put together a winning strategy.
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Hope to see you there!!!

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