Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Enjoying My Damned Hard Riding

I've been putting in a lot of miles, pretty much sticking to my 100 mile weeks, and am just enjoying the ride - having my gear dialed in well - finally.

I did a really wonderful ride last Tuesday evening with SBH, although it turned out to be just myself and the ride leader. I had made rice and left the stove on, so asked if we could swing by my house for a minute. That kind of set the spirit of adventure for the evening, and I ended up kind of co-leading the ride, showing her a bunch of new roads in my hood.

I took up the lead shortly after we left Sunrise on the ARPT, after stopping for a few minutes to take in a breathtaking sunset, and suck down some Gatorade. It was still warm well into dark. I spotted a fast pair way up ahead, and decided to challenge myself to try to catch them, as I started to really get my legs  under me.

It was a 2 mile sprint, ramping up steadily from ~22 to a peak of 27.3 mph. She was right on my wheel. Very impressive. I got us to within 50 yards when we got jammed by slow traffic and failing light. I pulled a bottle, and we turned on our lights while "coasting" down to 22 mph. Spent from pulling at such high speeds, I hung on for dear life for the next few miles as she put on her own display of speed.

We caught  a rider shortly after WBP who had no light, so we drafted her with me on the right, and Shon on the left. My Bike Planet 1W Bazer just barely filled in the shadow from Shon's MagicShine, but except for a half dozen snakes we didn't see until right on them, the light was good enough for Shon and I to average 20mph from Sunrise to CSUS ~ 12 miles. With all of the dips, rises and hairpin turns, that's very good speed, and excellent speed at night.

Yesterday I needed a 50 mile ride to make my 100mi/week goal, and managed to do so in spite of running a gauntlet of skateboarders, clueless riders withe zero situational awareness riding with headphones and earbuds, a 5 yr old on training wheels towed by her dad and slingshotted across the trail as we approached a turn, and peds walking 4 abreast with a belligerent attitude behind a blind hairpin turn with oncoming traffic. You name it, the stupidity was there.

To make matters worse, they haven't caught the arsonist on the ARPT, and he, or another arsonist burned a house a block down from me Sat night. I stopped at Riverbend Park and talked to a fire crew refilling their truck. They told me the neighbors along the ARPT are talking about setting up sniper hides to shoot the arsonist. No way that's going to end well. I hope they catch the guy soon though. He's burning a lot of nursery trees and tying up 10s of thousands of $$$ in fire fighting resources.

After putting it off for a whole year, I finally pulled the trigger and ordered a MagicShine 900 for myself. I'm also going to get a 2-3 watt rear red light, and mount my existing tail light on the back of my helmet. That should allow me to ride flat out after dark. With wx in the 90's again this week (near 100 tomorrow) riding at night is just too much fun to give up.

Interestingly, I got back from that smoking fast 34 mi Tuesday night ride and realized all I'd had to eat all day was a cup of sugared coffee and one slice of whole wheat bread. Eating more fat is not only suppressing hunger, helping me to lose weight, but appears to already be making my muscles more insulin sensitive, and eager to burn fatty acids for fuel. I went through 2 Gatorade bottles on the ride, but that was it. On my  50mi ride yesterday, 2 bottles and 1 PowerBar. About 700 calories in total.

My blog on eating fat last week has had a profound impact on my view of carbs. They're great for ride fuel, and for recovery, and perhaps spiking blood sugar just as a ride starts, but otherwise, glucose is a toxin that has to be very tightly managed. Better to eat fat. I am so much less hungry too.

The sensation isn't the 3-alarm fire of hypoglycemia it has always been in the past. Eating is something that can be done anytime in the next few hours, not a plunge into irritability and brain freeze. Nice too that shunning carbs, except as ride fuel, actually makes them more effective in that role!


Anonymous said...

Looks like you are enjoying yourself with "her"! She must be quite a woman;-)

Good luck with the Paleo diet. I've fallen back badly the past couple of weeks. And honestly I don't feel so good mentally as when I eat Paleo. It's just been too much going on at work and life, but I want to get back on track after the race.

Grey Beard said...

I am going to cook a pot roast tonight, or whenever it cools off enough, for the 1st time in my adult life. Used to live on the things growing up, but want to make something a lot tastier for myself.

Looks like a good Delta Breeze will finally start blowing on Fri night, or Sat, and blow all of this heat and smog out of the valley so I can ride to Rescue on Sunday. Whoot!