(apologies for the novel)
I once thought I knew hunger. I did not.
today's ride, designated 'brisk' by the powerful mike, seemed like a fine opportunity to break in my latest bike build, a caad8 cannondale with integrated bb30 crank and a somewhat aggressive 11-21 gearing setup. designed for the flatlands, it is 16.3 lbs. of cold polished aluminum efficiency. seemed like a good option for a 'brisk' ride.
rolling up to ritual and looking forward to a delightful clover-ized kenya-AA, I was flummoxed to find a grad student with papers everywhere taking OUR spot on the corner couch, and at 6:09 no less. the nerve! this affront put me on edge, and as mike, shoumen, and trinh arrived, an unspoken pact of grim resolve took shape in our small zeitgeist: make the road pay.
departing in an agitated state, and fueled by last night's not insubstantial pours of Pliny the Elder IPA, I decided that there should be no courtesies paid to valencia, and the die was cast.
the surly winds swirled in fits, but it soon became known to the riders that our backs would receive a general push in the southerly direction, and secure in the knowledge his duties would cease in san mateo, trinh assumed his place in front, reeling off miles of steady 24mph.
upon reaching the halfway pitstop, the truth was known: a record was within reach. elapsed time at mile 20 was 0:58:51. but there was a problem: no one brought any food or anything but plain water. halfway to go on 1/3 of a tank.
it was at this juncture that the urbane shoumen elected to conduct himself in a more sociable manner, and he rode on with michelle, whom we'd just encountered.
meanwhile, mike and I traded pulls in an attempt to keep the average around 24, with the goal of bettering an overall of 21.2mph.
the wind continued to blow mostly from the back, and times were consistent with a 2-hour arrival. the average crept up to 20.9mph as we entered EPA.
it was then that things started getting hazy. simple arithmetic became a challenge. pulls became less vigorous. the periphery of my vision shut down, and my world became a curiously spinning black ring in front of me. hee hee, that's funny how it goes round and round.
at mile 38, with about 1:52 elapsed, a definition I once read drifted thru my brain. it was a medical explanation of the term "bonk". I think it went something like, "catastrophic depletion of muscle glycogen." mike still seemed to feel alright, but from then on I could think of only one thing: all the food in the world, in my belly, RIGHT now. E. Bayshore became a mountain. holding 20mph seemed laughably impossible. the seconds ticked off but I wanted them to, because after 2hr flat we could stop trying.
when the agony finally ended at rengstorff, I slowed to a barely manageable 4mph, and suffered greatly climbing the "hill" past the alza buildings. staggering into no-name and dripping sweat in great volumes, I lurched into the middle of the line and grabbed two smoothies, drinking both in quick succession before rudely taking more than half of the available raspberries and piles of other food as would fit on one plate. this took some time, as I was eating the food almost as fast as I added it to my plate, while trying not to sweat all over the counters.
10 minutes later, though indoors, I was shivering with full-body goosebumps, all available blood on calorie-distribution duty. mike didn't even have breakfast, the animal. wonder how his 9am meeting went...
- 42.58 miles
- 20.9 mph avg
- 2:02:27 rolling time
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