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Sunday ride

Right, then…

I mentioned earlier that my buddy Droobage was going to be leading me on a Sunday ride to help me train for the Tour de Cure in June.  First off, know that Droo has been cycling for eons (first, mountain, then road).  He’s done the Solvang Double Century.  Further, he’s about 70 lbs lighter than me and his bike is made of starlight, dreams and Rearden Metal, which makes it about 10 to 15 lbs lighter than mine.  Needless to say, he’s faster than me.

We left from my house, tooled up Homestead to Foothill Expressway.  Foothill, he informed me, is a favored route amongst cyclists…sort of like The Silk Road, but with Lycra.  We named it The Lycra Highway to which I pointed out that it sounded like the title for Gay Porn.  Regardless, Lycra Highway, it remained.

We traveled up to El Monte that turned into Moody Rd.  This is where we sunk to the depths of hell.   A check of MapMyRide showed me that this grade started at 2% and ranged all the way up to 9% over the course of 9 miles.  The terrain finally relented at about mile 18 or so, when the grade dropped down to 2% again.

This leads me to say two words:  Holy Shit.  I now have a better appreciation for lightweight bikes and gear.

The rest of the ride was good as it was mainly flat to undulating hills or downhill.  Mind you the downhills could be downright terrifying due to sheer speed.  Droo figures we were hitting 35mph or so at times.  What’s disturbing is that when I’m riding those speeds on the motorcycle, I have – at a minimum – long pants, heavy boots, a motorcycle jacket, gloves and a full-face helmet.  Here, I just have mountain bike shorts, a jersey and a bike helmet.  I tried not to think what it would feel like if I biffed it.  To add to this, the rear brakes are out of adjustment, thus are not quite as strong as I would like.  Other than that, though, it was fun.   After that, we went through Portola Valley to Arastradero Rd back to Foothill and then home.

I did notice two things:  1)  after all that climbing, my legs were fairly dead, such that even with mild hills, I’d find myself shifting in to lower gears, and 2) after all that downhill, I now know why cyclist have arms like that.  Also, I need to look at some lighter-weight shorts.

I did fairly OK, fuel-wise as I did the wheat toast/almond butter/banana thing for breakfast, then had Clif Bars with me.  Droo kicked in some CytoMax throughout the ride, as well, which helped (he normally takes one bottle of water and one of CytoMax, but he Max’ed both of them this time anticipating I would need some.  Mental note:  Buy CytoMax).  Water wise, I was fine as I was carrying my 70 oz CamelBack.  That said, it’s not optimum for distance cycling, so I really need to look at strap on water bottle cages (can’t bolt anything to the frame – the tubing is too thin.)

Overall, a good ride.  Even though it was equal parts cruising/pain/terror, I enjoyed myself.  I figure I’ll do it again, at least once or twice before the TdC.  Also, I have to mention that Droo was a good sport inasmuch as he would always circle back after my lagging ass, even though I told him to go ahead and that I’d ultimately catch up.

So this leads to good news and bad news –

Good News:  As this loop was 49 miles and 2400 ft of elevation, I can easily complete the 75K/46Mi TdC (which only has 1400 ft of elevation, I believe).

Bad News:  My crack habit wants a lighter bike, now.