It's been quite a while since I've been here to blog. Things are just too busy. No time for this. But since I had an "epic" ride on Friday...well, I feel compelled to share.
Usually when we talk about a ride being epic we're talking lots of miles, daunting terrain, thunderstorms, twisters, etc. Not quite the case for me on Friday, but epic in its own way nonetheless.
I was all set to ride home, feeling a bit queasy but ready to hit the road, had just clipped my helmet strap when I lost the fight with queasy. Yeah, lunch didn't get digested, it got flushed. Along with every ounce of water, etc. I'd imbibed. So my system was depleted, emptied, the fuel gauge was below E. And the rest of me wasn't doing a whole lot better. Mental focus and coordination were a challenge.
13.5 miles by bicycle. Yeah, I probably should have used my GRH but I had visions of my bike hanging out the back of a taxi cab trunk that I just couldn't deal with. So I strapped my helmet on again, and hit the road to discover a corner of Sufferlandria I'd never before visited.
Worse than any bonk, driven solely by the need to get home, I negotiated through traffic in Georgetown and maneuvered around runners, walkers and tourists, generating a leg breaking 60 or maybe 75 watts with the occasional surge into triple digits. Ever so thankful for the tailwind. Yet every pedal stroke of the way was pure suffering. I needed to stop, to pause, but I didn't dare, that might mean not being able to get back on the bike, not being able to get back to the car and home.
The ride is very scenic. I didn't notice. It was a cool, but clear beautiful evening. All I noticed was the cool part which was pushing to cold in my super-bonk state. The last 3 miles of my ride include a very rough (though very new) section of pave, a drag of a hill, a small descent, a Z-ramp up, a corkscrew ramp down, a section of recovery and then a three-quarter mile hill that on a good day hurts even when I try to keep the watts down because its the end of the ride.
On the pave, Paul and Phil pop up in my head, describing the move, the attack, I'm making, dangerously far from the finish. But it could be brilliant if it works because no one's gone with me. My speed drops precipitously on that final ascent, 6mph, 5mph, but I manage to stay upright and moving forward. I hold them off for the stage win. (Come on, would they really be describing my struggle to beat the time cut?)
I make it to the car, on the verge of tears, barely able to dismount. But I have to stay at it a bit longer. Gotta pack up and drive the couple of miles home and get into the house, were I can strip out of the gear and crawl into bed. By the time I get home, I'm cold, shivering violently. I change into the warmest clothes I can lay my hands on (thermal shirt, heavy sweats) and crawl into bed. I drift in and out of sleep, still deep within Sufferlandria.