Sunday, January 11, 2009

Rubbed the Wrong Way

Yesterday was quite interesting. When the river ride rolled out, it was obvious that racing was going to start soon-- I could almost smell the testosterone in the air. It was one big swirly pack and there wasn't much wind to boot. My friends Heather and Jenn showed up-- a nice treat to have other ladies in the peloton, although I do tend to get more competative. It's good practice marking someone!

Things were great until after the first sprint. On the way back through the big bend my quads started to ache and my breathing became labored. It didn't make sense considering how good I've felt lately. Maybe I rode too hard on Thursday? Maybe my lack of sleep was catching up with me? It kept getting harder and harder until I couldn't match the efforts of the pack and drifted off the back. I turned right to catch back onto the group in the inner loop and failed to keep up with them.

I was pretty upset and confused. Yeah, I got teary eyed and had to try not to beat myself up too much. Soon, I was pushing over 200 watts just to go 15mph. There wasn't any wind. Hmmm... Strange. I heard a hissing sound. I stopped and realized that BOTH BRAKES were fully engaged. My hoods had finally slipped forward so much that they pulled the brake cables, keeping the brakes in the on position. It probably accumulated over time, hitting all of the lovely potholes on the garden highway. Boy, I felt relieved and a little frustrated.

Col du Galibier

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Blown Away

Okay, so I've looked at my schmarmy "price on joy" title for too long now-- I just haven't had much to say. Last Saturday's River Ride was a Belgian's Delight-- which means hang on for dear life. The North wind's a'blowin'! I have had to learn to ride elbows out in the gutter fighting for a wheel like a lamb on it's momma's teat. The pain is enough to cry for your mommy. There are some people I've heard in the peloton that say "I love it when it's like that!" Posh-- those are the type who can crank out 400+ watts for a long time. The wind is a "selective" factor (for those of you that don't know selective= you are going to get your ass kicked if you aren't really strong or skilled. I remember racing in the Martinez Crit in the rain a few years ago, which is technical. People were getting shelled left and right and the announcer says "This is a selective course." Uh, yeah). The bright spot is that in the past getting dropped meant never seeing another soul. This time I was with 20 odd wankers who went straight. I looked around and thought, "hey, these be some strong peeps!" Maybe I'm stronger.

I hope it isn't as windy this Saturday.