When the Sheep look at you Funny!

The last time I went with a ride with Nicole we broke speed limits and had a fire engine chase us!  I don’t know about you – but I don’t think a bicycle makes a great get away vehicle!!!!

Today Nicole wanted to do our course TWICE!  Let me see – while the idea was great at about 8pm the previous evening it was not great at 2 am when I had just done an all nighter to finish a project. So that early morning out of bed was more like a rise from chair, shower and grab bicycle.

What you looking at....I know...early morning - and I look funny in these lycra clad clothes!

What you looking at….I know…early morning – and I look funny in these lycra clad clothes!

Mornings in Perth during early March/April are quiet.  Slight chill in the air (not too much), darker than the week before and NO WIND!!!!! However, this morning I was presented with a 50 km wind!

Of course, lucky for me, Nicole realized it was also windy.  So that two laps of the course was reduced to 1 lap (thankfully) while we headed back out to the hills.

A sign JUST FOR ME!

A sign JUST FOR ME!

It is interesting to see a number of cyclists on the road.  I found myself asking the question:  What the hell are you guys doing out on the road? ….but then I found myself answering that question with – ‘the same reason you are!’  Of course this sends my mind into a spin to come back with a reason – and there are absolutely no reasons why I would be out in this wind, during some forsaken hour, riding a bike.  It is all by choice!  NUTS!!!

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Only 40 km an hour – thank heaven for small graces. But NOTE the gravel!

 

Our little course had changed a bit.  There were more road works near the halfway mark!  I happened to noticed REDUCE SPEED….to which I pointed and said NICOLE – you see – ‘message just for you!!!’

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Trying to keep a straight LINE while taking picture can lead to a whole new set of skills!

 

As we turned for home-sweet-home with wind behind us we started to chat about how much better this stretch was.  I must have turned for a second in laughter and looked forward to find the road had turned but I was still going straight.  Some how I managed to keep the bike on the road but I can assure you – HUGE IMAGES of me going through thick gravel and WIPING OUT was very surreal!

mayday mayday - chick going down!

mayday mayday – chick going down!

Of course Nicole veered out into the double lane thinking —- ‘ MAYDAY MAYDAY – chick going down and I am NOT going to be part of it!”  To her relief I kept my form and nailed the recovery line!  #SKILLS

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Perfect caption – of course! And we are inside the shoulder of the road – SKILLS!

 

Our section of where we depart and go our merry way was fast approaching.  She asked if we should ride the next day.  I am thinking hesitantly- yes/no!  Is there such a word?  So we agreed on evaluating as the day progresses.   All I can say  – the day has progressed and my shorts have not done any favors to the seating section.  I guess that means – another ride tomorrow!

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Even the moon was confused with today. I could understand. I was up all night tooooooooo!

 

My little meander home was amazing!  How can you complain.  About 3 cars on the road, wind behind your back and it is cruise control all the way home.  #PRAYERS ANSWERED!

BTW – Happy Easter Sunday Everyone!  I did not find any Easter Eggs on the road but I did see some sheep!  Would that count???

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Burning up the Road

Recently I started riding with Nicole who happens to also work at one of the Bike shops.  My ideal pace?  Let’s just say – cruise!  I have put in some hard yards in the past and don’t really have any set goals for the future for cycling – BUT – enjoy a little meander up and down a road.

Of course Nicole does not have the same goals in mind.  She comes from a Triathlete back ground and it is head down – pedal hard.

Look - sun only coming up!  And we are riding?

Look – sun only coming up! And we are riding?

 

On this particular morning at some forsaken hour we started on course towards a place called the Hills.  Well, not really THE hills – just a little hill BUT any bump on the road is a hill now days, so it does not really make a difference on the gradient or the length.  It still creates the same about of suffering!

starting_gate_uk_racing

Nicole took off from the starting gates like a race horse . I thought – yup – here we go.  Hang On or Go Home!  I not really into the Go Home part because I had already gotten up at a time that never ever will agree with my mind or my body!  And going home would be a waste of all the energy used just to get out of a nice warm and snug bed!

Cruise Control - Cancelled

Cruise Control – Cancelled

So as Nicole took off, I began to think about actually riding in cruise mode.  What would that be like?  Sign posts were whizzing past and as I was hanging on the back I started to think – ‘hmmm…..not the exact meander I had in mind’.

When you have flashing lights behind you - you know it is not going to be pretty!

When you have flashing lights behind you – you know it is not going to be pretty!

We must have been about half way through the ride when suddenly I heard these sirens.  I thought – ‘Holy Sh*T – now we are in trouble!’

I went into that ‘survival instinct’ mode trying to think of a couple of quick come backs to explain it all.  I came up with nothing….we had broken the speed limit and we were now in some serious trouble!

The siren came closer and I found myself shouting as I looked back – “IT’s HER FAULT – she broke the limit!”

To my shock and horror it was not a police car – it was a fire engine.  ‘Holy SH*T!”  Not sure which one I would have enjoyed talking to the most – a cop or a firefighter?

 

and off she goes...

Firefighters Put out the Blaze

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Yup – YOU set the road on FIRE!!!

 

I turned to Nicole and said: “Right – now you’ve done it.  You were going so freaking fast that you set the road on fire! I think you should turn down that speed just a NOTCH.”

She turned and smiled.  Yeah – I have seen that smile before.  It is that smile of – I have only just warmed up.

I began thinking – it is a bit like a cat with a mouse!  Sort of playing with the dinner.  But – she took pity on me and turned it down a notch. #Grateful

At one point of our journey we part ways – thankfully leaving me with about 12 km to meander home.  I then began to reorganize the attitude.  Right – this is what is going to happen.  What ever pain and suffering is dished out I have 12 km to meander home.  #Heaven

Cruise Control means - having some fun.  And this Old Lady may just have a few more skills!  LOL

Cruise Control means – having some fun. And this Old Lady may just have a few more skills! LOL

So this one is for Nicole – I am not going to say BRING IT ON because I know you will deliver.  But I will say –  think about MEANDER!  We should try that once or twice!  LOL

 

And the winner is…………

It is over!  One of the biggest cycling event has come to a close and with that an event that will talked about for quite a few months – if not years.  It was definitely a close call until the Pyrenees unveiled itself in its true form.  I could not help but notice how fast the legs were moving in the front bunch up some climbs.  From my calculations the average RPM was 90!  OMG! And here I was thinking keeping 90 rpm on the flats was phenomenal.   Yeah – um – NOT!

Drugs prohibited by smoking allowed??

Drugs prohibited but smoking allowed??

I think this year I really got to see what a true cyclist is all about.  Of course I could not wonder if some of them were on drugs.  I mean – if you really look at it – the Tour de France was founded on that ‘concept’ – a few beers here, a cigarette and anything else to get them through.  So to think that all that stuff is a ‘no-no’ goes against the true essence of what the Tour de France is all about!

a quick stop at the local pub

a quick stop at the local pub

Could you just imagine handing some guys a beer while riding up some climbs.  Cheers! At such’peak’ performance (no pun intended) the descend would be pretty entertaining.  They would either set a record through the corners – or take a more scenic route.  How they did it in the early years with one gear and gravel road leaves me wondering which decade holds the better athlete.

Would you like beer?

Would you like beer?

Would it not be interesting to see the current teams be given a track bike, a tube, and what ever else they can carry?  I wonder if any would be able to complete the Tour even though the roads are 100% better than back in the day!

wonder who would win

wonder who would win?

I guess Armstrong's name was scratched because he doped and took steroids while Contador just took steroids???

I guess Armstrong’s name was scratched because he doped and took steroids while Contador just took steroids???

 

As for alcohol, drugs and cigarettes, I could not help but notice Lance Armstrong’s name being scrapped from the champion’s list.  I also could not help but notice Jan Ullrich’s name still there seeing that he was also convicted of taking steroids.  And with Armstrong telling the world how he managed to cover up his steroid use by using an ointment excuse makes me also wonder how Contador is still allowed to ride in the Tour?  If you really think of it – it is all very confusing.  It is almost one rule for one and one rule for another!

Cipollini on a smoke break

Cipollini on a smoke break

However, if they did open the tour to “use what you want” it would probably create an army of mutants which could very well resemble zombies.  Could that possible be the future sequel to the Walking Dead – the Cycling Dead???  I wonder!  I am not sure I would want to watch that live!

A case of too many drugs!

A case of too many drugs!

In any case, I wonder how this year’s Tour de France impacted cycling on the whole?  Has there been an increase in cyclists on the road, increase of sales, increase of cycling businesses?  I am not sure!  I know that Western Australia did not have its fair share of it if there was an positive impact.  Given, it rained in the Tour de France – however it rained here too and I guarantee it – you would not find me out on the bike.  That is what the new Minoura Trainer is for.  Train with the Tour de France in the comfort of your own home.  Of course I had a choice of 11 Tour de France Courses, and the Alp d’Huez was by far one of the more challenging features.

How did you fair during the Tour de France?

 

 

Glass Road Tour de France

Can you believe it, we are going into the second week of the Tour de France.  It has been pretty exciting as everything comes down to seconds and not minutes! I am almost about to go out on a limb and say that this may be the “cleanest” tour in history??? However I am sure the mountains will sort the time out.  However, I could not help but notice how many crashes there has been at the tour.  It is almost at the stage that every time the boys “saddle up” there is almost a guarantee that someone is going to come off.  And can you just imagine if cycling was like soccer….. “He made me fall!”

That looks like it is going to hurt!

That looks like it is going to hurt!

The crashes though, have been phenomenal.  Then again, the weather has not been its cheery self.  Do you think it had anything to do with the first 3 stages in England?  You have to wonder if the weather followed these poor guys!  Because, with so many falls it is either weather or slick as glass roads. As for my Tour de France – I can say that I have successfully been following the tour.  And was wondering how your training has been?  Have you been on your bike everyday of the tour?

Things you may need in your saddle bag:  Tweezers and Gloves!

Things you may need in your saddle bag: Tweezers and Gloves!

I have found myself in very interesting places though.  I thought I was over the worse of the glass stricken roads only to see more glass and syringes on the main highway.  What do you do – stay indoors and train?  When the weather has been as great as it was over the weekend – then riding indoors is JUST not an option!  However yesterday’s ride had me finish through some freshly smashed bottles along the side of the road.  Why would anyone want to do that – that is a question I still can’t find an answer to.  However my wheels took another hammering.  Wouldn’t it be GREAT if you could catch the idiots that do this and fine them the sum of the damages done to your bike?  That would be justice! As for my wheels – might salvage them for the indoor trainer but it looks like I will be visiting a bike shop today to pick up YET another pair of tires!  And – I am going to finally find another cycling route because this one is costing me way to much.

The fastest time EVER!

This past weekend was perfect for cycling.  While it is winter, it was clear, crisp and sunny.  Of course the usual such as arm warmers, leg warmers and etc was needed – however it does not stop one from training.

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a world record

I decided to take my usual route along a highway and do so knowing that I do it at a risk.  This highway is infamous for shrapnel.

I have been riding this route ALONE for the last year.  And the only time I ever encounter any problems was the first time I rode it.  I experienced a puncture.   It was no fault of the road, it was a tube that was about 5 years old in my wheel.  And of course, that is way past its life span.

the mother load of  shrapnel

the mother load of shrapnel

This weekend I seem to hit the mother load when it comes to shrapnel.  I had only just settled into the ride after my 10 minute warm up when I crossed the traffic light and had to go over section of the road to get back onto the bicycle shoulder.

I knew instinctively that I had a puncture.  So I took my bike far off the road as possible and did a quick check  Yup – culprit was found.  A metal object of some sort.  Then I looked again…this time I found a nail.  Wow – that was unlucky.

nailed to the spot

nailed to the spot

I removed my wheel, and removed the tube.  Something told me to check the tire completely.  And that little voice said – do so by removing the whole tire.

I started to closely inspect the tire.  And what do you know, I found a broken off piece of needle.  Of course the fear factor is HIV – so what do you do?  I removed it very very carefully.  And unfortunately could not dispose it the way it should without putting my life in danger.  I ended up burying it.

close inspection

close inspection

Then back to tire and looked at it more carefully.  This time I found at least 6 pieces of glass which I picked out with my tire levers.

By now it was time to put the next tube in – and you can just guess what happened next!   It punctured.  That was it – I called for help and my ride was over.

When I got home I looked at the tire with more intent.  And under review I realized my tire was doomed for the bin as pieces of rubber where dangling like an unfinished sentenced.  I am in need of another tire.

I guess for a year of no punctures I made up for it on Sunday, and was wondering if anyone of you have experienced something similar?  Look forward to the comments!

Tour de France – are you ready?

So I got my minoura trainer.  Actually there is a LOT to choose from.  I really like the LR960.  It has these really cool things you can do with the legs.  However I had to settle for the middle of the range which was the LR760.

LR760

LR760

Now the cool thing about these trainers is the it is LIVE RIDE compatible.  I have always imagined myself as fairly tech savvy,  so taking on uploading an app is a piece of pie.  Well you would think?.  I have an Iphone 4 which was given to me because people felt I needed to be up with the times.  I don’t know, that old phone of mine worked fine.  I could receive calls and make calls.  Do you need anything else?

So setting up an account with the Apple Store took about 30 minutes.  It started with

WOULD you like to BUY this app?

YES

Then I went to the store…..and

FIRST we need to update your details.  So I filled out all the information they wanted and then…

WOULD you like to BUY this app?

YES

Then as I was directed by to the store it said:  First we need to update some more things.  Then

Would you like to BUY this app?

HOW many freaking times do I have to say yes.  Is this a trick question?

By this time my patience was a little thin….and believe it or not I had to go through this process another 3 times.  Finally it said:

WOULD you like to BUY this app

At which time I was thinking if it billed by credit card all the times I pressed YES

So I apprehensively pressed YES…………………..

then it read:  ARE YOU SURE?

Does not help the buying decision!

Does not help the buying decision!

I mean – what the hell!  I pressed yes.  Is there something wrong with this app that I should know about?  I’ve been asked half a dozen times if I wanted to purchase this app.  It is like one of those questions where you choose an answer and then the teachers says:  Are you sure that is the correct answer!  Or when your kids clean their rooms, they come running to you asking you  to check and you say:  Are you sure?  There is nothing about that statement that adds comfort to the buying decision.

So finally $13.00 later the app starts downloading on the phone.  Of course I see my battery life being sucked dry and I realize that I am NOT going to have enough battery to download the app.  NOW WHAT!  If I can’t charge the battery does it mean I loose the app?

low-battery-good-luck

Luckily I managed to find a charger near by to carry on with the process which took another 10 minutes.

RIGHT – now I am set.  Got APP – tick

Now onto the trainer.  I remove the trainer out of the box.  There is some assembly required.  Hmmmmmmm!

Okay – take all the parts out, lay them on floor and take out instruction sheet.  There are two main features that need some addition.  One is the knob that adjusts for wheels size and the other is the roller drum thingy.  It is one of those chores you need a few tools (which I don’t have) and someone else to help by holding them into place.  Finally – after some kafuffling I managed to get it all into place.

RIGHT – Got Trainer sorted – tick.

Now the only thing missing is the sensors.  I got the cadence sensor.  It came with some rubber rings and some cable ties.  I followed the instructions and had all the parts meeting where they should.

RIGHT – Got sensors in place – tick

Okay – now to put to test.  SO i put the bike on the trainer and I start turning the wheels.  There is NO reading.  So I check the sensors, make sure they all line up again and turn the pedals.

NO READING.

Okay….let me see.  I check my setting on my iphone.  YUP Bluetooth ON!  I check the settings on the APP.  And there is the problem:

Sorry – only Iphone 4S is blue tooth compatible.

YOURS IS NOT!

Which means I need another part.  And that part is a Wahoo Key which I put into the IPhone so it can read all the information.  So after 2 hours of messing around I learn that

  • Not so tech savvy
  • Can’t ride trainer because of old phone
  • No Wahoo Key

Clearly NOT ready for Tour de France.  Are you?

 

 

A race against the clock…. hey???

I have a confession to make.  I could swear that the last time I raced was 5 years ago.  I must be stuck in ‘back to the future’ or something because I recently calculated the years and you know what?  It has been 10 years since I raced!!!!  So in the last year I have been telling myself all sort of things because I could not believe that things could go so haywire in just 5 years!  Well – it has been 10 years and you know that old saying:  don’t use it -then loose it!   Hey I have a new found appreciation of that term.

Where the hell did hose 5 years go?

Where the hell did hose 5 years go?

So while I was working out where the time that has gone, I decided to compete in a Time Trial.  I call it the perfect way to celebrate all those lost years I never had on my bicycle!

Hey if that is Goliath - bring it on!  Maybe!!!

Hey if that is Goliath – bring it on! Maybe!!!

Given that I had taken on some hills renamed GOLIATH and I lost!  Maybe if I was David I might have won…but I am a girl and my name is not David. And there is no hope in hell that I will be changing my name anytime soon either (just in case you were thinking that!)  I can say though – my confidence is just a little knocked off that 5 year old pedal stool (seriously no puns there – that was by sure coincidence)  However it is an era for exploring limitations and have I explored those OVER and OVER and OVER again…. at least 97 times!

OH yeah - just found my next book!  97 ways!

OH yeah – just found my next book! 97 ways!

So to make it just a little easier I decided to take on a Time Trial.  ONLY 20 km of it…so it can’t be that bad can it?  It was by a lake – a circuit which is 5 km in length.  And like many things I haven’t done in the last year I decided to put a little homework into the event by actually riding the course before I compete on it.  Fancy that?  Boy that really does make a difference.

The actual course - you see downhill!

The actual course – you see downhill!

The course was flat – ISH!  Out of 5 km there was 1.8 km of into wind on a very slight incline.  Compare to hills…. it was flat.  Actually – compared to the hills – it was freaking DOWNHILL – so smooth sailing right?  Talking of that – it was around a Regatta lake which mean it was definitely smooth sailing.

In any case you have to know that when you start the time trial with this song in your head

you know you are in for a very pleasant time.  My goal was to keep the RPM about 93 and just let the legs keep on rolling.  Even into the head wind…I made sure it stayed at about 90 rpm which meant I needed to drop a gear or four!  LOL

the one course you can't collect $200.00

the one route you can’t collect $200.00

The thing about riding a 20 km TT on a 5 km course is that every time you pass begin, you know you are not collecting $200.00.  In fact, it sort of taunts you because you think – maybe I should stop and try this again next time.  Of course by the time you think that, you have passed begin and are heading down that path….!  YES – there is a slight descent after the start which you don’t know of when you are riding.  But it is a whole different ball game when you are looking at other doing it!  YEAH – the foot traffic critic!

I wonder if they see me?

I wonder if they see me?

Around about 12 km I started to think about creative ways to write about my experience. I also saw a dragon boat on the water – rowing away.  I started to think if they were watching me as I was watching them.  Then I thought if it was harder to row than it was for cycling.  And then I thought if they wished they were riding a bike instead of rowing!   At which time another time trialist came past me huffing and puffing.  I thought to myself that maybe I should be doing that, then I thought – nope – I have two goals NONE of which to ride it like my other 97 km’s.

After my last 97 experiences I was not too sure I wanted to do that again!

After my last 97 experiences I was not too sure I wanted to do that again!

It was also at that time that my legs began to feel a little discomfort.  I tried to remember if this was what I felt so many years ago.  All I remember that I wanted to go faster and faster back then.  Now I just wanted to complete the course.  LOL

In the last lap I realized I was going a lot slower than I had anticipated.  So I felt I might need to turn the gears just a little faster.  I gave the last 200 m a run for its money which took the wind out of me for about 10 m, and then I was ready to go.  My legs felt like that did a little work out, but by then I thought to myself:  “OMG I LOVE time trials!”

sometimes the easy way is best!

sometimes the easy way is best!

I decided to make my way to the registration table to hand in my number and the timer.  Of course when he asked if I was registering to which I replied – “NO – just ridden”…must make you realize that maybe you cruised it just a little to much.  And then the nice man behind the table had to throw a comment to the effect:  “Looks like you did not even ride at all!”

Overall I am pretty happy for the first one is so many years.  I almost forgot what it was like.  I think taking it this slow is good because I want to give it another go.  Unlike the 97 km which I have not interest in trying anytime soon unless it is on a motorbike!

I also know that it is not about competing at the moment, because that only person I ever compete against is me.  That is why TT is so awesome.  Just ME and the CLOCK!  The next time I ride, I will try to improve a little.  And in that way – I know that I am improving.  I believe that is the best report card you can ever have!

Have you competed in a Time Trial?  What was it like?

Competing in the TDF!!!

Yeah – who would guess.  I mean – let us skip the Olympics and just go straight to the Tour de France.  Of course that requires a team…and as you know I have a pretty extensive team of me, myself and I!  If I tried to fit another one in that could very well mess up the equilibrium of that pack!

le_tour_de_france_logo_2869

However – believe it or NOT – I am competing in the Tour de France.  You see I am going to invest in a Minoura Live Ride Trainer.  With that I can download an app (Live Training) and before you know it I am spending the whole of July competing in the Tour de France.  Of course there might be some limitations like I would have to ride Alp d’Huez  a few times.  But if that freakin 100 km hills did not kill me I don’t think Alp d’Huez could!  Or could it?  (quickly thinking of myself dismounting and accepting scooter ride to top)

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So if any of you want to challenge my team in the Tour, then just let me know.  You would probably need a Mionoura Live Ride Trainer and then the app.  Oh and an iphone or ipad!  Not sure if it would work on a smart phone – but will have a play around with that.  Maybe we could have a world wide competition….the fastest and the slowest up Alp d’Huez???  Any ideas???

Alpe d'Huez tour de france Crowds

To keep up with the tour you can just print out this article which has the dates and the tour:

Tour de France

Outside of that – I welcome some ideas.  After all it is winter here and a little indoor challenge would be amazing!  Anyone keen to for a challenge?  Maybe we should put a prize up for grabs- like a polka dot jersey?  Any ideas from you guys?

If you are over 40 please……….

Up until 40, cycling is pretty easy.  You get a licence, you train and you race.  However, when you hit 40 you realize that you are just not as fast as you once were.  And thankfully, the UCI has created a category called THE MASTERS!  Of course this applies from the age of 30 but it is the 40’s that make you wake up and “smell the coffee of old age”!

There are a range of Master Categories which include Masters Women 1, 2, 3, 4…etc.  However working out which group I would fit into…and more importantly which group would you fall into… can be a little challenging.  So with a little investigation I found this cool pdf which you can down load and it will tell you which category you would fit into.  It is created for 2014…and I am sure you can adjust this as the years roll on.  😉

DOWNLOAD THE PDF

I have to give credit to Cycling Australia whom created this document.  It is one of the few documents out there that clarifies your age.  So if you are 40 and younger than 45 please make your way to Masters 3.  😉  See you there!
robert-marchand-102-cyclist-video

What is in that Blue Pill?

It has been a year since my last natural cycling disaster.  I remember lying on the side of the road saying:  No More…and then completing the ride because I had no cell reception.  Fancy that!

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Yesterday’s Ride was 100 km.  A little longer than last year, but hey – what is 30 km between friends.  The information said: “some technical climbs”, and from finding out information I learnt during the week, there was a 15km gradual climb. I felt I could manage that.

So, with the 4am alarm going off, I was out of bed and eager to get going.  It would take me an hour drive to get to the event and I wanted to make sure I was not late for the start.

Registration at the crack of dawn

Registration at the crack of dawn

I found my friends at the registration table and we jabbered a little about the ride.  NONE of us had done this route before, and no one around us was eager to share any information.

The ride started with a quick rise in the road which stretched for about 800 m.  I felt my legs complaining and my ticker decided to bust into action.  Some people in the front looked back to give my that evil eye.  I commented – “yes that is me breathing that hard!  Sorry – just takes me a while to warm up!”

The group stretched out, and soon we were all riding up hill.  I had wondered if the hill was the 15 km hill they had planned to ride up but soon forgot about it as I went down the other side at about 71 kmph.  For many people that don’t know – it takes just as much energy to ride up a hill than it does going down.  That is because you are holding yourself in a downhill position, focusing ahead to ensure you avoid any holes that might be in the road.  You are at 100% concentration allowing your body to drift with the corners.

and you thought going up hills was hard????

and you thought going up hills was hard????

Of course this downhills never last as long as the uphills and soon we were riding up another hill.  My friends, who had ridden away from me on the hills were behind me.  For some or other reason I had managed to whizz pass them.  I thought, as I was whizzing past them, that this would probably be the only thing I would be good at during today’s ride.

At the 50 km timing station, one of my friends were waiting for me.  While she rested, I carried on.  I thought that as we had done most the hills in the first 50 km the rest was going to be flat and downhills all the way home.  In a matter of minutes I found myself riding up a hill.  My friend said to me that this is the 15 km hill.  I looked down at the road ahead – silently – as confusion sets in.  I thought we had finished with the hills!!!!!

You have another hill to climb!

You have another hill to climb!

Of course, 15 km later we had reached the pinnacle and my friend was no where in sight.  I had recommend to her that she must not wait for me and we will meet at the finish line.  So I started the decent trying to free the legs now and then, as I felt them starting to get a little tighter.

When I reached the bottom I was faced with a vicious realization.  We were riding back up that hill I had whizzed down.  And the 15 km hill I rode was not the 15 km hill in the description…because before me was the real 15 km hill.  Apparently the hill I rode was considered the flats.  Really?????

As I was tackling this hill and working to my pace I was starting to think about this event that I wrote about.  You see, one of my part time jobs is writing about events in the area, and this was one of them.  In that article I had written that this was a local event, and that there were hills but this is no Tour de France as this event was designed for people to complete it.  I suddenly realized that I lied.  I am was now convinced that this event was designed to have as many riders quit as possible. I think they were planning to go home early!  And all of a sudden I felt very responsible for all those people thinking this was going to be an easy ride.  It was NOT!

Before long I was at the top of the 15 km hill.  I was now convinced it was downhill from here, and I was welcoming that idea.  I was following the arrows when all of a sudden there was an arrow pointing left.  I saw three people I knew on the side of the road, and as I turned left I heard them yell – IT IS FLAT!

exactly

exactly

Before me lay a massive hill.  And that 15 km gradient would be a manna from heaven in comparison to what lay before me.  I am not sure what happened first – my legs or my brain but before I could continue I found myself dismounting from the bike.  I did a quick check – do I feel like I felt last time.  Answer = No.  Ok – soldier on!

I found my legs could not get me up this hill so I walked it.  Then I found myself thinking – walking another freakin hill.  As I was walking the friends that left me were coming down the hill.  I was a little confused.  The first one said – that is a bitch – don’t do it. Just turn around and go home.  The second one said – Go for it – you can do it!

I was not sure what to do.  My legs were forming this ball of pain.  My brain was saying TURN AROUND it is not worth it! Then another part of my brain said:  you know what – they have a timer up there and then all those hills would mean NOTHING.  So I climbed on my bike and soldiered on.  I got to the top only to be faced with a decision to ride down a hill which I had to ride back up again.  I was on a loop.  The wonderful guy directing us down another hill said that if don’t go down I will miss the timer!  I KNEW IT!!!

I should have chosen the 70 km option!!!!!!!!

I should have chosen the 70 km option!!!!!!!!

 

So I went down the hill – AGAIN and over the timer.  I stopped for a little bit trying to stretch something – but everything was so painful that no matter what I did – did not work.  So I climbed on the bike and rode up the hill – AGAN!!!

Of course the thought of going downhill was inviting and I  knew that at the bottom of THIS hill I would be going down another hill and back home.  It was about the 97 km mark when there was an arrow pointing left.  HOLY MOTHER F*(&(*&(*& – you can not be serious!!! It was a little incline but still I just looked at this hill and thought what the hell man? Where the hell is the finish line – is this like the twilight zone or something?

tz

A support car stopped to see if I was okay.  He said something in French which I replied I am Fine.  Then I started to struggle to breathe.  I went from okay to not okay within seconds and this poor guy had me sitting down, taking my shoes off, helmet off and telling me that the ride was over.  I looked at him sort of dazed as I had a vision that I was in the Tour de France.  I could swear English was coming out of his mouth but it was all FRENCH to me!

Warning:  Emotional Break Down in 5 - 4 - 3 - 2 - and 1

Warning: Emotional Break Down in 5 – 4 – 3 – 2 – and 1

Before I could say anything more, they had me in the car and my bike was taken away in the broom wagon.  We drove down the hill!  GREAT – the only freakin time I get to enjoy a downhill is in a freakin CAR!  Where’s the irony in that?????  I was tired, emotional, exhausted.  Yes I was FINE – Freaked Out – Insecure – Neurotic and Emotional.

This poor guy that rescued me guided me to some show tents.  I knew that our track club was there and somehow I stumbled upon the chairman of the club.  Within seconds they had me sitting down and he looked at me not knowing what to say.  I didn’t know what to say either – just that I didn’t finish and was very disappointed about it.  Of course this soon followed with my friends finding me (one was a nurse) the ambulance guys running to my aid – MAN I MUST have looked a mess.  There is one thing I do question – why does everyone asks:  Are you okay?  My automatic response is Fine!  Anything more is way to much energy.  Because if I wanted to say something it would be like this:  What do you think bright spark?  I have just put myself through self inflected torture where child birth seems heavenly. 

images (3)

Of course I learnt the value of electrolytes.  I did not realized how important they were because after I was force fed a triple dose of electrolytes and I started to feel better.  All of a sudden I was laughing again..instead of crying my eyes out.  Even when I was crying I did not know why I was crying.  And then I was all confused about why electrolytes have such an affect?  Hmmm???

You are now convicted of a DNF!

You are now convicted of a DNF!

Even though I had a DNF (which I thought was like a criminal record) I realized that it wasn’t all that bad.  Yeah – I didn’t finish – but who cares?  The big question was would I ride this event again next year.  Bloody right!  That is like asking if a Lion Hunts!

So the big question is actually TWO questions:  What is your take on Electrolytes?  AND – have you ever had a DNF?