Saturday, May 2, 2009

Quips from the ride...

Today I had my longest (to memory and date, I think) ride EVER. And, as it turns out, my butt isn't too sore and my bike is still in one piece. Bonus? In spite of entertaining the thought of calling Nathaniel when I was lost the second time, I didn't. I figured that the Pacific was in a Westerly sort of direction...and to get there I had to head...West.

Brilliant, I know.

Here are a few other thoughts, ideas, observations, and expletives from my ride today. Enjoy!

-At 56:12 in, my bike computer stopped working. I have no idea what happened, or why. I had just started climbing the San Elijo hill, and I looked down and WHAM! No watts, speed, or anything. Just blank numbers. Thank goodness my hr was on a separate system, because the LAST thing you want to see when glancing at a computer/hr monitor is a blank screen.

Yes, the heart was still pumping. All 172 beats per minute (its a long hill, and my heart rate gets pretty high...easily. Go figure). But for MOST of the rest of the ride I was riding sans bike computer.

-At the top of the REALLY BIG HILL I pulled over and allowed myself to freak out for 5 minutes. No computer...? And I'm riding LONG today...?? WTF! Bloody F*$#!!! Hell. And then I realized that cursing at the computer and tossing the bike over the cliff wasn't going to do ME any good. Not really the end of the world. Seriously. If anything, I would simply prolong my time being out - because eventually I WOULD complete Jen's prescribed time.

Even if it meant sliding down said cliff, retrieving the bike, hiking back up, and completing the route. And then I would just be covered in dirt and probably chased by rattlesnakes or something. Yuck.

-I DID see a squished rattlesnake in the middle of the road. Somewhere on Lilac or West Lilac. It didn't look good. And it smelled even worse than it looked. But it reminded me to stay AS FAR RIGHT AS POSSIBLE, lest I should become squished like a rattlesnake.

-A few weeks ago when I met with Charisa to talk about rides and routes, she gave me a list of "really good roads" to tackle that branched out from old Hwy 395. I wondered at the time how she could remember so many roads... Today I found out: They all had HUGE hills. Yeah - I would remember Circle R Road if I had to climb it for 20 minutes as well.

-I swear that the city of San Marcos did not like me today. Two bottles either dropped or bounced (out of the cages), a dropped chain, and glass embedded in my tire... I think I biked through the remnants of a windshield or something ominous. At least I stopped to pull out a few shards of glass from my front tire. Phew! Unlike after descending Palomar the other day - when (to my surprise) upon arriving home, I discovered a front flat tire thanks to one heckuva cactus thorn. That sucker went ALL the way through.

-People who bike without helmets are NOT very smart. Sure - no tan lines and you get to feel the breeze blowing through your hair. But seriously. Haven't we seen enough of what can happen when an unprotected head meets the pavement? Grow up. Sheesh. You make responsible cyclists look bad.

-Thank you San Diego Chargers fans! I'm not kidding when I say that EVERY car that passed me that had a San Diego Charges lightning bolt plastered on gave me a wide berth. And I was grateful. And now, I like SD Chargers. Not as much as Green Bay though...

-I was passed by two blokes wearing FULL Garmin-Chipotle team kits somewhere on Lilac just before Couser Canyon road. They had foreign accents and spoke English with a British accent. They reminded me of Spencer Smith, actually. And when they passed me not once, but TWICE (one stopped to fix his chain at the bottom of the climb - silly me... I asked if he was okay. He just looked at me weird) - they danced on their pedals. I wanted to stop and watch them climb.

Instead I had to focus on the task at hand: 1) not looking like a buffoon on the bike and 2) not sounding like a wheezing elephant. When your heart rate is at 175, it's pretty darned near impossible to mask the Darth Vadar-like sounds emanating from your person. Trust me.

They were brilliant to watch, though.

-There was only one point when I was ready to cry "uncle" and take a break from climbing. I had JUST descended into some valley down a really really LONG and STEEP hill, and realized that I had to go back up said hill and another and then another. Thankfully cell phone reception was non-existant, and Nathaniel didn't get a phone call.

-I got lost twice, stopped at a gas station just off the 76 once to ask for directions, and eventually wound my way through Vista and Oceanside before finding the San Luis Ray River Bike Trail. I was prepared to do what it took to get home, though. Yes, I had an extra gel with me (just in case I got's dangerous when I take new routes...but you've got to learn, right), but I was NOT planning on being on the bike any longer than necessary.

Thankfully 20 minutes was all the extra that I did.

-30 minutes though...and Nathaniel WOULD have received a call.

-I am getting some funky tan lines.

For some reason my arms are extremely sensitive to the sun - in spite of the gobs and gobs on sunscreen I apply. So I'll usually keep my arm warmers on at all times if I'm wearing a jersey. Everything from my wrist and up is great... but there is a clear line on the back of my hand to where the arm warmers started. It's one thing to have a jersey tan... but arm warmer tan? I know, I know - it could be a lot worse.

-Double Latte Powergel with 2X the caffeine tastes REALLY good 4 hours into the ride. Really, really good.

-I thought A LOT about people racing this weekend, and tried to channel as much energy and "good vibes" towards them as possible.

But not so much energy that I couldn't make it up a hill.

-Speaking of hills... While climbing Gopher Canyon Road, I spied a sign from afar that I THOUGHT read HolyHill Road. And all I could think of was The Caped Crusader and "Holy Hill Batman!"

Turns out the sign was for HollyHill Road. I chanced a glance and decided that HollyHill would best be appreciated from where I was at - Gopher Canyon Road and NOT via HollyHill Road.

-I left the house really early this morning, so that I could make it home in time for Nathaniel and I to visit a local brew pub before they shut the tasting room doors at 4 pm.

I made it!

And the beer sampler (because for those of you who know me, know that I enjoy the mini samplers...I'll never order a regular beer, no. BUT - if there's a small sample of each, consider me IN), was wonderful.

-I thought I recognized a familiar face, but didn't want to be weird and tell someone, "Hey aren't you James? I read your blog!" But I did anyway. And then Beth, his fiancee and local triathlete who ALSO has a blog came in, greeted me, and then turned to Nathaniel and said, "You must be Nathaniel!"

I think Nate was more taken aback than all of us. But in his defense - he has no idea who these people were, doesn't do triathlon, and doesn't have a blog. Yeah.

But they were really nice! It's always fun to meet other triathletes and put a face to the name...

-Beer sampler + LONG bike ride = early afternoon inebriation. Yikes. Which in turn equals late afternoon head ache. YIKES! You know... I've never craved a Bloody Mary - BUT, I could really go for one minus the alcohol. Throw in some olives and celery, and I would SO all over that.

-As I was turning from Tamarack onto the Coastal Highway (about 3 minutes into my ride), my thoughts were, "This is my LAST HARD WORKOUT FOR A WEEK! Let's make it a good one!"

And I did.


Mama Simmons said...

Nice job!! That's a LONG ride! You're funny about your bike computer... I know I'm probably the only one, but I actually prefer riding without a computer on my bike. Silly me.
Hope your headache goes away! :)

Jennifer Harrison said...

Well, MAN I AM GLAD YOU ARE OK! Riidng w/o a computer is a good thing. I am actually like Michelle. JUST this week my computer was on my bike for my outside ride. Of course in the basement on the CT I have one, but I rarely have one....I do wear a watch/HR monitor...but, I had to laugh on WED (my "long" ride day) I thought, OH, that is a lot of miles! I never know how far I go. Good to be "free" sometimes. YEAH on making the beer tasting/win tasting party! :) REST up today!

Bill said...

"Double Latte Powergel with 2X the caffeine tastes REALLY good 4 hours into the ride. Really, really good."

Funny enough, it tastes REALLY good 4 hours into a run too!

Well done getting through the ride untethered. Sometimes those are the best ones.

Jen said...

Wow! What a great ride...despite the little computer issue :)

I like to call those moments "Stalker Moments". You think you recognize someone and then you realize it is b/c of the blog world.

I had my first stalker moment in our local supermarket. I saw a lady pushing a cute little girl in a grocery cart. I did a double take and then said,"Hey. You're Jamie." She looked at me like I was a serial killer waiting to strike. Before she had a chance to call the police I told her who I was :) She said she didn't recognize me with out my kids.

So when you are in Kona and someone comes up to you and says,"Hey. You're MARIT!" - don't be scared :)

Missy said...

I agree, I have had some of the best rides and races when my bike computer craps out on me. Truly, HRM too - I always think my heart will actually explode AND that I'll be running out of heart beats shortly. Don't want to use them all up at once.

Double thumbs up for the beer sampler, sounds like a perfect carbo load to me!

Angi Axmann said...

NICE WORK!!! I have not had a computer on my bike since last August...sometimes niice, but sometimes it is nice to know how fast you are going as well:-) Yeah, pro cyclists are a little weird. My fiancee is a Pro cyclist and his teammates are all like that as well: ignore all non-pro-cyclists, think they are the shit and off course need to be treated like a king:-) I am glad JR stayed normal.
But great work and thank you so much for the plant advice, I am off to the home depot in a little bit, sorry to hear about your tomatoe, if I come back to CA this season I will bring you one of mine (if they make it:-).

Jennifer Cunnane said...

Great job getting in your ironman training! You are amazing - not sure how you put up those miles and hills, uh, those hills! There must be a ton of them where you live.

Ryan said...


So what happened to the computer???

The only complaint I have with triathlon training is that it has really decreased my enjoyment of alcohol because of the dehydration it water loss, yeah IV's!

jameson said...

it was killer meeting you at Green Flash. keep up the solid work!

ADC said...

Hey, just read this - am still catching up on all the blogs. When I am at West Point there is no routine it seems. So you should def come and visit us in the UK where you can hear a lot of British accent. You'll love it.

Runner Leana said...

Sounds like you definitely deserved the beer sampler! Nice job on the super long ride. Sigh...I would love to ride where there are some Brits riding around in Garmin Chipotle gear...!!

Pamela said...

Well done!