Monday, February 4, 2008

Birthday Ride

TRAIN LIKE YOU RACE. My mentor got on to me this past week because I hadn’t been riding and more so because I said I had a group ride on Saturday and that we would be stopping/waiting at turns for the slower people. He asked me if that was how I was going to ride Marion (Assault on Marion) and I said no it wasn’t. Well, “train like you race” was what I was told.

I tried really hard to do this on the Saturday group ride and did pretty well at it, but on my birthday ride, I wanted to do even better. I haven’t looked at the motionbased file yet – it will tell me the amount of stopped time I had. I had one stop to add arm warmers, one stop to cross the road to the RS and about 5 minutes there getting checked out and refilling bottles. After that, I don’t think I stopped again until I got back to my car.


It was a beautiful day yesterday for a birthday ride! It’s been a long time since I’ve had such a beautiful day on my birthday. Most of the other times, the birthday day has been typical January/February weather. But, yesterday the temps were in the mid 60’s, blue sky, a few wispy clouds, and slight breeze occasionally.

I tried to get some friends to ride with me, but I guess everyone wanted to stay home & watch basketball games, had other plans or didn’t feel like they could ride after riding the day before. Anyway, I had some things to take care of before lunchtime, so I was unable to ride in the morning. After lunch (which I didn’t have), I loaded up my bike stuff and headed out to Archer’s Lodge Community Center to do my birthday ride.

Felt pretty good while riding and was able to get up the grades on Covered Bridge without too much trouble. I had to stop very shortly after starting though and put on some arm warmers. It was just a tad too cool to ride without. Once I got these on, I headed out again. I tried to keep the pace fairly high to mimic what I might be riding at the actual Frostbite so I could see how I felt. I did well – kept the pace around 17.3-17.8mph average until around 25mi. By this time, 1.5hr into the ride, I had eaten all 3 of my gels and drank almost all of my Cytomax. I stopped at a little store at the intersection of Hwy 42/NC 222 to refill stuff.

This little store is not the best one to stop at. Nothing really wrong with it – quite a few Mexicans in and out and it was very small. There is a BP store about .25mi down Hwy 42 that I’ll use next time. I got a Coke, peanuts, and bottle of water. I ate a few of the peanuts, refilled the bottle with Cytomax & water and headed out towards Flower Hill. I drank the Coke along the way. Afterwards, I wish that I hadn’t got the Coke, as it seemed to upset my stomach a little bit and cause my right side to hurt a bit. This last leg of the route, from around the 25mi mark until the end, was a little more hard for me. Maybe I was getting tired…Seemed like the wind was a tad stronger and blowing in my face. But, maybe not.

Made the turn onto Antioch Church Road and had around 12 miles left. Everyone says this road is hard to ride because of the hills. I didn’t think it was that hard. Riding in the mountains and doing the ride I did in December puts this all in perspective. We don’t really have hard hills in our area (Clayton). You just have to gear down when you hit the grades around here and pace yourself up them. I remember the last time I rode Antioch – the Frostbite Tour last year. I can remember coming up those hills, especially the one that has the church on the left side of the road, and about falling over because I was so tired and going so slow. Not this time.

Made the turn onto Thanksgiving and was able to turn the power/speed up a notch as it was a slight downhill grade to the next turn at Covered Bridge Road. Then there was one last longish climb, around 6% grade. Made it up this ok, albeit a little slow. Upon reaching the stoplight at Buffalo, I still didn’t have close to 43 miles, so I rode on past my car and then back ‘n forth on the road in front of my car until the mileage turned over to 43mi. I was off the bike then!

I had really wanted to ride about 6 more miles to make sure I got in 100mi for the weekend, but I just couldn’t do it. If I had started earlier, like 12:00-12:30pm, I had also considered riding a metric to get in my age plus my daughter’s age. Alas, it didn’t happen. But, that’s ok. I really enjoyed the ride; just wish I had had some company.

I did have one problem on this ride though. I wore my Hammer kit and the shorts are not good for long rides! These shorts and any others that are not Sugoi RS Flex shorts are only good for around an hour’s worth of riding. By the time I reached the store, my butt was starting to seriously hurt. It was hurting a lot more on Antioch and I think some of my average speed drop-off was due to having to slow down often to rearrange the shorts to see if I could get more comfortable. It didn’t work. I will be getting at least one or two more pair of these short and retiring all the others to just lunchtime rides at work or any ride of an hour or less in length.

Overall average pace was 16.4mph, dropping from 17.5mph (first 25mi) due to butt soreness issues and the little extra I had to ride at the end to get in 43mi; slower riding for the last 1.5mi. Even so, I had a great weekend of riding! I have renewed my love affair with my bike and will get the training back on track this week.

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