Monday, March 3, 2008

650 miles - I'm certifiable

Yep. I'm certifiable. Crazy. 650 miles roundtrip to do a 46 mile group ride in Franklin. 66F, beautiful sunny skies! What more could you ask for??

I was up visiting my Dad in Valdese and had planned on riding Hwy 80 from Marion, up to the Blue Ridge Parkway. Once that far, I would decide whether to turn around or maybe ride towards Mt Mitchell. So, I planned on riding up that way this weekend, just hadn't planned on the Franklin trip. But, it's all good.

My uncle was visiting my Dad Saturday evening and wanted to see my bike. I take it out of the car, bring it inside to show him. I then notice that there's movement in the fork/stem area. WTH? I think maybe I just didn't get the compression plug tightened enough after I removed a spacer. I tighten a little bit more. Nope. That didn't fix it. I didn't know you had to put that spacer back on the top under the cap when you removed them..Doh!

So, I get up with my friend Andy and tell him what's going on & ask if it's safe to ride...He tells me that he wouldn't ride it like that - it's not safe. OK. Great. Now what the hell do I do?? I ended up driving 1:45hr Sunday morning, meeting him in Sylva and he added a spacer which fixed the problem. So, now I'm out there, might as well do the group ride. I'm not going to be in the mountains and not ride! No way!

We meet a couple of his friends about an hour before the actual group ride and get a nice little warm-up in. I felt pretty good except that I couldn't breath too well. The cold air just makes my lungs close up. I drank a Coke and that seemed to help.

The rest of the group arrives and we head on out to do the Burningtown Loop. I really like that route! I did pretty well on the route - falling behind on the climbs as usual, but able to keep up fairly well on the flatter sections. One point, in the beginning of the ride, we're all descending and I'm trying to catch a couple of the guys. Tucked really tight, coming up on a curve...uh oh!! That curve is way sharper than I realized!! Hit the brakes! Lock/skid the rear wheel! When I feel it skidding, I let off the brakes and thought I might be able to make the turn, but I couldn't 'cause I still had too much speed. Damn. OK. Up that driveway then. I'm glad the driveway was there instead of some drop-off down the side of the mountain!!! Sheesh. Hop off the bike walk it down the drive and play catch up again. Smelled like burning brakes!

Other than that little incident I had a great time. The climbs were, as usual, hard for me, but they were not as hard as the last time I rode that route. I guess I'm getting stronger. Plus, the weight loss is bound to be helping too. The only big problem I had was cramping again. I farkin' hate it. Every damn ride I do lately, I'm cramping. Starts in my right inner calf, then the left one. Then my right VMO muscle when I stand to climb. Killer quad cramps after the ride yesterday.

Thinking back...most of this cramping has happened since I've been losing weight...from about August of last year. Suggestions I've got are to start adding Lite Salt to my diet, taking a vitamin, and making sure I'm getting hydrated. I fail on all three of those things currently. I did add the Lite Salt to my eggs this morning and had a V-8. Got a 32oz bottle of water at the desk too. I've got to get that solved.

So, it was a great weekend! 7 hours driving yesterday, 3 hours cycling. LOL. What I do for a ride in the mountains. I seriously need to win that $173 million dollar lottery so I can quit work and move to the mountains :) And buy a new bike :) I might just buy a new bike if I lose another 23 pounds.

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