Monday, July 21, 2008

Bike 1, Katie 0

Start of Ride: 11:30am
Av. Temp: 85degrees
Time: 3hrs 42mins
Distance: 49.14miles
Av Speed: 13.27mph
Av Watts: 96Watts
Hills Walked: 2
Blisters: 1

As if those numbers don't speak for themselves, let me give you the details of the ride. Oh, what a ride it was...

So I coerced my coworker Geoff, who happens to be a pretty rockin cyclist, to ride with me on Sunday. The goal was a solid training ride, 50miles, couple hours, nothing killer. Apparently he missed the part of the description where I asked not to die on this ride.

So we decided to meet and head out on this ride at 11:30. We headed down the usual route, along the lake, down the bike path, through the arboretum, and then the hills began. I've always considered the Seminole Way hill to be the most daunting, not because of its size alone, but rather the fact that one must hit the curvy steep hill with no momentum because of traffic. But I made it up that hill, with Geoff coaching me along the way and was feeling oddly optimistic about the ride.

We head out towards Paoli, keeping (for me anyways) a pretty good pace, a little witty banter here and there, with a sprinkle of hills. While I can't even begin to keep up with Geoff on the hills (nevermind the fact he's riding abnormally slow just for me) I'm still feeling ok with my ride thus far. We get to the Paoli turn around point and Geoff asks if I feel up to going a little farther. I think the description was along the lines of "another 10 miles or so with a few more hills." Sure. I'm feeling ok still at this point, why not go a little farther?

So I'm huffing and puffing along trying to stay in sight of Geoff who is clearly in much better shape than I am. We're headed up another hill and Geoff says take the next left. I'm thinking to myself "heck yeah I'll take the next left" as it will cut off the steeper half of the hill we are currently climbing....until I turn left. Great Googly Moogly!! What a hill!! Geoff is kind enough to inform me that it's not that bad, a couple of false flats, little painful, but it'll be over before I know it, and then he takes off. Riiiiight. So I start chugging up the hill. I quickly run out of gears and begin to feel that death and or a heart attack is imminent. About half way up the hill my speed and cadence has dropped so low I am literally tipping side to side with each attempted pedal stroke....and then it was oh crap! unclip or tip. And unclip I did. I pathetically dismount my bike and proceed to make my walk of shame up the hill with my head hanging low (I think it was a mix of embarrassment and sheer exhaustion). To add insult to injury, Geoff now turns around to ride down to me to see how I'm doing and ride up the hill next to me (while I walk). That would be hill #1 I walked...

The ride continues. It has to be going on 2 or so at this point and it is hot and steamy out. We've down a pretty nice downhill (see hill description above) and few small rollers, but nothing too bad. Geoff keeps asking how I'm doing, and while I am sure I was radioactive red in the face and gasping for breath, I didn't want to outright say how I felt. So I kept saying "I'm hanging in there" or "doing ok" or "I'll make it there." Secretly I think I am dying and just don't want to admit it (here's hoping Geoff doesn't read my blog...). That's when we get to yet another never-ending hill. I am almost out of water now and half way up the hill my calves start to cramp. My unclipping is very flail like and I am using every profanity I know. I stop to stretch my calves before I start another walk of shame the rest of the way up the hill. This would be hill #2 I walked. My calves were on fire now, and walking up hill in bike shoes did not help the matter.

Top of the hill, back on the bike, over half way done. I'm hangning in there for a few more rolling hills. I'm told there is gas station up the way where we can stop for cold water, at which point I finish off what I have and give myself a lil pep talk. A few more hilly miles down the rode I can see the gas station come into sight. HALLELUJAH!! With the exception of a rode trip or two in college, I don't think I have ever in my life been so happy to see a gas station. I'd like to take a moment to extend my complete gratitude to the kind people at at the Verona BP for allowing me to traipse in spandex clad and water up. Talk about some wonderful and friendly folks.

From the gas station it was probably another 15 or so miles home. I had little or no energy left, the heat and hills and sucked that out of me miles ago, but I had water and was determined to "git'r done." Those last miles were slow, but I made it.

Geoff and I parted ways about 1/2 mile from my house. I made a quick stop at the convenience store near my house to load up on the junk foods I had been craving on my ride: Snickers, Sour Cream and Onion Chips, and a Coke (which I proceeded to eat while taking a cool bath when I got home).

After a bath, a shower, and a nap I felt almost human again (except for the awful blood blister I acquired on the ride that I won't go into details on...let's just say a new saddle is in order).

Major kudos to Geoff for riding with me, being a patient and supportive cheerleader, and helping me get ready for my big race.

(PS-That's so not my bike in the picture, just the one I lust after....)

1 comment:

Wil said...

AWESOME job out there! Oh and I hear you about the Verona BP. Those people have some serious saint points in my book too!! Way to tackle one of the toughest courses in the continental US sister!