Monday, July 26, 2010

Ride Report: Steve Hartt Memorial Ride - San Pedro to San Diego

This is a ride that I had been wanting to sign up for since I first started cycling three years ago. Back then, as a new road cyclist, I joined the Peninsula Cycle Club which is based at The Bike Palace in San Pedro. They organize an annual century ride (100+ miles) from San Pedro to downtown San Diego. This year, I was free and in decent cycling shape, so I decided to sign up.

Preparation
As luck would have it I contracted a nasty cold about two weeks prior to the ride, which was right in the middle of my training ramp up. I also injured my right hand in a softball game the week before, having fallen on it after making a miraculous game saving catch. Well, not really miraculous or game saving, but I really did catch it. Since the swelling and pain were significant, my first thought was that I might have broken my fifth metacarpal bone, and that I'd be done for the ride. But I did a few test maneuvers and since I could still hold a handlebar, I decided that I'd do the ride anyway. I figured if it still hurt on Monday, I'd go see the doc (FYI - I have an appointment today at 5).

The Ride
I woke up early to help Alison get the kids ready since they were going to drop me off at 6:15am and then continue on down to the SD Zoo. Somehow, amid all the packing and makeup application we made it out of the house on time. We arrived at the ride, where I unloaded the bike and got ready to go. Alison and the kids wished me luck and headed off on their 2 hour trip to San Diego as I prepared for my 7 hour one. I met up with Oscar, who I had ridden the Tour de Cure with back in May. I was glad to see him, as I didn't know many people on this ride, and we are pretty similar in cycling ability. After some pre-ride anouncements, we got underway. Just outside of the parking lot, I rode over a set of railroad tracks. The bumps from riding over the rails went directly through my bike, to the handlebars and of course - into my right hand. Ouch! I knew right then that this was going to be a looonng day. And so it was with every pothole, pavement crack, and driveway. Eventually I got pretty good at pulling my right hand off the bar just before such obstacles, and was able to manage the rest of the ride in this way. I started off with the fast group, and stayed with them until the first rest stop at Huntington Beach. It was a bit of a stretch to try and keep up with them, and burning so much energy early is likely what caused me to bonk later in the ride. I regrouped with Oscar and we started out on leg 2. We rode at a good pace, but not quite as fast as the lead group. I fell into a good rhythm, and we were in Dana Point at stop #2 before I knew it. I had been keeping up with my energy gels and hydration pretty well, and was feeling good at this point. I refilled my bottles, had a snickers and some fruit and was ready to go again. This leg was the most interesting to me since it covered some ground through San Onofre and Camp Pendleton that is inaccessible to cars and that I hadn't seen before. At one point, we were riding on a runway that the marines use for training! We also had a brief stint on the 5 freeway that led us to our lunch stop. After lunch it was back onto the 5 for another 3 miles and made the exit for Oceanside and the Coast highway. Somewhere around Carlsbad at about mile 80 I began to fade. For awhile, I could barely turn the pedals and it was everything I had to keep it moving. The next 10 miles or so were a blur. I regained some steam by the Torrey Pines hill climb at mile 94 and made my way to the top. I felt better for the last 15 miles, and once I hit downtown, I was reinvigorated. I charged through downtown and made my way to the finish. There was a cooler of beer, which was a welcome sight. Coors Light has never tasted so good. I sat with Oscar and enjoyed my beer. He mentioned that he kinda deflated around mile 80 too. I think next year I will definitely remember to start out a little easier and conserve some energy for the long haul!

Final Metrics:
112 miles
6:47
16.5mph average speed
3400ft of climbing
7947 calories burned

Update:
It's broken. Fracture of the 5th metacarpal. Have to see a specialist. Possible surgery, cast at minimum. Greaaaaat. 

Saturday, July 24, 2010

I made it.

112 miles. 6:47. That hurt. I'm calling room service to order 3 double cheeseburgers. And then I'm going to bed for a few days.

Friday, July 23, 2010

LA-SD ride tomorrow

So tomorrow's the big ride. 112 miles. I've been under the weather for the past couple of weeks, which cut out a large chunk of my training. I'm not worried about being able to ride the distance, but I certainly don't expect a record time. As usual, I've enabled my location, so feel free to follow me down the coast!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Sometimes you have to take the good with the bad...

I've had a whirlwind of activity surrounding me lately. Work has been exhausting, with my company having announced a recall of our main piece of equipment. Since I've sold 20 of them, I've had about 20 fires to put out this week. Some infernos, some embers, but none of them easy to go through. It's hard not to feel like a jerk when you've convinced someone to spend a very large sum of money with you, and then have to come back and tell them that it doesn't work right and that they can't use it for awhile - regardless of whether or not it's your fault. Dealing with the ins and outs of daily life on top of that has left my emotional gas tank pretty low. I've tried to keep a good attitude, but sometimes you just can't help feeling like crap. One thing is for sure - my wife has lifted me out of the gutter on more than one occasion.

Like last night - She surprised me with reservations for dinner at one of our favorite restaurants, and arranged for my folks to watch the kids. A date night is a special thing, especially when we get to go to a romantic french bistro way across town. But what I didn't yet know, that was going to make it really special, was that she had discovered that they were doing a Tour de France inspired prie fixe menu! We walked in, and I noticed a small advertisement sign for the dinner and said "Hey look, they have a Tour de France menu!". She gave me a coy look and said "Yeah, I know". Sometimes there are just not words that express how much you appreciate and love someone... The food was outstanding, the service was excellent (as always with Patina restaurants) and the evening - perfect. Thanks babe - You make my life rich.