Path Back II start with the Path Back I

I woke up this morning ready for a long ride. Kind of amped about during it, but realistic and not sure how well I would do. I was going to be one of the sweepers for the century group of team fat cyclist and I had to make sure I fulfilled my role.

The morning was fine because I had everything set out just so, and got a bit of sleep. I realized though that I was not really going to be able to eat anything substantial before starting this ride. Cliff bar and I became very close this morning. Thank god the peanut scare is over because I was able to get down a cliff bar peanut bar and that was all I had time for. For a guy my size…that does not power you very far.

We got a nice little roll out of the hotel after getting everyone together. I think we went the round about way, but I stayed up front with some pretty cool folks. We just chatted about the day and what we were expecting.

Riding Up front

Riding Up front

We were lined up at the start line staging area and someone came by and said that some one already had a mechanical. Thank god it was only a broken shifter cable, but some simple technical rules of charity rides, or rides in general:

1. Get a tune up once a year or so. They sound pricey, but so does travel to your event of the year only to not be able to ride it.

2. Have a safety check of your bike. Lining up for a century with a malfunctioning brake is not a good idea.

3. Do not make major changes to your bike less than 3 days before your ride.

4. If you are using clipless pedals, please know how to get out of them. You look damn silly after passing people on a hill to only get to the top and fall over like an egg out of the carton.

Follow those rules, and for the most part you will be fine.

Anyway, we got to the start line, and I was standing near the stage. where Ethan Zahn and Drew from blame drew’s cancer were milling about. One of the Livestrong folks had us move to the side to bring up some riders to the front who were not part of our group. Most people did not recognize the VIPs they were bringing to the front. There was Eddie George, Chris Carmichael

and others.

The ride got off to a quick start with people working their way through the huge fatty contingent. Everyone was riding well and I can already see that I did not follow my own rules and my seat post was down!

I fixed it as well as some other folk’s bikes at the aid station 1. I got back on the bike and felt great even after seeing a guy laying facedown in a ditch and people telling him not to move. I felt pretty good up until shortly after rest stop 2. That is when it turns uphill, and I was already getting small cramps along the way. I rode through them and ate peanuts and drank plenty of fluids trying to keep the leg cramps at bay. They would stay with me for the rest of the day.

Between rest station 2 and the 70/100 mile split…this thing really started to go up hill. I somehow lost the folks I was riding with along the way even though I was going really slow and taking pictures and stuff along the way. I thought they were behind me for a while, but I was wrong. I ended up riding/dealing with cramps for a long time on my own. When I got to the split, I made it with time to spare to the cut off time, but there was no one from team fatty there. I waited around for about 20 minutes to see if they would come and no one. They ended up closing the 100-mile route and considering the pain in my legs, I decided to cut off 30 miles today and head back.

Besides rolling off the course into the gully, the 70-mile ride was only punctuated by the constant cramping after long hills, or during them. While at rest stop 3, I met up with Jersey Jen and some other folks from team fatty.

I rolled out with them and hung around with them for a while. It is hard to miss jen and her bright pink tires! I kept up my pace, which was slow at best, and made it through rest stop 4 with a brief stop for more gummy bears and water/Gatorade. I got back on and headed back…20 miles to go…I kept thinking I ride 20 miles all the time. That is nothing. I guess I forgot about the hills and the 50 miles I already went!

The last 20 were brutal because it was starting to get hotter and mentally I was giving up. I was riding more or less alone and had cramps on every hill. There was nothing stopping it and I would not get on the bad luck truck (sag wagon). I just pushed through and rode some in some of my darkest moments on the bike. This is where the path I have been talking about gets much clearer.

The thing about this ride is not that it is that bad, or I am a poor cyclist; it is that I have allowed myself to gain almost 30 pounds in a year. I can blame it on Grad school and other stuff, but regardless, it is just insane. Between the motivation of Elden and others and the tough day I had on the bike, I decided right then and there after hundreds of other times that I quit that I decided that I really needed to do something about my fitness. I used the last few “junk” miles of the course to plan my attack, which I will chronicle on this blog.

Along with my planning, I rode the last few miles at a snails pace. I of course felt good once we got to Montco again, but I felt awful about my time. I met up with some fatties and other folks. Elden, myself, and another team fatty member headed back to the hotel to get cleaned up so Elden could get some face time with other fatties. The ride back to the hotel was not bad, but it was really quiet as I was trying to navigate by iPhone and still keep up a decent pace.

I dropped him back off at Montco and went to be the personal sag wagon for Philly Jen who had enough by 5pm.

After dropping her back at the hotel, I had one stop I knew I had to make before my path started. I really wanted some Chicken strips from McDonalds. I got em and enjoyed how awful they were and that was it for them. It was the cholesterol seal before I started on my new path.

I skipped out on the team Fatty dinner because I had tickets to see a favorite band of mine (lifetime) with some favorite people. I had a great time and I have the bump on my head and the busted lip to prove it!

The path starts in the morning…. if I can get up!

One Response to “Path Back II start with the Path Back I”
  1. epicmoonflower says:

    So, what’s your plan for Austin? I’m planning 10lbs less.
    Proclaim your goals and do like Fatty- make them public!
    I totally used to take so many pictures of food for my blog- when I was diagnosed I went on an uber healthy diet- my acupuncturist/healer told me: (deep breath) no sugar, no wheat, no dairy. I further imposed no alcohol, no soy (my breast cancer was estrogen receptive so soy would seem to be a bad choice), no meat (I’ve been vegetarian for 15 years). Basically, eat grass and twigs and you’ll lose a ton of weight.
    Are you IN?!

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