Monday, June 22, 2009

Post Caesars Head Challenge

Well, after that ride, I was really not feeling much love for the bikes. I was tired & sore and the thought of riding my bikes last week was very unappealing. I talked to Andy Sunday evening and told him that I wasn't going to go to TN to ride Cheohala - I just wasn't ready for it, mentally or physically.

The weather helped me out a couple of days the first part of the week with rain, so no riding. I just didn't want to ride. Felt burnt out. I decided (with the suggestions/advice from a couple of friends) that I would just not ride last week, but try to get out over the weekend and do some riding...smell the flowers, enjoy the scenery rides. I broke out the fixie for rides over the weekend.

Saturday, I was up fairly early and took the fixie on a 30mi/1:50hr ride...omg...loads of fun riding that bike!!! Only 2 almost mishaps...first one going over RR tracks - you can't coast!! and the second one was on my first downhill section. The speed picked up quickly and I suppose I became a bit scared of it...losing control...but regained and continued the ride without further incident. The downhills weren't all that bad after I just let my legs go. The uphill sections weren't too bad either - keeping the momentum going, standing out of the saddle for parts. It was actually kind of easier climbing with the fixie on the few upgrades I encountered vs the geared bike. I started to continue on for another hour towards the end of the ride, but thought it might be best not to for the first ride.

Sunday, I didn't get up early enough to ride in the morning, so I had to wait till later in the evening to ride. The wind was also a factor earlier but not so much later. Only rode something like 15-18mi around Clayton - I did entertain thoughts of doing the Saturday ride again, but my legs told me no.

The bike is loads of fun to ride - I just can't believe how much fun it is...I'm entertaining thoughts of doing the Clayton-Goldsboro Century on the fixie....that would be so cool. The fit is pretty good - I do feel a little stretched out and may need a shorter stem, but I'll just leave it as is for right now.

Today, commuted into work on the fixie. I don't know if I looked at my watch (timer) incorrectly when I got to the parking lot, but I thought i read 44mni. If that's the case, that's a 20+avg for the 15mi commute. Hard to believe that. Maybe it was 47 or 48min...dunno...there is no coasting, so maybe it was a fast pace. It won't be that on the way back I don't think.....

Remainder of the week...maybe go do a group ride in Cary with some of the Inside-Out friends tomorrow, commute on Wednesday, Hammer ride on Thursday, commute Friday, weekend not sure...

Monday, June 15, 2009

Caesars Head Challenge 061309

I found out about this ride the first part of last week, maybe on Tuesday, and decided to go down for the weekend and participate in the ride. I wasn't prepared at all for riding Saturday...meaning, I haven't been getting enough sleep, I didn't hydrate during the week, and I didn't eat all that well - skipping supper a couple of nights after riding because I wasn't hungry....

Well, that proved to be my downfall. This ride was FAIL. I didn't make it to the top - bailed and turned around with something like 4-4.5mi to go. I had already stopped 2x and by the 3x, I knew I couldn't do it, that it was going to take me at least an hour to get to the top. No way. I was hot, tired and cramping. Cramping bad. Someone stopped and asked me if I was ok, no I wasn't...they offered ice - but it didn't help much. When I asked and was told that it was that far to the summit, I knew I couldn't do it.

I know that everyone has told me I did great, but in my books, it's still a FAIL. The Ruby Ride was almost a FAIL too. I've fallen off the Reservation while Andy was gone west and I have to get back on. And back on this week because I have another major ride coming up on Saturday....anyways - back to the ride report...

It started at 9am and was already fairly warm & humid. I started out with my friend Neal, but it didn't take very long for him and the rest of the riders to drop me on the first long climb. I have no idea how long it was, but it was long enough and I was slow enough to get dropped by the main group. I ended up riding with about 4-5 other riders that were going at a pace I could handle. I have no idea what that was because I don't have a computer on the bike. (that's changing this week). It was really a beautiful day and great scenery on the ride.

I stopped at the 1st RS, hoping for some bananas/oranges, but all that was there was fig newtons, Power gels and Power Bars, neither of which I really like. But, I did eat half of a Power Bar and headed on out with the group I had been riding with. The route, best I can remember, wasn't too bad from that point to the 2nd RS. Same food at this one. The temps were getting up by this time - it was around 11am and I was really feeling the effects of the heat/humidity...I'm really glad I chose to carry an extra bottle of water for just pouring on my head. It helped, but not enough.

I drank both bottles of Perpetuem and then refilled with water on subsequent stops. I didn't realize how low I was in P or I would have gotten more before I left Raleigh. I didn't have enough for the whole ride, only 2hrs worth. I was expecting pretzels, bananas, oranges, cookies, pb sandwiches at the RS's, so I didn't really worry about not having enough P. Wrong. I guess being the inauguaral ride, they (sponsors) didn't know what all to have at the RS's.

From about the 40-45mi mark, it started going downhill and not literally. I started feeling the first twinges of cramps coming on in my quads, rode through them, but knew I was in trouble. I finally made it to the rest stop prior to starting the climb and they had oranges!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I think I ate 3 while sitting in the shade. Filled the bottles up and continued on. Once I got to the intersection of 276 & 8, where the climbing starts, I was really having doubts. First 2x I stopped, I got off the bike and stretched a bit, poured water on my head, got back on the bike and rode on. But, the last time I stopped, I just knew. Knew I couldn't go on. Fail. Disappointment. Upset/mad at myself for screwing up the week prior and not being able to finish. This was on par with the Fabulous Fourth of last year. But, I did finish that ride.

So, I turned tail and descended back to teh campground. Cramping on every little speed bump I had to go over. Loaded the bike up, saw Neal & talked to him a bit, went and got some food then headed to the hotel. I was so damn tired, I didn't really even feel like taking a shower. I don't think I've ever felt that bad. And cramps...did I mention that I had cramps? Yes, all night. The tops of my shins, the tops of my feet, my calves, inner thighs, quads, everywhere you can get a cramp in your legs, I think I had them. Not a great night. Seriously dehydrated because I never went to the bathroom till the next morning. This won't happen again. Nope, not again.

Anyways, that's it. I'll either get back down to that area and just do the CH climb or stay somewhere in Greenville and ride from there and to the top. I have a few pictures that I'll post later.

Redemption Will Occur Next Year:
June 12th, 2010 at 7:30am for the second annual Caesars Head Challenge!!!

New Addition To wolfpack's Stable

Yes, there is a new addition to the bike stable. I now have six, yes, that's six, bikes. 80's Lotus Excelle, Felt F1x cross bike, Mangusta FG/SS, Fuji Team RC, The Ruby, and the Rossin (need components to build it up this summer). I was offered a deal on a Specialized Ruby Sworks with SRAM Red that I simply could not pass up. I purchased the bike from Motion Makers bike shop in Sylva, NC.

All I can say is Wow!! This bike rides like a dream - accelerates like crazy when you get out of the saddle and put the power to the pedals, descends like a rocket, and smooth as butter ride. What a big difference between the Ruby and the Fuji. It has been great - I've put around 300mi on it already, with the first ride being The Ruby Ride in Franklin, NC on 5/30. That bike is just great! I'll post some pictures later tonight when I get home (can't do it from work) and maybe do a little more write-up...Not much more to say about the bike except it's just awesome!!!!

Monday, June 1, 2009

Yearly Mileage

Updated my cycling log this evening and here's where I'm at so far this year...

Jan: 70mi/5hr/4 rides (Broken thumb put me out for this month...)
Feb: 393.5mi/23:33hr/17 rides
Mar: 501.8mi/33:42hr/18 rides
Apr: 631.5mi/39:16hr/16 rides
May: 598.3mi/37:54hr/15 rides

YTD: 2205.1mi/140:08:20hr/71 rides