Posts Tagged 'bicycle'

A Different Kind of Labor Day

Alternate Post Title: FRIKKIN’ FINALLY!!

Generally speaking, I don’t approve of failure through not trying. If I go out, give something my all, and then find out I can’t do it — fair enough. I need to train more/work harder/grow taller/read books/sleep less… whatever. Tried + fail = ok. Room to grow. Applies to all facets of life really. On the flip side, failing at something due to complete inaction? Problematic. I accept that I can’t be good at everything (or even, really, a lot of things), but I can’t accept that until I’ve at least tried it. Could I be a scuba diver? Maybe not… but until I take a course, strap on the gear, and hop in the water… how will I know?

This “guiding principle to life” is why the latest failure on Old La Honda really got in my head. I knew I could ride that hill. I’d dominated (or at least limped through) bigger and bad-assier hills than OLH. Multiple times. In sometimes ridiculous weather conditions. How is it possible that this one stupid road bump continued to elude me?! Often through no fault of my own! I steamed over it for about a week. Grumbled, bitched, kvetched… whatever you wanna go with. Until Julie (probably annoyed at said whining) says to me — “Do something about it. Let’s ride it.”

Like alone? Without SAG and team encouragement? Give up on my “doomed to fail at Old La Honda forever” posture and… just… ride it?! Well shit. Now there’s an idea! We could just pick a route. Map one out designed specifically to ensure OLH climbing success. Short warm up and then straight to the hill (no “extra” climbs to break down the legs early). Down 84 and then another short cooldown back to the start. This could work! I know how to make route sheets!!

And so I did. I hopped my tail over to MapMyRide, picked a known starting area and mapped out a ~30mile loop designed purely around climbing the “Bay Area Hill Standard.”  The following Monday was Labor Day, so Julie and I decided to make the most of a long holiday weekend and met up around 9am to get ‘er done. We rolled out pretty casually, and took our time warming up the legs through the back rounds of Menlo Park and into Woodside. The roads were surprisingly empty for a holiday weekend (maybe everyone else was at the beach? Or BBQ-ing?), and the weather was perfect — sunny with just a few puffy clouds; warm without being hot.

By the time we hit Portola Road, I was feeling pretty good. My chest was bothering me (yet), and you really couldn’t ask for a better day to be on the bike. By the time we hit the base of Old La Honda, I was raring to go. Julie and I stopped at the bottom, Gu’d up, and then agreed to meet at the top. I took a deep breath (or as close as I could come to it), clipped in and started spinning.

The climb was surprisingly easy… which I think makes sense compared to how much it had obviously been built up in my mind. Now, I’m not saying that it wasn’t work, because it was. There are bastardly punchy sections of that hill that exist solely to make you pop kidneys. There are unexpected switchbacks that make you wonder if there is, in fact, a top to this thing. There are, in some cases, couples riding side by side in matching rainbow jerseys just fast enough to stay ahead of you… but just slow enough to make you think you could get by if you tried. For the record, those suck. I spiked my heart rate at least three times trying to pass, or passing and then getting lapped by, a couple wearing rainbow argyle. I really hate climbing directly behind someone… but couldn’t quite seem to break the pace with these folks. Grrrr!

For extra bonus fun, sometimes there are fail route sheets. As it turns out, if someone were to accidentally include the west segment of Old La Honda in the route, it might make you think that the hill was 3 miles longer than it actually is. This in turn might make you aggressively start throwing down GU, spitting wrappers on passerbys… 1/8th of a mile before the summit. And by “might”, I mean “did.” I made the fail route sheet, thought I was 3-3.5 miles from the end and, feeling kinda tired, decided I should proactively take down some carbs. A couple passing me on the left (who, thankfully, didn’t actually get hit by my spit) chatted me up as they went by. On finding out this was my first time climbing OLH, they congratulated me on finishing the climb. I yell back (as they start to pull away) that they should hold their congrats until I actually finish… only to find them at the top, just around the next switchback. Who knew?!

I’d like to say my feeling of finally cresting Old La Honda was euphoric – I mean, I’d stressed about it enough that it should have been – but I was so dang surprised to actually have hit the summit that my first reaction was “Damnit! I could’ve had a better time if I’d know the top was that close!” About five minutes later, the joy-part set in and I stood around grinning at random people (and telling them all about my “first time”) while I waited for Julie to finish her climb. Thankfully, most cycling folks at least remember being noobs once upon a time — and they bore my enthusiasm graciously.

Julie hit the top maybe 10 minutes later. After a quick recovery and “wow, how awesome are we for doing this unsupported?” chat session, we rolled out again to enjoy our descent down 84 — which was surprisingly technical! Hwy 84 is supposed to be the “safe descent” compared to coming back down OLH… so apparently I’m never trying that idea!

The remaining cooldown miles flew by, but I honestly couldn’t tell you what they were without looking at the route sheet. I’d done what I set out to do, and that was what frikkin’ mattered. I remember that we had a great rest of the ride and that the weather stayed gorgeous. And even if that wasn’t 100% true at the time, it’s definitely how I’ll remember it. I mean, my lung issues held themselves in check for a day, I finally conquered the Beast — and did the entire thing in the saddle; no stopping. Pretty damn good for a Monday.

Holiday OLH Ride

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Pulmonary Dysfunction

Do you ever wonder if you just weren’t meant to do something? Like you try and take a trip somewhere and always miss ticket sales or your dog gets sick or your car breaks down on the way to the airport… and you just wonder if maybe the universe is trying to tell you not to go? I’m pretty sure that’s me and climbing Old La Honda. Every time the OLH Odyssey ride rolls around I get excited. I’m finally going to be one of those cycling nerds who compares times up “the hill” (or who has the option to compare but decides not to for reasons of not bragging/being mocked) instead of just wondering what all the fuss is about. And then something happens. I break a bone and am not in good enough shape when it’s OLH ride time. The weather turns terrible and it’s not safe to climb. For whatever reason, I never manage to go up this stupid, supposedly mythical hill. Granted, I’ve actually only tried twice… but that’s not the point!

Last August’s Old la Honda ride was, sadly, no exception. I show up, ready and raring to “tame the beast” and get myself geared to head out in short order.  Snag a quick briefing on the ride, meet up with my team, and roll onto Foothill. I remember noticing that the world smelled faintly like barbecue… or campfires… but didn’t think much of it. We were going to tackle Old la Honda!! Finally! What did cookouts have to do with me?

In case you aren’t good at anticipating my heavy-handed foreshadowing, I’ll tell you now – the answer is: a lot. Less than two miles into the ride, I started having trouble. I was shouting “GAAAAP!!” and gasping like a fish out of water pretty much immediately. On Foothill! Possibly the flattest and fastest piece of pavement in a 20 mile radius! My coach dropped back to check on me.

“What’s going on there Jamie?”

“I dunno… can’t seem to breathe. I guess my lung issues are flaring up again.”

“Well, you did hear that Santa Cruz is on fire, right?”

*blankstareface*

“…yeeeaah. So there’s a giant wildire going on not that far from here. It won’t impact our route or anything, but there’s a lot of ash in the air. It might cause folks to need to work harder to breathe… didn’t you hear us cover this at pre-ride meeting?

Thinks to self: Of COURSE I heard it… I just didn’t anticipate it having an impact on ME! It’s OLD LA HONDA DAY!

*grumbles some reply that was likely both offensive and vaguely incoherent*

“So… uhhhh… maybe you should drop back to the Bs for today. We’ve got plenty of support, why don’t you take it easy?”

Had I been able to get a word out of my mouth, I probably would have declined. Or at least wanted to pretty badly. I’m your *ride support* for pete’s sake… not the noob who falls of the paceline!! But I was getting dropped on the easiest part of any ride ever and, after two minutes of standing still, could not breathe. My legs felt like jello at mile two. So I acceded. My group rolled off, and I continued my grind up Foothill — too stubborn to call it a day this early, breathing or not.

I was pretty quickly caught, and subsequently passed, by the Bs… and then the As. I slogged out the first ~15 miles to rest stop 1, on truly some of the easiest road in existence… in my little chain ring at about 10 mph. Apparently lungs are fairly essential tools in powering your body to ride (who knew?!), and my legs pretty much told my brain to shove it at the wussy levels of oxygen I was providing. At the first rest stop, I flagged down Charles (who was, once again, providing rock-star SAG) and pulled out the useless-to-date inhaler.

Side note: We missed a post on this. My vaguely fail doctor decided that I *obviously* had what I can only term “Random Onset with only Some Symptoms Adult Asthma” and prescribed two inhalers to help with my lung issues — one for every day and one for “attacks” — despite the fact that I never had an attack or …really… more than one  indicator off the laundry list signs of asthma. The daily one didn’t do crap other than to make my mouth taste bad twice a day, but I carried the emergency jobber around on the off chance that the doc’s predictions would prove correct (in which case having it would save my life… right?).

I figured that if I was ever having “an attack,” this must be what it felt like. I wasn’t quite wheezing, but I was light headed and couldn’t get enough air in to power my legs… or much of anything else. So I tried it. Two puffs of the emergency inhaler, a wave off of the “maybe you should just SAG this one” and I was off to climb Stevens Canyon Road. (Have you gotten the impression yet that I’m a teeeeeeensy bit stubborn?)

MAN! Does that lung stuff make a difference!! I can only assume “rescue inhaler” is another term for some combination of crack and steroids. By the time I left the parking lot of rest stop 1, I had gone from feeling just about as bad as I’d ever felt on a bike to… superwoman. Or my version thereof. I powered up that climb and even managed to catch back up to the groups that had dropped me (well, the A/B folks… my team still lapped me). I hit the end of the road and flipped around, ready for a typically awesome descent. When it’s not wet, that road is super fun to ride down!

Turns out, crack and steroid highs are short lived. About halfway down the hill, I started feeling kinda lame again. Bottom of the hill I seriously considered sagging out of the ride — before deciding that I could still bang this thing out. Back out on Foothill (this was an out and back piece of the route), I was worse than before. I was literally in my smallest ring, panting, alone, and pushing a whopping 7mph. And then, to make things just a bit worse, I spaced out and completely missed my turn… adding 6 miles to my route. Full of win!

I did eventually get back on route and made it all the way to Altamont. The very foot of Altamont, to be precise.(For those who don’t remember the reference, Altamont is a beastly little gut-popper that exists to make cyclists cry. It’s just long enough and just steep enough to suck lots.) I Gu’d up. Poured water on my head to cool down. Clipped in. Spun twice. Realized there really wasn’t another gear lying around, waiting to take me up the hill. Turned around and flung my bike in the truck. Yep… at this point, Charles had been assigned to be my personal SAG. I was THAT far behind. I had made it a full 36 miles, but I truly had nothing left in the tank. I couldn’t climb Old La Honda if I couldn’t breathe. Hell, I couldn’t ride the flats! I found the limit to my stubbornness, accepted that OLH wasn’t going to happen for me… again… and threw in towel.

To add insult to injury, I had to ride along as SAG for the rest of the team for the remainder of the day. Just because I failed didn’t mean Charles was off duty! On the one hand, I was happy to cheer folks on — especially those climbing “the beast” for the first time — but I’d be lying to say it wasn’t hard to watch, knowing I couldn’t pull it off myself. Again.

Believe it or not, I did live through it. The rest of the team rockstar-d up the climbs and, for the most part, had a nice, uneventful day. (Apparently ash doesn’t affect all equally!) As for me, the best I could do was resolve to get my lung issues nailed down sooner than ASAP – with Moab on the horizon, climb skipping just wouldn’t work!

TNT Ride #8 Old La Honda Odyssey

Sometimes Change is Good

After last Saturday’s ride from Chain Reaction, I decided that I had the time (and energy) to go for a quick test ride on one of my new bike candidates. As it turns out, I was only right about the former. I asked the first saleswoman I saw free if I could take a short spin on the Trek 5.2 Madone WSD. They had to do some hunting in the back room for awhile — only one 54cm frame left — but quickly got my pedals swapped in and heights roughly adjusted after that. Rather that riding up and down Foothill, my lady recommended a route that wound up through mostly residential neighborhoods; less cars (and less chance of me ruining their bike) plus a baby climb.

Apparently my 23 mile ride just before this test loop had taken more out of me than expected. Almost as soon as I started uphill, I felt like my energy reserves were totally tapped – just this side of Bonkland. Darn it! Utterly worn down is not really how I imagined testing a bike. Still, I didn’t know when I’d be back in Los Altos (or when I’d feel not guilty enough to ask someone to set a machine up for me again). I made three full laps around the neighborhood before I decided it was head back or pass out. By that time I’d learned pretty much what I needed to: I liked the bike, hated the saddle, and failed at the new shifters.

Big decisions are definitely not best made while starving. I gave the store the pretty ride back, reclaimed my slightly abused one and headed for the time honored cyclists standard refuel meal – Mexican. I recruited my two riding buddies for the “talk me out of” (aka “talk me into”) buying that bike conversation. Their arguments were persuasive (seriously — that pair made some surprisingly good points), but I still wasn’t sold. We parted ways at the end of the meal, intending to chat more at Monday’s scheduled ride.

I made it all the way to the car. I really did. I sat there and thought a bunch. Called the boy. Thought some more. And then, in case you somehow missed my 45 million tweets this weekend, I went back in and bought a bike! (Yes, I do feel a bit of shame for using the word tweet in such a trendy way. No, that doesn’t stop me from doing it. Stop judging me!) It took almost 2 hours to get her fitted for me, geared up and paid for… but by 4pm I was on my way home with a two bikes in the back of the truck. Don’t even get me started on what a pain it was to fit them both in there!

It was too late (and I was too tired) by the time I got home to ride again Saturday night. I contented myself with a bunch of pictures and the knowledge that I had an extra day of riding due to the holiday weekend. For your viewing pleasure, my new baby (kickass name still TBD).

At the store
Back at home

As previously mentioned, she’s a Trek 5.2 Madone WSD. I made a few swaps from stock in the store – higher stem, Terry Fly saddle – but mostly I have what’s shown on the site. By Sunday night I’d also picked up and/or migrated over the necessities (bottle cages, tail pouch, Garmin), and had everything ready to roll for a Memorial Day break-in ride. She’s new and she’s mine… just in time for summer season kickoff!!

I Support a Healthy Tail(wind)

Cycling solo-style gives you lots of time to think. Too much time, typically. In fact, if I am riding alone and am unable to come up with something to keep my mind occupied… I start to have a pretty bad time (especially if a climb isn’t going so well). As counterintuitive as it may seem, having someone with which to chat or some other task on which to focus actually makes me a better rider. The more cycles I spend thinking about how tired I am/how long the climb is/how far it is to get home… the worse everything seems – downward spiral style. I’m pretty sure the technical term might be called “psyching yourself out.” Luckily, I identified my tendency toward mental self-flagellation and its negative impacts on performance early on in my cycling career (ha!), and discovered a few tricks to keep myself spinning happily. The easiest one? Entertainingly enough: plotting my next blog post. That’s right, trying to pick out which pieces of my ride might be interesting enough to write about actually distracts me pretty well (remembering what the topic I’d picked by the time I finally get home is a whole other story).

Today’s ride was a tough one. It was solo (so no oddball companion stories to share). It was short (no “omg my legs” whining to be had), and the route was a three times out-and-back repeater course (no unexpected hill surprises to be found). I didn’t run anything over, and I didn’t fall down. So… you’re probably wondering by now… what do I have for you? Well, when there’s no giant interesting event to talk about, sometimes summing up all the small things you notice can be pretty amusing. For today this translates to the “I support” and “I cannot tolerate” lists. Oh yeah folks, two for one here. Please try and keep the excited screaming to a minimum. Without further ado:

I support

  • Riding outside. Spin class is good (and is what I had planned for today), but wind, sunshine and outdoor smells are better.
  • Nicely paved roads, closed to traffic. Descending at 30mph without worry of being hit by a car is a good thing.
  • New batteries in the chest strap and cadence meter for my Garmin. My data nerd side will finally get a full-on fix!
  • Awesomely cute puppy jerseys (and people who compliment me on wearing them).
  • Little kids out riding bikes. Not much bad to say about parents encouraging kids to get active (especially these days).
  • Re-riding well known routes and focusing on performance and “all those little things.” Believe it or not, practicing pulling bottles solo (after a season using the devil Camelback) was way helpful.
  • Kickass tailwinds. Pushing my average speed from 13-14mph on flats up to 17-20 is frikkin’ fun.
  • Attacking from behind on a climb just to see if you can get ahead and stay there. Internal mental contests keep me motivated!

 

I cannot tolerate

  • The friendly tailwind’s flipside: the headwind. Grinding my flats time down to 10mph around some turns is just mean.
  • People riding without helmets — especially kids. Hitting your head on pavement at any speed is dangerous, there’s just no reason not to be protected. And parents should know better!!
  • Riding serpentine patterns in the middle of the road, especially on a descent. Yeah, the road is closed to traffic… but I’m pretty sure traveling in unpredictable patterns “just for fun” is still a bad idea.
  • Tiny kids and the middle of the road. Be sensible folks! If I smack into your 3 year old at 30mph, it’s not gonna go well for either of us (especially if he’s not wearing a frikkin HELMET!!!). Keep ’em safe, keep ’em on the shoulder.
  • Fixing flats at the crest of a climb with 6 of your friends, when there’s a perfectly good shoulder three feet to your right. C’mon man!
  • Forgetting that I’d hurt myself and then pushing off hard to get up a hill on my already stressed out knee (at the very first baby climb). Ow. Just… ow.
  • Core classes with an over-abundance of squats which caused aforementioned knee issue.
  • Snot rockets. Not much more to say there. EW.

 

Nothing earth-shattering, but it kept my mind busy. And that enabled me to try and push my speeds up and improve skills without *too much* self abuse. My overall pace was up about 2-3mph from average, and I pushed my descending speed a bit faster than normal with some hawt “core engaged” crouch in the drops action. Not bad for a quick, unplanned, hour long ride! And… because I know you’ve been missing it… the return of Garmin data!!

Motion Based ride data

It’s Been How Long?

Since I know you’ve all been clamoring for an update – here’s a quick one. My lazy tail hasn’t touched the saddle since Solvang. The threat of horrid bike squeak paired with a few ugly mornings and a newly remembered love for sleeping later than 6am have kept me off the bike for well over two months now. Mind you, its not like I haven’t tried. I wheedled and cajoled Charles to drop my bike by the shop, to no avail. I signed up for Strawberry Fields as motivation, only to sell my registration the week of the ride. Bike still wasn’t fixed, and Charles had surgery the day before. Eep! (He’s fine by the way.) Wedding planning is time consuming and sucks, and dealing with the oft-postponed move fallout is worse. There are STILL boxes all over my house!

The excuses end soon though. Velotech repaired the bike and I picked it up last week. Theoretically she no longer squeaks (haven’t tested it), so at least that issue is off the table. Charles is mobile again, and I think I’ve resigned myself to living out of boxes until my next move. Or forever. Whatever. In any case, the first ride back is imminent…I just need to pick a date and recruit a buddy — Mike Z! I’m lookin at you! So, expect a real live ride update soon (although not immediate as I can only ride on weekends and I have weddings to attend the next two Saturdays running). There’ll be aching, whining, and possibly even some hot Garmin action. In the meantime, put some miles on in my honor or something! The weather has been too nice not to. I promise to be jealous!

The Aftermath

Its been over a week since the Solvang Century. I have a 100+ mile ride under my belt. The sunburns have faded and the legs now function normally again. I can sit down without wincing. The bike still squeaks, but that’s mainly a function of me not taking her to the shop yet. And one question still remains… No, not “have you cleaned that darn bike yet?” She’s still as muddy as ever, thank you very much. I was thinking more along the lines of …“Will you do it again?”

Someone asked me that right after the ride, and I couldn’t really answer. With muscles aching, brain basically dead (shut up! that is so a departure from the norm!), I knew that I needed time to recover before making a decision. I’ve spent so much of the last year of my life in and out of bike training, I deserved a break! After due consideration, my best answer is…maybe. I loved the entire Team in Training experience; the practice rides, the hill repeats, the people and the support. I’ve made friends I’ll keep in touch with (hopefully) for a good long while. But unless the group takes me back as a mentor for a later season I think the fundraising will put me out of the running for at least a year. Between the new move and the wedding this year, I am tapped!

That said, I don’t think anyone will be getting me off a bike anytime soon. I took this past weekend off from cycling entirely, and felt like I was missing something all day long. In fact, I signed up today for the Strawberry Fields century in May, so I need to get some saddle time ASAP before my tail gets too far out of shape! I also seriously need to get my poor Trek baby some much needed shop lovin’. Then again, I did make it through the entire season crash-free! Charles has already been informed that my new frame should be on order just as soon as I pick it out! (Any suggestions? The Orbea Diva is currently calling my name…) All this to say, the Solvang Century isn’t the last you’ve heard outta me! I’ve got miles of new trail at the new house to explore, and plenty of coaches still to harass on buddy rides! More (hopefully) soon. Gotta get at least 10 boxes unpacked this week first…

Bring it on Home

I tried to delay this post long enough for the new Garmin connector cord to come in…but I just couldn’t wait any more. I forget things easy in my old age! If the data’s what you’re looking for, rest assured a new USB cable is en route and I’ll update all the posts ASAP once its in.

The descent off of that last hill led Ron and I passed a couple crashed cyclists and into the final rest stop. Nothing like harsh visual cues to remind you to be careful. And this wasn’t even the area that the ride sheet warned about…and I quote “WE DON’T NEED YOUR BROKEN BONES”. How’s that for reassuring? Thankfully everyone we went by was in pretty good shape and waved off assistance (although some of that road rash looked painful!); but we sent a police car back up the hill when we pulled into the stop just to be sure. And by that I mean we nicely asked someone to go check on the people fallen over and they agreed. Not like we order cops around or anything (shockingly).

Now the fifth and final rest stop rides and interesting balance between refreshment and torture. Its located at this gorgeous winery, with lovely views of the countryside and (of course) provides much needed nourishment and the ever important potties. It also is approximately 50 yards from and directly pointed at the “final” climb of the ride known only as “THE WALL”. Some of you uber cyclists out there are probably reading this with some hit of skepticism. It seems that every area popular with road bikers has its own “the wall”; who’s to say how tough the one in Solvang actually is. Well, truth be told (with no Garmin data in hand), I don’t know. I can’t tell you the average grade, max grade, climb length or overall elevation change. I can tell you that after 95 miles in the saddle, sitting down, eating your banana and staring at that thing…”wall” seems like an understatement. Anticipation only makes it worse, ya know?

If Ron and I kept rest stop 4 short, the Firestone Winery was lightning speed. One wall and less than ten miles stood between us and glory. Or us and beer. Whichever. I scarfed my snacks, chugged my sports drink and (grudgingly) climbed back in the saddle. I might be close to the end, but my tail knew that it wasn’t getting a break yet! As far as I can tell, this particular hill was longer than the previous one but not quite as steep. It was definitely…wigglier (yes, that is a technical term) and had a couple decidedly unfriendly banks. Lucky for me, I had powerhouse-Ron at my side. He helped keep me going when I struggled, and we hit the top in pretty good time.

The view from the peak was phenomenal. If only my legs weren’t utter jello at this point, I’d be showing you a picture of it here. As it was, there was a 0% chance that I was going to unclip without falling – so I kept pedaling into the descent (and muttered internally about all the great missed pictures of the day). The downhill portion itself was actually much less rewarding than the last one. The pavement was truly wretched and my arm (and ears…oh my god the squeaking!) was giving me a good deal of complaints. I managed to keep hold of the handlebars the whole time, but I was really glad to see the stop sign at the bottom!

Of course, no cycling story would be complete without someone lying about climbs. Ron was pretty upfront that there was one “minor” hill after the big one we’d just done…but his idea of minor and mine are definitely not the same. Just after the aforementioned stop sign, we pulled up to Solvang’s answer to Mt. Eden. Much like our beloved hill repeats climb, this particular hill boasts fairly mild grades but a bunch of tiny switchbacks. We slowly weaved our way to the top – my legs were seriously dead at this point – and were rewarded with a downhill grade the rest of the way back to Solvang. As much as I’d like to whine about the unexpected or underrepresented final climb, 3+ full miles of downhill into the finish line was pretty frikkin’ sweet.

 

Me and my medal. I barely look winded!

 

I seriously couldn’t stop smiling riding into the finish line. There was a TNT contingent cheering for us as we rode across the line, complete with friends from last season who I hadn’t seen in months! A few more smiles and a couple hugs saw me to the actual finish line…well, the faux-finish line…still gotta get those last three miles in after the break!). I picked up my finishers packet (also known as a bunch of ride flyers – exactly what I wanted to think about after 7+ hours in the saddle) and headed to the Team in Training tent to checkout and get my super cool finishers medal. As super cool as medals can be, I guess. They aren’t exactly fashion friendly, but what in biking-land is? I hit the Solvang gear tent and purchased my very own event jacket; small jerseys were sold out. It is basically hideous (think bright red with green, yellow and purple accents) and vaguely overpriced, but its one of those thing you have have from your first century ride!

 

Ron and I at the finish line

Colin (my mentor) and I smiling pretty

 

Charles caught up with me shortly after checkout, food in hand. Score one point for him! The promised BBQ looked kinda shady, so he brought a bread/cheese/fruit plate instead. Mmmmm cheeeeeeese. Add in a tasty Danish pastry thing, and my recovery time was pretty short. Feeding time quickly gave way to “take lots of pictures to compensate for not taking them on the ride”. Of course these were of sweaty people in spandex cycling gear and not lovely rolling green hill, blue sky scenery…but whatever. Once the photos were done and the last of Team Wolverine had crossed (they all did make it in, just at varying points after Ron and I), Rich, Angie and I settled into back into the saddle for those last three miles home. Lucky for me, I avoided the beer – alcohol and a fierce wind combined with my exhaustion would likely have landed me as someone’s hood ornament!

 

Coach Don, me and Leigh Ann about 10 minutes before CollapseTime

 

I’m sure the Team in Training wrap up party was lovely, but I confess to not staying long enough to find out. I actually hit McDonald’s just after the ride (FOR SHAME!), so basically just picked at my dinner and ate the dessert. By the time the dancing started, my legs had one slow dance (aka turn and sway) in them before collapse. Charles and I hit the hotel room early and I feel asleep watching Troy on AMC (since when was this an American Movie Classic?!) by 9:30. All in all, pretty darn good day.

Motion Based ride data


What do we have here?

An often sarcastic, occasionally humorous journal of my training adventures in preparation for the Livestrong century ride. I took up cycling back in '07 in hopes of meeting new people, and, with the help of Team in Training, making my small positive difference in the world -- and haven't stopped spinning since. Follow along as my Trek road bike and I try and hash out our differences, hopefully with me upright and in the saddle.

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