Terra Cotta

Terra Cotta, a village in the Town of Caledon, was on my riding list last year that got sidetracked.  It’s time to make that visit.  To make it interesting, I checked the route for the annual Tour de Terra Cotta – 3 laps of 8.6km loop.  Let’s try it out!

TO Terra Cotta (28.9km)

I rode to the edge of my limit without pushing past my max.  I wanted to reserve some juice in the tank for an all-out-effort later at my mock “Tour”.  The results were sufficient for me.

Elevation (128m Gain)

Elevation (128m Gain)

25.2kph; 28.9km

25.2kph; 28.9km

Tour de Terra Cotta (8.6km)

Terra2
Each lap starts at the Terra Cotta Inn.  It’s a give-and-take loop, starting with a 10% grade hill and ending with an exhilarating long downhill.  The hill separated into 2 sections, eventually showing its steepest on the 2nd section.

IMG-20130421-00795

Terra Cotta Inn – Start/End point

My motivation declined before reaching the halfway point on my 1st lap.  I tried not to listen to the dark side.  Just finish it!  Excuses were coming everywhere convincing myself to stop after 1 lap … the roads were not maintained well, I was already slower than the average pace from last year’s riders, so what’s the point?!  On the descent, I received messages from the Almighty – a small rock hit me square in the face, followed by a fallen leaf that whipped my helmet.  THAT was the last straw!  I stopped after 1 lap.  Mission aborted.  If I wasn’t having fun, there’s no point continuing!

Terra results

25.3kph; 8.6km

FROM Terra Cotta (29.7km)

I decided to take the ride back as “recreational”, taking in the scenery and soaking in the rays.  Caledon is a IMG-20130421-00800beautiful quaint town after all with farmlands everywhere.  Eventually I got bored.  I’m finding long distance rides a bore this year and I’m struggling to understand why.  This was never an issue last year.  I’m hoping the primary contributor is riding in cold temperatures.  It appears my sweet spot is around 60km before boredom consumes me; whereas last year was over 100km.  I lifted my right hand in the air to test my balance, rolled my shoulders, sang, tested different out-of-saddle positions, leaned forward to hear my wheel spin …. ANYTHING to keep myself entertained without falling off the saddle.  There was one thing I did for fun during this time that may be helpful in the future.  I exaggerated my upstrokes, lifting my knees higher than what I’m used to while keeping my knees inwards.  My strokes became more powerful.  Although this slows down the cadence, it may be helpful on inclines where tempo is not as important.  I will try this on my next adventure …

Elevation

21.4kph; 29.7km

21.4kph; 29.7km

Advertisements

15 thoughts on “Terra Cotta

  1. I got hit just below the eye in my first year, the first (and only) time I decided that glasses probably weren’t necessary. Passing car got me… I feel your pain on that one, it’s no fun.

    • A passing car got me too yesterday. I made sure to wear sunglasses today on my ride commute. I used to never cared much on my short commute rides.

      • I know what you mean… I tried to fight the melon protector and the glasses, but in the end my little girls need a dad who can see and process information to bring home the bacon so I sucked it up – I’m happier for it in the end.

  2. Yikes the rock in the face must have hurt like hell. Thankfully I’ve always worn sunglasses and the worst I’ve been hit was a bee to the eye which was bad enough. – Simone

    • Thankfully, it didn’t hit my eye … hit me right below & above my cheeks. A bee hit me once on the eye too – luckily I wore sunglasses at the time. I hope you were wearing them as well …. that would have “stung”!

        • I wore orange lenses under overcast skies for the 1st time last wknd and I like it, brightens everything up! But I made the mistake of wearing deep shades one time before dawn, couldn’t see a thing….

        • Yeah I did that once on a sunset ride, and then when it went down and got dark I was like uh oh didn’t plan for that! lol! I’m hoping to get a pair of photochromatic lenses that change depending on the sun, but they are not cheap.

    • It’s a terrific route; but after this experience, I realize I can’t do criterium style races – repeating a course over and over is too much for my mental mind. I need variety! Are you?

      • I’m planning to do it at this point but I know exactly what you mean about these races. I’m doing O-Cup this year and have been dropped on my first 2 races. Hoping to improve before Terra Cotta and stand a chance : )
        If there is a Sportive category you should consider it… it is a fun challenge.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s