This is the time of year when the back-to-back rides become necessary, or so I’m told. You need to get your body used to the idea of riding in that not-so-fresh state. (Get your mind out of the gutter.) And as much as I love Princess Bob and the whole Awesome Ahead crew I knew that I wasn’t up for 80 miles on Sunday, so I saw a 40-mile “late starters” ride and decided to give it a go.
Unlike most of my rides the start point was rather far to the south, and given that I got up a bit late I was in a rush out the door. I made it to the start point 10 minutes after the meeting time but it turned out ok. The bad news what that I had left something at home – the headband that keeps the sweat out of my eyes. Todays ride convinced me that it is not really an optional bit of kit these days. The route was advertised as only having one climb of the day and mostly flat for the rest. Unfortunately there was no “Ride with GPS” link posted, so I couldn’t download the route onto my Garmin. This would be my first training ride without GPS assistance and just reading a route sheet.
We started off on a bit of bike trail. That time of day it was pretty empty. The climb up Bailey was ok – it’s a nice climb I guess. Coming down it was way more fun as I had done on an earlier ride. Up and over and done with climbing – or so I thought. I was a bit concerned at the bottom of the hill as the turn direction didn’t match up with the route sheet but one of the TRLs told me we were going in the right direction so that was good to hear. But then there were two more decent hills – so much for one climb only. Eventually there was a water stop near the reservoir. I got my bottle topped off by fabulous sag driver Jim. Sadly I was rocking plain water with Endurolyte caps today as I had run out of Skratch.
The next bit to lunch was fine. There were some flats where I got to sprint. I love getting up out of the saddle and winding up the bike to 20 mph. Eventually we were back in civilization and we stopped at a little shopping center. I got a Jamba Juice all fruit smoothie which was a great idea. Best rest stop food ever. Even though it had only been 20 miles I also re-applied the Chamois Butt’r. That’s important.
On the ride back my butt did really start to bother me. I think part of it was that while I had shrunk down into XL size shorts from Pearl Izumi I don’t think they fit me well. Not as well as the Specialized RBX bibs I wore yesterday. I was chaffing a bit at the edges. Also my butt in general was sore and cranky – the change in seating position seems to have aggravated things. I will be asking Vanessa if it’s something I will adjust to or if it means something else.
As we were heading east I was starting to get nervous. The route sheet said we had 3 more miles to go east and I was wondering if there were going to be some more unadvertised hills. But it turns out that the route sheet was just inaccurate and our north turn came a few miles early. Eventually we came back to the bike trail which wasn’t too busy and I was able to do some fast cruising. It looked like the mileage for the ride was going to come up about 4 miles short but the stretch on the bike path was longer than advertised. My truck came in to sight and I was done for the day.
When I’m far from home after a ride I do enjoy my truck as something to come back to. It has plenty of space for me to get organized. I cranked the tunes while trying a new flavor of Recoverite and oddly enough the citrus flavor was not as foul as the chocolate of yesterday. Thank jeebus for small favors. I stopped by the bike shop to pick up some more Skratch and to get another pair of RBX bibs ordered.
My legs didn’t feel too bad. I felt I could have ridden longer. It’s my backside that may be the limiting factor which concerns me. I’m not sure what I can do about it at this point, however.