Wednesday, May 16, 2012

May is Bike Month AKA Let the Craziness begin

This is the 2nd time I've participated in May is Bike month. This is our regions way of participating in the National month for bike advocacy. I was very pleased with myself last year with my 87 logged miles. This year I decided to really dedicate myself to cycling so I pledged 400 miles. I have been steadily increasing my milage and this seemed like a reasonable goal. A funny thing happened, some how MIBM became a compitition, actually lots of compititions. My primary cycling club The Hammerin Wheels had a real shot at taking the top spot for clubs, so I decided I would ride a little more. Then I realized I was 3rd in the city (my employer) for miles and I hatched a plan to attempt to get the most miles one week for my work group. Not to mention the silly little badges that have no real meaning, but I have more than my husband and I like that. So, here I am half way through the month and I've already logged 324 miles and plans on increasing my weekly miles.

This month I attempted my first full century. The Wine Country century which is in a beautiful area which I've never visited before. The day started out great with a small group of cyclists from our club, it was chilly, so I had lots of layers, which I'd rather carry for 80 miles than be chilled to start a ride. If I didn't mention it before, everything I own for cycling is pink and my whole family has a sock addiction, so my hubby got to witness how many comments I get on my pink wheels and my socks as we started on our ride. That day I wore my green m&m socks that say melts in your mouth, I got lots of comments. I knew there was a lot of climbing and I made it up the first set of hills with some difficulty, but didn't have to walk. The second set was another story, it had a few too many roads with grade and canyon in the name and one really dumb hill that was reading at 24% grade. My wonderful hubby had planned on riding the longer route but decided to hang out with me instead, he helped me up a few hills. I'm not talking about encouraging words, he put his hand on my back and pushed while we both pedaled up the hill. It is kinda like taking about 4-5% off the grade of the hill. By the time we got to the 2nd rest stop at mile 50 I was feeling pretty beat. I wanted to take an extended break, but we were running short on time and had to leave if we had any chance of getting to the lunch stop before they packed up. I could tell my hubby was loosing patience with me, so I insisted he finish the ride without me. I pedaled along the rolling hills singing my silly little songs, and really hoping no one was close enough to hear them. I had to smile when I passed a very fit looking young man on what looked like a high end time trial bike with matching kit. I'm not sure why he was getting into the aero position every time we hit an incline, but I passed him and it made me feel good. I made it to the lunch stop at mile 70 before they closed and caught up with a couple other riders that I'd met once or twice, but didn't know well. If the last 30 miles had been flat I would have pedaled out of there, but just climbing out of the lunch stop seemed impossible and knowing there was a long steady climb after that and a steep climb toward the end, I opted for SAG. It was my longest ride to date 70 miles and over 3000' of climbing according to my garmin. I don't like Strava's numbers, they always knock off a good portion of the climbing, I don't care if it is more accurate.
I started leading a slow beginner/casual ride on Sundays. The ride serves many purposes, recovery ride for me, trying to get my sister started riding and giving back to the cycling community that helped me get my start. I decided it was time to ride mulitiple days in a row, went on a 30+ mile ride with a cycle shop, ran errands and attended the city MIBM lunch, then went from Folsom to the Capitol with another MIBM group. I'm not sure how I figured that I was only going to ride 40 miles going to the Capitol, I think because I was planning on starting at the 2nd start point, the total for that day was 65 miles. I was supposed to do an evening ride and actually felt like I could, but didn't want to kill my legs for my climbing ride on sat. When the sat. ride came I was surprised at how great my legs felt, I actually did pretty good on the climbing portion and for probably the first time wasn't the slowest person. After our break and our final climb I was actually cruising pretty fast (for me) and was able to keep up with the group on the rolling hills. I'd been so worried about resting my legs so I could do my climbing rides on the weekends, I had no idea that I could ride that much and still be strong. I think I'm also getting better at knowing what to eat and drink during the ride.

With all this riding I still don't have my summer garden in, but we did get the beds tilled and filled them with compost. We also got my monster sized trellises installed. I just have to get the irrigation installed and I can go on a planting spree. I'm hoping tha day will be sat this week.

I'm feeling a lot more confident that I will be able to finish the Climate Ride even if I have to walk a few hills. I'll be taking a bit of a rest this week to get my garden in and start next week with a plan to ride close to 300 miles, I know I have 65 for Sun. and 100 for Sat. so a few regular rides during the week and I've got it.

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