Monday, August 20, 2007

63 minus 5 miles of x-training

My brother and his wife convinced me to join them for the Cool Breeze Century Ride in Ventura this past Saturday. We all signed up for the metric century–that is 100 kilometers or about 63 miles through Ventura, up to Ojai and back down to Ventura again. It's a beautiful and mostly flat ride punctuated by views of the ocean and vineyards and orchards along the way.

Now, I'm not a cyclist by any stretch of the imagination. I don't have a decent bike road-worthy enough to go that distance. I don't even own a cycling jersey or one of those fancy clip-on cycling shoes. But ride I did, borrowing my brother's mountain bike which was outfitted with slick tires and clipless pedals. He, on the other hand, rode his carbon fiber road bike which propelled him effortlessly up the hills and even against headwinds. My derrier, which has never been on a saddle for so long–the farthest I've gone on a training ride was only 25 miles–was complaining, but I gave it little or no mind.

I really enjoyed the ride, more than I thought I would. For the metric century, there were three rest stops at about every 15 miles or so. It's very tempting to just hang out at one of these stations as they are stocked with fruits, cookies, muffins, lemonade and even popsicles while riders rest their legs, enjoying the company of other cyclists and the ocean vistas.

There was a longish uphill section between the first and second rest stops, and I was surprised that I managed to stay pedaling. Actually the burn on my legs was not as bad as running uphill so I actually appreciated even this part of the course. Thank goodness for those low gears.

After the second rest stop, my brother and I were riding together. I didn't have to work so hard since I was drafting behind him. Then all of a sudden at about mile 40, a loud noise the sound of gun fire erupted. I saw it happen. My front tire blew out. We pulled over and upon further examination, we determined that the inner tube and tire both need to be replaced. Fortunately, a SAG wagon came by and gave me a lift about 5 miles or so to the next rest stop where they were able to put on a new tire and get me on my way to finish the ride.

63 minus 5 miles after the start, I crossed the finish line festooned with a balloon arch. My brother was there waiting, as well as several cyclists and their friends and families who cheered the finishers. I thought about raising my arms up a la Tour de France, but decided against it at the fear of losing control and falling in front of everyone. My sister-in-law was braver than I, letting go of her handle bars long enough for us to take a picture.

We enjoyed the post-race lunch, picked up our free patches, and I was on my way home.

Well after a day like that, I needed a nap to prepare for a different type of cross-training and hydration. In the evening, I went off to meet several friends for some dancing and alcohol-laced libations. With all the races and Saturday early morning training runs, I've had to miss out on some nightlife action. But not this time, and I'm glad I didn't, as some beauties and cool peeps came out to play.

This weekend, my brother and I are doing a race, this time at the Bulldog 25K. It's gonna be fun but it's also gonna be hot, hot, hot.


Bob Gentile said...

sounds like a great weekend...good luck next week

rick said...

That's a long way to go on a mountain bike. Not only is the bike heavier but your body position is more erect against the wind and the shocks take some of the energy out of your pedal stroke. So you totally got a really good workout. Good bonus.

Addy said...

wow awesome job! Someday I still want to get a bike. Furthest I've gone in 3 years is a whopping 12 miles :) I'm still far too scared to even take one hand off the handlebars!

Glad you had a night off too. You need those :)

You and everyone else, be safe out there this weekend! Lots of water and salt :D

jun-o said...

good times, good times, bok. you should make cycling as part of your running workout. i'm thinking about this concept big style now. cycling and swimming as "in-betweens"

but dang, dawg, white shorts, your 8 o'clock, in the photo. is this where all the good girls hang? place looks familiar.

good luck to you and your bro. always a good thing to know somebody's got your back.

Dmitri Chechuy said...

Thanks a lot for the recap - it was quite a fun to read it - although it did not come without envy on my side - I never did any bike races and would love to try it one day as well - just for fun.
Best of luck to you in Malibu! The course is gonna be rocky so make sure you take a couple of extra tires with you in case it blows out again :-)))

e-rod said...

thanks, bob.

rick...that's how i looked at it, though i wasn't really crying when i got a ride on the sag.

addy...will do. it's been pretty warm and humid down here. fortunately, i'm only doing the 25k. i don't envy the 50k runners.

jun...actually white shorts is not real. she's an avatar. hahaha. i made sure she was in the picture for you, bro. btw, the place is in oc and is called "proof." wasn't really a race since it's not timed which made it really nice. it was more of a long supported bike ride. i'll have to do it again, but i think i need to invest in a road bike soon.

banggigay said...

you're lucky to have a nice weather, whilst we here in manila are like kids being robbed of their candies. haaay. nice sunshine pleaseeee.

and boy! you are indeed having a time of your life eh?! tara..pasyal ka dito pinas! :)