Sunday, January 27, 2008

Hard Sunday Bike Ride

I met the Cruisers biking group at the regular 1:30pm Sunday ride. We were all hoping for a nice warm sunny day but mother nature never came through with it. It was about 38 degrees but sunny at ride time. This gave me a chance to try out my new Pearl Izumi Insular Tour Jacket that Annette had gotten me for my birthday. I was probably over dressed. I have on my CWX tights with some Nike jogging pants over them with triathlon shorts under all that for seat padding. On top I had a wicking t-shirt with a long sleeve moisture wicking fleece biking shirt then my Tour jacket. I had bought a balaclava face mask at Academy Sports week before last so I wore that to keep my head, ears and neck warm along with my helmet. I dug through my motorcycle stuff and found some riding gloves that were perfect for biking so I was set. The only thing that might get cold was my feet. I need some of those booties that you put over your shoes.

David is more or less our bike leader/director so he called the route. Bethlehem Rd. Loop they called it. I knew the only way to get there was out 321 so I knew we were in for hills. I had run out on Bethlehem during the summer. Several of us would meet at 6am, bike 1 hour on Hwy 31 then run for an hour. A brick is what they call it. I wanted 20-30 miles so this should be a good route.

Most of the bike rides like some of the runs always has a fast group, middle group and a slower group. Lisa and Cindy were there and I knew they were fast but I have ridden many times with them so I followed them starting out. We had a pretty good pace going which was rolling hills and mostly downhill all the way to Hwy 31. We stopped at the water department building at 31 and Bethlehem for a quick break and to let the others catch up. The lead group which consisted of about 4 riders was riding much harder than I really wanted to. At this point I was averaging almost 18 mph. When we headed down Bethlehem the group seemed to split up quite a bit. The lead group encountered a couple of riders on horses who didn't really like bikes I guess. The man was on a mule and it almost bucked him off when the first bike got to him. He wasn't too happy but we had just as much right on the road as anyone else.

The lead group seemed to take off and I couldn't hang with them. Lisa and Cindy had fallen back. I caught up to David and rode with him for a few then he started dropping. I kept pushing. I was pretty warm and wishing I hadn't worn quite as many clothes. After another probably 6 miles or so everyone stopped to regroup.

We started the turn back at this point. I was thinking about the hills on 321 already. They are much harder going back then coming this way. The lead group kept gaining speed and I couldn't come close to catching them. David, Lisa and Cindy were behind me. So I rode alone, fighting the wind, rough pavement and the uncomfortable feeling of being over dressed. We turned right back on to 31 for a mile or so then left back on 321. It was pretty much uphill now for a ways. Some of these hills just wear you down but I beat all of them. My thighs were burning many times. I figured the lead group might stop but they kept going. I guess they wanted to get this over with. I did stop one more time on 321 to eat some crackers and let the others catch up. Cindy and Lisa came by and I didn't see David so I waited. It wasn't long and he topped the hill so I knew he was ok so I took off. Nothing but up and down hills from here. The ups were hard, the downs were fast and nice. The last hill we always call Heart Break Hill and it was. I ended up dropping all the way down to my lowest gear to get over this animal. I was thinking to myself that its easier to run up this hill than it is to bike up it. By the time I got to the top my legs were done. I think I had used almost everything they had to make that last hill. Luckily the Church was just half a mile downhill from there.

All in all this was a great ride and with the pace I was trying to keep, it was very hard. Wind and hills are the bikers enemy as are rough roads. We had a little of all of these today. Now if I can just find some extra energy to run a couple miles my week will be complete.

Here is the final stats from todays ride:
Total Miles - 26.6
Time - 1:40:54
Avg. Speed - 15.8 Mph
Max speed - 26.2
1455 Calories
Temp at start time - 38 degrees
Temp at finish - 48 degrees

1 comment:

Susan said...

WOW! I am definitely not ready to join you on a Sunday yet!!!