So far in the early part of the season I've been very diligent in allowing my body to rest. It's still early February and I see people out on the group rides just trying to crush it like it's mid-June and they're peaking for road Nationals or something. I learned my lesson all to well last season after not building back up from the 'cross season and having a miserable year on the road. The funny part is, usually by the end of May all of the winter hero riders are gone frm the racing scene, not to be seen again until next March and a new crop of riders emerge and are just riding everyone into the ground. That's my plan, but it doesn't mean I'm going to sit around and do 4hr LSD rides either, that's all BS, when was the last time you raced aerobically anyway? Variation is key.
So Saturday a group of six of us made our way out to Fredneck for a nice day of climbing, Steve O. (a.k.a Nick Danger), Mid-Coast Tom, Yellow Bike Mike, Nat, The New Larry and myself met up at Myersville Elementary school to tackle my new route, the Monument Loop. This ride was to incorporate the climbs up to several monuments dedicated to the Civil War. When I pulled into the school I noticed the wind was a bit stronger than called for, probably a good 15-20mph and the temperature was in the teens. As we made final preparations and decended the first small hill, I realized how cold it actually was. The ride out to the first climb is a nice scenic stroll in the shade along the river where the air temp was a good 5-10* lower that the parking lot. Within the first few minutes of the ride I couldn't feel any fingers past the first knuckle and no matter how hard I banged them against the handlebars I just couldn't get the feeling back. That actually had me worried for a second. But then we started up the first climb and the blood started to flow again and life was good.
We got to the top of the mountain into Gambrill St. Park and made our way across the top to find a road that would drop us down the opposite side, with the plan of riding back up the same mountain again just from the other direction. Unfortuately both my memory and my map program failed me. We were in the Watershed area and there are 2 kinds of roads, somewhat paved and gravel. The road we needed to take was the later and worse yet, still covered with snow. Maybe on my mountain bike, but no way with the road bikes. So a quick route change had us blasting down the road we were suppose to climb up, another roughly paved, single lane road with endless blind turns and boulders for guard rails to the left and a shear drop off to the right. No room for error. I still think everyone was happier decending rather than climbing this beast. Unfortunately the route change forced us to ride into a constant headwind for the next 45 minutes.
During that time I spent alot of time pacing New Larry back to the group. The guy was only out for his 4th ride of the season and is preparing for a half Iron Man out in Cali. I asked him why he picked this ride to train on, wasn't his Iron Man a flat race? Nope, he said, the course will have over 5,400ft of climbing and when he saw the route profile for today, he needed to know what that much climbing felt like. I can respect that. But there's nothing worse than getting dropped from a group and riding 200m off the back while in an area unfamiliar to you. So I'd drop back and coach him and give him motivation, at times he would get a burst of energy and gap me leaving me to chase back up to him. By the time we made our way over to Gathland he told me he was cramping and to just point him in the direction of the cars. Bullshit I told him, you can finish the ride, just one more climb and we're headed home. I must have inspired him because he shot up the climb to Gathland like it was the start of a ride. I think Larry will do fine in his half Iron Man.
Sorry for the boring, pictureless post, I rode around for 4 hours with my camera in my pocket and forgot I even brought it.
I took the opportunity while I was out there to go visit my parents and grandfather and have dinner with them. We had a nice big beef pot pie (you just have to say it like Cartman). Unfotunately I couldn't stay since Gina was away and the dogs were cooped up inside all day. So I got home, played with the dogs, ate and passed out by 9:30.
Sunday was pretty uneventful, I decided to take a rest day after trying to comprehend my power profile from the day before. The numbers were just unreal. So Boulder and I cruised over to Avalon to hike the trails. When I got there I wish I'd gone to ride. The trails were frozen solid and just look super fast. Gina got home from visting her sister and I decided I didn't feel like cooking so we ordered up some Carrabbas. This is usually our safe meal when we eat out, it's always good and they have car side pick up which rocks, except for the fact that the Outback next to it does a hell of a lot more pick up business and the shared entrance to get to either of them was jammed with people waiting to get to Outback, the parking lot was a cluster F. After finally navigating around the Outback through their parking lot I got to Carrabbas and picked up our food and slipped out the back entrance. My trusty meal there is the Tagliarini Picchi Paccchui, bacically their fancy name for spaghetti with a crushed tomato, basil and olive oil sauce.
When I dove into my meal I was immediately disappointed, the pasta which I think is made fresh tasted all doughy and was under cooked. I couldn't even finish it, that never happens. Then last night either I couldn't sleep or was stuck in this restless sleep where I kept having the same dream over again. It may sound wierd but I always know when I'm going to get sick because of how I sleep, and this was it. I managed to get up and eat some muslei for breakfast but my stomach was not happy. Then Gina called me around lunch and said she didn't feel well either. I'm pretty sure it was the food. The more I see 20/20 and Dateline reports about the food industry the less I want to eat out anyway. I expect this shit from fast food, but I guess people are people and if some comes to work sick or doesn't wash their hands, you my friend are in for a gastrointestinal treat compliments of them. Worse part is this isn't the first time she's gotten sick after we've eaten out over the past month and a half, I think it's a sign to stop eating out and save our money for something important, like the new furnace we need to put in the house. Now that's going to be a tough check to write.