Saturday, June 30, 2012

Back to back longer rides

Last Friday, June 22, I ride my 25-mile route to the beach and back.  Then on Saturday I went back and rode the 36-mile trip to Temescal Canyon and back.  I was planning to do the Temescal Canyon ride again on Sunday, but that's another story.  What I wanted to know was how my body would feel after two days of longer riding, since this is something I need to know when I'm on the road long haul. As it turns out, I felt perfectly fine, and in fact, my legs felt really strong afterwards.

Anyhow, after I had had my little break at Temescal Canyon, where I discovered that the name of the little eatery is Watch By The Bay and it only takes cash... I was approached by a young man and his friend asking me how much further it was to Malibu. They were were cycling from Huntington Beach to Sacramento. They'd already done 70 miles. Quite frankly, I thought it was about 17, which is what I told them (was more like 11-12).  When I told them, they were very excited... perhaps they thought it was further than it was. 

I told them I wanted their picture for my blog and for everyone here. Nice young men, Michael Troyer and Ryan Snider of Huntington Beach.  

Michael Troyer and Ryan Snider at Temescal Canyon/Will Rogers State Beach.  Good luck, guys!
They think it will take them 2 more days to reach Sacramento from Malibu. I think they're dreaming, but who knows what youth can do???  I think Michael is the one on the left. BTW, they will never make it in two days. A week, maybe.  So, I'm assuming that by the time I post this that they will have made it and discovered a great adventure along the way.

Strange that my encounter with them was so brief and yet somehow they just made my day!  I think these two ought to try a bike trip across America some day.  Michael and Ryan, if you read this some day, please comment below!

Road ID gone AWOL

So yesterday after suiting up to ride my bike to work, I realized about half way there that I hadn't put on my Road ID. I would say that it's extremely rare for me to forget it. Like maybe only twice ever. When I was starting to suit up to leave work, there was my Road ID, the velcro snagged to the edge of my safety vest. I guess it had been flapping in the breeze like a yellow tail during my earlier ride. Just glad it didn't fall off!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Brentwood to Hermosa Beach trip

On Saturday, June 16, I met up with a friend at 7:00 a.m. in Brentwood.  I motored the bike over, which worked just fine although the bike was strapped down quite heavily to keep it from moving around too much seeing as the trunk rack was broken when I purchased it.  Ugh.  What an idiot I can be.

The ride basically started from about Bundy/San Vicente, and I had a sinking feeling right from the start that the gal I was riding with was going to seriously kick my butt.  Riding down San Vicente was exhilarating - got the bike up to 22 mph, which is the fastest it has ever gone... but it made me nervous that going back up San Vicente would be a real bear if I could get to that speed going down. Plus, San Vicente going up would be at the end of the long ride.  Yes, she was going to kick my butt.

Our goal was to reach Redondo Beach, and I'm sure that if she didn't have me tagging along, she would have made it, but she was on a time constraint - when it got to be 9:15, she wanted to turn back.  We stayed together pretty well through Santa Monica and Venicedo until we got to the Marina, and the she pulled ahead and waited for me at the Ballona Creek bike path entrance.  I followed her through some back streets to an access road, (was grateful not to be on the bike path)  but eventually we were forced onto the bike path.

When we got to Hermosa Beach pier, which is the farthest south I've been, she snapped this picture of me before we turned around and headed back. I was feeling the need to eat something as we'd gone 20 miles and I could feel my energy waning.

What I have learned is that I need to eat even just one bite of a fig newton every 10 miles, plus have plenty of water.  I had plenty of water with me, but we never stopped!!!

We turned around and headed back.  We stopped at Urth Cafe on Pico/Main and I got a vanilla milkshake and an almond croissant, and she got something, and we sat for a few minutes and talked while I gave my body some fuel, but I could feel that the damage had been done.  I was already exhausted, and the sun wasn't out, and the ride hadn't been particularly difficult, but the fuel issue had been fixed too late.  I just need to put my foot down in the future and say "I have to stop ever 10 miles for fuel.  Period. And if I have to stop more for water and it slows us down, so be it."

Well, the climb up San Vicente, which didn't seem like it was steep or anything, was a real drag on me.  I was wasted for energy.  Sometimes my speed was only 7 or 8 mph. 

So, 40 miles round trip and I was exhausted.  So exhausted that I couldn't hardly do anything for the rest of the day.

I'm not sure if I will change out my tires to slicks.  Certainly I won't do it before my friend comes on July 5. The bike I got for her doesn't have slicks either but the tires are probably a little slicker than mine, but regardless, I will be leading her down to the beach but will not let her get out of my sight.   She will be within a bike length or two max of me.

Friday, June 15, 2012

New Brake pads....after 4 years.

Well, I put the trunk rack on the car, secured it down tight and loaded on the bike, securing it down it the excess straps, and I drove it down to I. Martin Imports to have new brake pads put on.  Even though the brakes were adjusted recently, they were already very worn and I was told to bring the bike back in within a month to get them replaced.  Well, the rear brakes already had almost no tension left, and I figure that with a big ride tomorrow with a friend, I really wanted to have the brakes taken care of.  I also asked if they could put on a kickstand, and the mechanic said he would see if there was room.  I told him not to worry about it if there was no room.  After all, I've lived without a kickstand for 4 years.

So tomorrow I'm going to motor the bike over to Brentwood, and from there my friend and I will work our way through Santa Monica, down around the Marina and take the bike path down to Redondo.  Whew!  Hope I can make it.  That bike path down there is very hilly.  Just from the Ballona Creek Bridge to Redondo Beach is 23 miles round trip... and that's not counting the miles RT just to get there.  It will be a day of adventure for sure!

I also stopped by I. Martin earlier in the week to pick up some chain lube.  Got it in a little spray can.  I wouldn't take it on the road with me because it's a little too big... I'll get a little bottle for the trek across the USA. 

Monday, June 4, 2012

Road ID

So today I did an errand to CVS and took my bike right in. A guy there said, "You must be an avid cyclist." I asked why he said that and he said, "You're wearing a Road ID." Yep, I admit, that's a giveaway. You see one of those, and you're dealing with someone who is not a casual cyclist. However, I only consider myself on the fringes of the cycling culture. Still view myself as an outsider.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Restless exhaustion

So it has happened with my last two big rides - I couldn't sleep the night afterwards.  I should have slept like a log but my body was restless.  After the first of the two, I was slightly achy.  Not muscle achy - more of just overall a little something indescribable.  Then yesterday I did a 47 miler, and I didn't have that overall ache, just hot and couldn't cool down.  I should have slept soundly but did not.

The Ballona Creek bike path - looking east
So now I am wondering, what will happen when I'm going across the USA after long days in the saddle?  Will I sleep or will I toss and turn restlessly? That has me a little concerned.  After yesterday's ride, I noticed I had dropped 5 lbs, which I'm sure was all sweat!  I drank a ton of water out there and only used the public restroom at Temescal Canyon.  Even after I got home and guzzled water for a bit, it took at least an hour before I had to go.

The June 2 route.  Very good ride.

I was wondering how I'd feel today, if I wanted to hop back onto the bike and go to church.  I definitely didn't feel the exhaustion I felt last week, but I was a little chaffed, and I'm realizing just how much I wish I had a pair of chamois-crotch biking shorts.  However, I don't feel I've earned them or a real cycling jersey.  I need to still drop a lot more weight before I can even find one in a reasonable size.  Also I need to drop the weight before I get a road bike because they aren't built for someone of my weight.

I also wanted to force my body to get back onto the bike, because that will be totally necessary when doing sequential heavy riding days.  So, I did go to church and came back, and the ride was fine except for the chafing.

I need to get more fig newtons.