My problem was, I didn’t know what to count as a hill.
At the beginning of the day, anytime we went up a pitch that lasted more than a minute, Nick and I counted it as a hill. Before we had been on the bike for 1.5 hours, I figured we had ridden our 11 hills, and the rest would be flat. Turns out that was wrong — they saved all the really hard hills for the second half of the ride. Or is it possible that the hills were hard because I was tired? No, that’s not possible. Put that thought out of your mind.
The thing is, long road rides generally don’t make great epic ride stories. People don’t (usually) crash, when you bonk you just ride slow, and bears rarely attack. So I’ll briefly recap the highlights:
- The predominant form of roadkill was frogs — each looking as if it had been about the size of my fist before being flattened.
- I was super-geeked out, instrument-wise. Ie, I carried my cool new Suunto N6HR, so I could monitor my heartrate for the day (see chart), had my Garmin GPS to tell us how far we had gone and our current altitude, and my regular bike computer. And I had my mobile phone. All that was missing was my propellerized beanie cap. (Did my heartrate really spike to 212?)
- The weather was perfect: overcast and cool, but only needed arm warmers for the first hour.
- Nick is a great guy to ride with. We match speed well, and he’s good at chatting — which helps keep your mind off the pain.
- I felt better on the hills than I expected to. The fact that I am currently a Fat Cyclist doesn’t negate the fact that I have spent most of my cycling lifetime trying to be a good climber. I suffer well, and know where my threshold for needing to back off really is — and it’s far north of where most people think theirs’ is. Ie, hurting does not necessarily mean it’s time to slow down. In fact, my experience tells me that I can ride acceptably well for up to 3 minutes after tunnel vision has set in. Once the tunnel starts to close, then it’s time to back off. FWIW, I never even got a little bit of tunnel vision on yesterday’s ride.
- The ride was beautiful — a great tour of rural King County.
- Getting a dish of strawberry shortcake at the finish line was a stroke of genius. Yum.
After the ride, I pigged out, bringing my weight to 181.4 for this morning. I’m so sick of hovering at 180. This week, I’m going to get down to 178, and I’m not going to let my binge instincts get the better of me over the weekend. I’ve got to get down to 170 by the end of June, and then down to 160 by the end of July, or I’m looking at another pathetic year at Leadville (not to mention the RAMROD, [Ride Around Mount Ranier in One Day], which is a pretty tough ride, by all accounts).
Next up: I’m no longer doing "next up." I’m finding more often than not that I want to write about something different than what I committed to the previous day.
Today’s Weight: 181.4