Saturday, April 28, 2007

A Tale of Two Rides

Road Bike 86 miles

Here in Juneau there is no such thing as a loop ride. There are no loops. All of the roads go for a certain distance and then dead end. Today I decided to ride out to the end of the longest road. Getting out there went well. I was riding really slow, but I felt good and was just hoping to spend several hours out on the bike, I wasn't really making any attempt to push myself hard. After turning around things went from good to bad pretty quickly though. First the rain began to come down much harder and much more consistently. The rain I can deal with though. If you live in Juneau for any amount of time you have to learn to deal with the rain. I was dressed as well as you can be dressed for 41 degrees and raining. Mentally though I was not prepared for the wind that kicked up with about 25 miles left in my ride. It felt like it came out of nowhere and within 5 minutes I was crawling along below 10 mph and was ready for my ride to be over. Problem was that the wind just kept getting stronger and stronger. Eventually I was struggling to stay over 7 mph and I still had 15 miles to go. I actually thought about calling Jill to pick me up but decided that I wasn't that much of a wimp. I don't know what it is about wind, but I just can't deal with it. Riding in the wind isn't physically much different than riding continually uphill but for some reason I can't mentally handle the wind. I usually become much more focused and more determined when I'm biking or running uphill but if I'm running or biking into the wind I begin to unravel. Today I completely unraveled. By the time I got home I felt like I had been out for 10 hours or more, but it was really only 6:20. I had figured though that this ride would take about 5 to 5.5 hours and I just didn't mentally deal very well with that extra hour or so that the wind provided me with. Dealing with the wind is something that I need to learn to do but I just don't know that I have the ability to ever deal with strong winds in the way that I would like to.

The good news is that this was my longest ride in over 3 years and aside from mentally losing the battle with the elements I physically felt pretty strong. I'm pretty worn out tonight but I think this is mostly in my head. My body actually feels pretty good. I'm going to Utah next week and am planning on riding The White Rim Trail next Sunday. It'll be a 100+ mile day on the mountain bike. I'm probably as ready for a ride like this as I could hope to be at this point. I just hope it's not too windy or I'm not sure what I'll do.

Totals for the week: ski 12 miles; run 35 miles; bike 150 miles in just over 20 hours time (includes 2.5 hours of weight lifting).

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

I hate it too! It blows...

Mallie said...

Headwinds are the biggest pain-in-the-ass for me on the bike. When you're killing yourself to go 7-8 mph, it just saps your will to live. Even long climbs have some small reprieve, but a constant headwind just won't let you go. Way to stick it out, but if you'd called Jill, we would have understood.

Dave Byers said...

Nice work on the big ride and for gutting it out in the wind. I agree that the worse situation is when you plan to be out for 5 hours and the wind turns that into a 6+ hour ride.

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