Friday, April 30, 2010

If your first fail is mediocre, try, try again.

After taking a week or so off to allow the bike burnout to slake I had a brief lake ride on Sunday, and a longer 30 mile ride on a new route Monday.

The 30 mile ride started @ Wake Forest University and took to the back roads looking for a few short steep hills (8-12% at times). Felt ok but nothing great after being off the bike for so long. Legs felt pretty wobbly by the end but the steepness of the climbs, putting in ~1750 climbing ft when several of my longer rides had far less, and by trying to focus on staying in the 80-88% MHR range for that distance probably goes someway towards explaining that particular sensation.

This was also the first fail of the week. My cue sheet was slightly inaccurate and I ended up going much further than I planned. I ended up @ the start of the "hope for the warriors" ride I did in March.  Oops! Trying to ride toward the northend of Winston Salem, ending up in a different town on the South West side. Fail.

The following day was not pretty. My legs refused to shut up (a là Jens Voigt) so my lofty goal of putting in 30 miles a day until the end of the month..... fail.

Which brings me to yesterday. Legs feeling better, beautiful day, no pressure on myself to put in a best time or distance, just a little ride around my typical ride routes where I have excellent choice points to ride 12, 20, 25, or 30 miles. If I'm feeling good I'll go for 30 but if not no big deal. Just going for a ride.

Headed out and was not feeling great but I kept the pace slow and let the 'ol body warmup. Went over the first hill and felt ok. Went up the second feeling better. Went up the third and noticed I'm going pretty well. Heart rate's in a good spot, not pushing to hard, got a good rhythm going. OK. First decision, going for a minimum of 25 miles.

Cruising along. Feeling better still. Legs ticking over, practising the whole circle thing, keeping cadence under control, hit the flat section and I'm flying along @ 22+ mph. Effortlessly. Hmmm. What's that weird feeling? Oh Carp. Back tire is going flat.

Did I remember to return my levers? Phew, yes. Ok, lets swap this baby out and keep going. I'm feelin' the leg love.

Wait. This spare is a patched tire. Do I trust it? Should I swap and turn back? Naw, I'll be fine. Let's keep going.

What the....? how does the CO2 thing work again? Did I bring the schraeder version instead of the presta? The cartridge is in, why isn't the tire inflating? Is the seal broken? Woah, don't let it leak out or you'll be stranded in the middle of nowhere. Oh, OK, that's how this works. Yeah! Tire inflated, no leaks. I'm good to go.

Back on the bike. Something is not right. Is the tire going flat? No. Just high inflation, feeling a little firm. Do I trust the patch? Should I turn around? No. We're good. Let's get some rotations in.

Back up to speed. Cruising. Still feeling good. Defintely going for 30 today.

That incline was easy. I didn't blowup, my cadence is steady and climbing @ 15 mph. Heart rate ok. Sweet. I always suck on this part. I really think I'm onto something with this circle 88 hypothesis.  Those last three hills should be fun today. Let's really keep it going and focus on pulling up on the stroke. That's right. Focus on the left leg. Keep it smooth, pedal in circles. Good job. Now the right. excellent. What analogy should I use to keep both legs going smooth. I'll imagine a crankshaft.....NOOOOOooooooo! My wheel is mushy again! please no. Please no. F!#@$! 

No spare, no patch kit, no pump, no CO2 cartridge. I'm done. At least I'm only a few hundred feet from the gas station. I'll call a cab and head home.

I start my walk of shame. Call a cab and while I'm waiting I think, "Did I close the patio door? I don't remember doing it. Oh no! What if the cats get out and chase the ferals? Did I close it or not? I always close it so if I don't remember doing it, then it must be closed. It's an automatic behavior. Where's the cab? Why is everyone looking at me funny? I'm a sad sad man."

Cab finally arrives. The bike doesn't fit in the trunk. Let's try the back seat. No. Wait, slide it this way. OK. We're good to go. $25 dollars later I'm home. Sad.

Clearly the best fail of the week on a long week of fails. If you try hard enough, you can achieve anything.

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