Saturday, February 17, 2007

California - Day Eleven - Hot

Today we did the Celo Pacific Inland ride. Very mellow as some of the folks are racing tomorrow. Nevertheless I was suffering.

First problem - my flat from yesterday actually cut the tire bad enough that the tube started to come out. So before we got to the Grand Deli, we stopped to put a piece of tube box inside the tire. As this was a special occasion, I lined up the cardboard with the valve so it'd be easier to mount and easier to check. As soon as we got on the bikes, we saw the group. They were nice and let us jump on.

One of their riders then flatted. And would you believe, my next problem - I flatted my front tire some miles into the ride. The group waited (very nice as we were technically not part of the ride). My friend and I changed the tube pretty quickly but it was still a ride disruption.

Then we got to some climbs. My legs were not the freshest, with cumulative fatigue from the last ten days of training, but even if I was fresh I don't think I could have stayed with the splintering group. Maybe with the last couple riders. The three women more than held their own and all the guys were chatting away as they rode away from me. How humbling. I consider this my third problem.

We stopped at the top of a particularly long climb for water. For once I ran out of water (two full bottles) in a hurry and started getting goosebumps and lightheaded. There was a reason. According to someone's thermometer, it was 101 degrees at the top of the climb. I don't think I see that in the depths of the summer back at home. 91 at another water stop. And dry.

On the way back, I complained my legs were dead, but I was still able to do some pulling. The descents were fun but I wish I had two fully inflated tires instead of two semi-inflated tires. It would have made carving those arcs much more fun.

As usual, with my dense build, I descended like a rock. Apparently others thought I descended pretty well, but honestly it's the mass thing - gravity does all the work.

It seems also that when I'm tired I can't get out of my pedals. This happened on the last long ride I did and it happened again today. I was forced to do trackstands at lights and once tried unsuccessfully to bang my foot out while hanging onto another rider.

The trackstands led to a discussion with one guy who wanted to know how to do trackstands. Although I'll do a post later on trackstands, the basic premise is you need to have forward or backward movement to balance on a bike (for us normal people). So by allowing the bike to roll backwards, you then buy some forward movement. On downhills, you have to throw the bike back, and your mass (say 10x the mass of the bike) will force the bike back. This buys you forward movement but it uses more energy. The guy had one of those blank looks on his face so I explained it's like throwing the bike. When you throw your bike, your body moves backwards and your bike moves forwards proportionate to their weight ratios.

"Oh it's like physics."

Yep. Now you have another thing to tell your kids when they don't want to study math.

Ultimately we ended up at the Grand Deli and had a great "breakfast" (it was after noon). Ironically two of the riders were from the East Coast and one had even done the race at Bethel. It's always interesting riding in California - you inevitably run into East Coast riders.

And then struggled onto our bikes and crawled back to home base, about 30 minutes away.

Now for some recovery (nap?) and more food.

Oh and we had pro siting #5 today: Skyler Bishop, - Sierra Nevada. He and two other riders (non-pro) cruised by the group and rode away from us.

No comments: