With the fund raising all done and the start of the ride is exactly one week away, i am relaxing from the most ambitious ride of my training. We did the ‘three bears’, with about 1000 ft in elevation change and then headed over to Mt Diablo for another 4000 st climb. It was billed as an 81 mile ride but i did an extra 10 miles because i got separated from the main group! By the time i was starting the climb the last 1500 ft of Mt Diablo, i was already at my 54th mile. It was around 330pm in the afternoon and although not as hot as it could be in the easy bay, i was drench in sweat and had to constantly wipe the sweat coming down my eyes. more than several occasions, i wanted to give up and turn around. i kept thinking, i’ve done more than enough already, don’t push your self beyond exhaustion. Because i was behind everyone due to the detour, i wasn’t taking a leisurely slow pace up the hill. i didn’t want to get left behind and get lost again! the combination of my ego and the mantra that i was doing this for the benefit of others help me reach the top! as it turn out, the ride leaders/sweepers hadn’t gone up to the summit when i saw them at the mid point (i had thought they had done the summit already and was waiting for others to come down). When i saw them coming up the ‘wall’ as they say, i was relieved that i didn’t have to rush down to meet up with the group! The descent on Mt Diablo is also fairly strenuous on the body, it’s the longest descent anywhere in the bay area. With a fatigue mind and body, I wasn’t exactly enjoying the descent as my back was killing me and my hands were numb from braking so much! As the final challenge, on our way back to Orinda, our starting point, we were experiencing considerable head wind and chilly temperatures. Still, i finished feeling a lot better than i expected. better than when i did the century earlier in the month. the training was paying off. I am wrapping up the month of May with 392 miles so far. Maybe a couple more short rides this week and i could hit my goal of 500 for the month!
the only thing that annoyed me was my shoes throughout the ride. i got some commuter shoes/pedals and they were beginning to really show their limits. Further research suggests that my knees issues go be associated to the cleat styles i had on the shoe. So in the final week of preparation, i am looking into a better set of shoes/cleat combos. My investment in a new seat was so so worthwhile. It was never an issue compared to my saddles i had on. i couldn’t believe the difference it made in the enjoyment of long rides. i don’t feel good spending that much money on gear considering my financial situation but i do believe that it’s an investment that will give me many years of enjoying the bike. no doubt, signing up for the AIDS life cycle was one of the best things i did for myself this year. My health feels really good and the mind space/enjoyment of the rides have given me more joy than i expected. I really want to continue using my bike as a wonderful tool to exercise my body, give clarity to my mind and even use it for the benefit of others. i am beginning to already thinking about doing the AIDS Lifecycle again next year!
This past sunday, i did my first 100 mile ride and it all started with some chilly rain! I was fairly nervous to begin with never having done more than 50 odd miles in one sitting and the rain added more to the adrenaline. Luckily, the rain ended within 2-3 hours after the start and the sun did come out for the rest of the day. Everything was pretty decent until the 70th mile or so. I had my first major energy crash and i was riding by myself at this point. My riding partner ended being in better shape than me and he was trying to maintain a 16 mile per hour average. Even though i had been eating at most of the rest stops, apparently i didn’t ate enough because when the energy crash came, i was almost delirious and i ate a clif bar as fast as i could. i knew it was too late to ate but i didn’t know what else to do but slow down considerably and munch away at the driest clif bar i ever had. By the time i got to the final rest stop, i was overwhelmingly exhausted. Even though there was only 10 miles left, it was going to be the longest 10 miles ever! Luckily, the food i ate 20-30 miles ago finally kicked in in the last 5 miles and i had a fairly strong finish. I was amazed by how much difference the carbs made in my energy level. At the end of the day, i learned that i need a better saddle and i need to drink and eat more often.
Two days later, I finally get back on the saddle and i did 12 miles around Bay Farm. I felt really good and I am looking forward to an extended ride tomorrow. My goal is to hit 500 miles or so in May! I started geeking out by logging my ride on BikeJournal.com!
April was not good for training at all. i was gone for a week at spirit rock on a silent retreat. there’s plenty of good excuses that prevent me from logging more than a few hundred miles in april. still, last weekend i did 62 miles on a organized race and felt pretty good most of the time. the legs were watery the next day but some hot spa action helped quite a bit. this weekend, i am stepping it up a 100 mile tour of napa but it sounds like it may rain. guess i need to learn to ride in the rain either way! i am still nervous about the ride. i am hoping i can really pick up the training in may to 3-5 days a week and log over 500 miles! in order good news, i did achieve my 3K minimal requirement in order to ride! everything is gravy at this point!
The last few weeks have been not as productive with all the rain in the bay area. Still, i’ve been able to sneak short rides in here and there. the average ride is probably about 23 miles or something. I did establish a couple of standard routes, one for more hill training and the other is just flat training. the video is part of my hill training where i go through the montclair area of oakland and climb up old tunnel road. I take skyline until i hit joaquin miller road and take it down to alameda through 35th. I haven’t ridden with team alameda in a while either but i should get back into the club when march rolls around. I’ve been grabbing some photo and video footage of my training but enough that interesting yet. my point and shoot, although having a lot of great features, hasn’t been able to capture the kind of images i want. I may mount the canon 5d next week and see how it compares. Eventually, i am hoping to make a short video/photo collage of the training efforts and then the ride down to LA as well. Fundraising wise, i am at 62% of my goal. At this point, i am pretty confident that i will make the goal and do the ride.
January is coming to an end and i’ve made some good progress on training and fundraising. i logged 160 miles on the road bike in the last 30 days and have gone to the gym 2-4 times a week for cross training. undoubtedly, i suspect it will be my healthiest year in over 15 years! i tried working on the gut a bit but the sit ups where pretty painful, still, i think that type of exercise just needs some better pacing!
On the fundraising front, i’ve reached 25% of my $3500 goal. i am slightly surprised that i reach that much that fast! i’ve created a promotional discount through orange photography that has significant impact on my donation numbers!