Sunday, September 19, 2010

30 Fast, 17 Naked

It's threatening to rain here this weekend, so Thursday afternoon I went out to "get some" while the sun was shining. Seemed like a plan. The Garmin booted up, acquired its satellites, and then died. Battery needed charging.

I gave it 25 minutes to suck on the charger and decided I had burned as much daylight as I could, so slipped it into its mount and went out the door. I'd been craving beef the night before, so I went to Burger King and ordered a double burger, no mayo, no cheese. With that and the flame broiling I convinced myself I'd get most of the iron, niacin and protein without too much fat or cholesterol. That's my story and I'm sticking to it! :D

Whatever it was, I started pretty strong and kept gathering as I went along. Bored of Bread-N-Butter Beals, I decided to mix it up a little and turn right onto the Johnny Cash Bridge, (aka Folsom Crossing Bridge, which doesn't cross Folsom Lake, and lost the naming poll by a local newspaper 3:1 to Johnny Cash) take in the spectacular view of the Lake from the bridge, and do the progressive hill climb that follows.

I was a little surprised that I ran out of gears with the 12-23 in back while in the 38T middle ring, but sat back on my seat and pounded out the top of the climb with my glutes hammering away. Makes for a very sore butt the next day, but always good to hit the legs in a new way. The Garmin trace shows the top at 9%. Respectable.

Had a blast coming back into Old Folsom past the Folsom Prison Industries Gate at ~ 30mph cranking 85 rpms in the new big ring. Yeah! >B  Dropped down into the aerobars and hammered it all the way back through Rodeo Park before having to wait for the lights in Old Folsom.

Once back onto the bike trail I pushed hard, trying to improve on my scorching pace on my last ride. I think it was a draw, but I definitely got stronger as I went, as I had eaten half a PowerBar waiting for lights in Old Folsom. Amazing how some quality ride fuel puts the snap back into the legs.

I'd brought some powered electrolytes with me, so stopped again at the new restrooms at Sunrise, and mixed some up. Just as I was entering the bike trail again I happened onto the back of the SBHs final Thursday day-time ride of the season. After chatting a bit I sprinted and bridged up to the back of a tandem. Momma didn't raise no fools. I know a quality draft when I see one!

I just LOVE the way a tandem handles, and builds speed. Smooth as silk through the many tight turns on the ARPT, and after scrubbing off speed, builds speed like a NASCAR, taking 20-60 seconds to get up to full restrictor-plate racing speed again. Easy to draft off of, and OMG, what a draft. I was very surprised no one else bridged up with me, as I passed a group of 12-15 to get on their wheel, but no problem, more for me!

My Garmin alerted its battery was about to die, so I turned it off to make sure it remembered the trace to that point. After that I was riding completely naked. I didn't even have a speed indicator.

When we got to William Pond Park and stopped to rest, I recognized the captain as a fellow HWs member, CycleSteve and his SO. They just finished a mountain and foothills tour of ~ 250 miles, so their legs were a little tired. Sure couldn't tell it on the way there though.

Turning around we headed back with the same group, but picked up another rider. She was out front after a couple of miles, and I decided it would be more fair to go around the tandem and offer to pull my fair share of the time.

As it was, she was also a little leg tired, and after a fast 3-4 miles I'd dropped both the tandem and my tail-gunner. No worries. I bridged a gap almost a mile long, and caught the lead group just before Sunrise. That was my return fork back to Bannister, so I shouted my intentions to peel off, and returned home.

I got to the first light on Fair Oaks and flatted - lucky I didn't crash. It was getting dark, so I really had to scramble to patch it before I lost the light. Unfortunately, the patch failed again in a few miles, and this time I almost fell in front of a car when it blew. I was only 2 miles from home, but that's way too far to walk in cycling shoes, so I needed to find a solution fast.

I ended up knocking on a door to get someone to turn on their porch light, as I could see no other way to get enough light. No luck. They weren't home, but as I rolled the bike back towards the road, I noticed a nice porch light beside a garage door over a brand new concrete driveway and sidewalk. Perfect!

About 5 minutes later the owner pulled into his garage and I had my stuff spread out all over the short sidewalk from the garage to the house. I knocked on the garage door from the outside to warn him, not wanting to startle him too badly. Nevertheless, he was quite surprised. Once we got past that he was cool, and we had a nice talk while I worked.

His name's Chris, and he's from Jersey by way of San Rafael, Ca, It turns out he moved there a few months after I left, but it still made the basis for a great conversation. Will drop by in a few days with a cold beer or 6 to thank him for his forbearance.

By the time I got home it was hard dark, and pretty cool. 47 miles and about 2,500 ft. I've got 72 for the week, and so only need a 30 miler to get my 100 miles done. With luck the weather will hold tomorrow and I'll have three consecutive 100 mile weeks in the bank. Liking September this year!

1 comment:

Stephanie said...

Goodness, what adventure! No light no speed, no time...you must have felt like a neanderthaler! I hate when my garmin dies during a run. Would be nice to have a battery indicator.