Wednesday, June 25, 2008
Sport Tracks elevation map of Percy Warner Parks 11.2, first 5 miles are Belle Meade Boulevard
Elevation map from Garmin Training Center
Percy Warner Park or more specifically the 11.2 main road within the park. A scheduled off day, so time to jump on the bike. Left work at 4:30 pm to try and start by 5 pm. Sunny when I left the office but the rain clouds were forming. Took PJ's van so I could load the bike without having to remove my wheels. Unloaded and got going as quick as I could because the rain was heading in, I could hear the thunder as I headed away from PWP and down Belle Meade Blvd. Lots of bikes already out on the road, as well as a few runners. I always hated running on the boulevard, especially after running in PWP, to try and add some miles. Seems the little rises are mountainous on tired legs. Reminded of that again on the return towards PWP. About a mile from the Stone Gates at PWP the rain started, typical Tennessee thunderstorm. The rain within the park didn't seem as heavy, it was absorbed by the trees. I headed on into the park and started the first climb. Not as bad as I thought it would be. Of course I was out of the saddle most of the way up. Took it easy on the first descent. I've never ridden my bike in the rain and didn't want to crash. The rain stopped by the time I reached the top of 3 mile hill and the sun came back out. Only saw 2 others on bikes and they both passed me just after I crested 3 mile hill. Never saw either of them again, but then again I took the descents very slowly. Big chicken because of the wet roads. This was the first time I've ever ridden a bike on the 11.2. I tried to anticipate the climbs and descents but they came and went quicker on the bike. Really even when I run the park I get deceived on where I am. Maybe it's because when I run, I change directions especially when we double. When I got around to the Steeplechase the steam was really rising off the road and the sun was blasting. Couldn't really see much sunlight on rest of the road. That's one of the things that is so cool about this route. The trees shade most of the road for the entire route, so even in the heat of the summer, its probably 10 degrees cooler in the park. 9 mile hill did make my quads scream at me, any thoughts of doing another loop were quickly silenced going up that little hill. Still forget that it keeps on coming until just past the 10 mile mark. Went up the Luke Lea overlook. I'd only been up there on other time, but that was during the winter solstice. Able to see downtown Nashville, though it was a little hazy. Only wildlife was a couple of turkeys, a goldfinch and a indigo bunting. All of them were out in the open on the Steeplechase side. Only saw a few other runners on the road, few on the trails. Wore the Garmin in bike mode, so the only thing I got was elevation and total distance. Funny how Garmin and Sports tracks both have different takes on the elevation.