Mostly recaps of two wheeled rambles through the countryside, but sometimes thoughts on other things.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Happy 4th of July!!

There was no chance to do the "Memorial Day Marbury Ride" on Memorial Day this year, but I did set out on its close cousin, a ride through Marbury and Alpha Springs today. It's been a while since I last trudged up the 10% - 13% grades in that neck of the woods, and I wanted to see how a ride like that, on the Atkins Diet, could go.  Yesterday, a fine time was had in Cecil with Mary and Peggy, and it was no trouble at all running in the upper end of my usual pace (13 - 15 mph). I averaged 14.6 over a course of rollers. (I finally took that oddball GT Bikes 587 size wheelsest from Jeff out for a real ride, using some Continental 590s that would stay on, if not pumped up to full pressure. The bike ran great and I love the tires) For that ride, I added about 10g of carbs the night before. For today, I added 12g, figuring that 10 seemed to be a good number. Uh, no.

The whole diet thing was kicked off by Michael who surreptitiously shot a picture of me from behind, the day I  first wore the BooSucker shorts. All I could think of was, "Look at my huge buttage!"  It was awful! So a month ago I decided that less junk in my trunk would equate to better hill climbing speed. I was 171 then (a lot for a guy not quite 5' - 6") and am 157 now (about 1/2 way there). The thing is, while Atkins works well for me weight wise (and blood sugar wise, since I have had to deal with high a1c -diabetic- values in the past) it is not a way to put gas in the tank when your muscles need instant energy. Today, I was really hurting by about mile 20, so when we stopped at "Bubba's" (Faithful readers will remember Bubba. He drives a diesel tow truck, missing a door, and its horn plays the Confederate battle charge.  Mrs. Bubba has always been nice to us though. She runs the cash register.)  I picked up TWO Kellogg Nutri Grain bars. TWO with 25 g of carb EACH. Surely 50g of carbs would recharge my dying lower members. Sadly, this was not the case. The second half of the ride was a painful slog, and S-L-O-W up them hills. For the two steepest ones, I actually dismounted and walked the upper 1/2s of. I mean, It was about the same pace as I was RIDING at anyway. Sheesh.

The ride itself was great. Beautiful weather, with temps under 90 the whole time through, quiet roads and lovely scenery. Bob cancelled, Frank and Michelle showed, and we were off at "touring pace." About 2 miles out, a pack of dogs harassed us and a mini van pulled up and slowed. The van then went around us, and passing us, tried its best to lay down a patch of rubber. This is a mini van, remember. Frank turned to us and said, "Did you SEE the look that woman shot at me? If looks could kill, I'd be dead." I said, that I hoped she would leave Frank and take out some of the dogs, personally. A half mile later, the min van is heading back our way! "Uh oh." Is she packing heat? Is she going to lecture us that cyclists do not belong on the roads? NO!! The window rolls down and reveals TIM, who wanted to know, A) Why we left before 7 AM (He waited at the wrong school and finally figured that out, then hot footed it over to where we started from) and B) Why we didn't wait for him since he told Frank he was coming! I don't know about all that, but as a woman, he is not at all fetching. I think Frank needs work on his identification skills.

So we gave Tim a nearby location to park at and he met us just 2 miles out from the start and was excellent company all the rest of the way. We yakked about tires and bottom brackets, and optimal crank arm lengths and all the stuff that bike nerds like and no one else does. Michelle, as usual, was an elegant (in her new Castelli get up) figure in the far distance.  This after telling us how concerned she was about being able to climb the hills. Michelle, you did fine. We were all able to stay pretty close together through the 1st half of our trip but when I hit the wall at mile 20, Michelle and Tim cruised on ahead, while Frank circled back and chit chatted with me. To make sure I wasn't delerious, I think.

Even on the second half of the trip, the flat sections weren't bad, but there was very little flat to be had. The bulk of the climbing is in the second part of the route. Along Hwy 143, south of Marbury, a large hawk came out of a low tree or off the ground and passed very close to Frank. It happened too quickly to get a camera out. Exciting, anyway. CR 20 out of Old Kingston up to White City is freshly paved and a delight to ride on. 20 into Marbury is as coarse as ever.

We tallied 44 1/2 at the end, and I think about 2,600 total feet of up and down. Maybe Frank has it GPS'd and can let me know. So today was below the low end for me avg pace wise, only around  12.5 (the walking part really hurts one's average)
but that's not an unreasonable 'touring pace'. (yeah, whatever works, Bruce)  And I have a better idea of how to prepare for the next time I feel like dragging less adipose tissue up hills.

Happy 4th to everyone, I am off to friends to enjoy the afternoon!


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