Saturday, October 15, 2005

Riding for Literacy

Read all about it!

Bike the Bend for Literacy is a nice little ride out of Richmond, Texas, Fort Bend County. I did it last year when they held it at the end of August and in spite of the late summer heat, I liked it. It wasn't one of my planned bike rides for this season because they moved it to the same day as the Goliad ride. But since Dan had too much going on for a weekend in Goliad to be practical, the Ride for Literacy was a nice alternative.

The ride started from the Technical Building at Wharton Junior College. It's a good place for a small ride like this-- lots of parking, a big clean building with no long lines for late registration, packet pickup or restrooms, and a table of bagels, fruit, gels and water set up outside in the shade. The shirts were pretty cool and there were some nice goodies in the swag bag, including samples of a joint and muscle cream called Bio-Freeze and some Energice, which I've been wanting to try. Energice is a gel that can be eaten room temp, but they recommend you freeze it and eat it like a Popsicle. Good idea for here in the South! Too bad summer's over, but I checked my calendar and it looks like we'll have summer again next year, so I'm holding onto these Energice samples!

We got a late start because there was an accident on the route and the cops asked the race director to hold us up a bit, but we finally got started around 8:15.

Because it was a small ride I had no trouble seeding myself toward the front along with the other riders doing the metric century, ahead of the slowpokes who were just out there for the scenery, but behind the serious speedsters. We had gone just over a mile when we got stopped by a train, and it was a long one! Luckily it was also moving at a pretty good clip, so we didn't have to wait too long.

The ride took us through nice horse country, cotton fields, and some attractive neighborhoods. The ride signage was excellent and the rest stops were frequent and fully stocked. There were also enough big gas stations on the route that if you really wanted a flush toilet and hand washing facilities, you could have them. Yes, I took advantage of this.

For the first half of the ride, the winds were moderate and mostly at our backs. So of course that meant that we'd have headwinds after awhile, and sure enough about an hour and a half into the ride, the winds started picking up and by the time we were on the popular Fulshear-Simonton route, we were in for some long, slow stretches with either headwind or gusting crosswinds. Yuck. I suppose I could've done some drafting, but I really don't like to do that because it will only spoil me for triathlon.

The last 15 miles were the worst, as my abs and the muscles around my knees started protesting all the activity. Yes, I've been lazy on my ab and knee work for a few weeks and now that I've started up again, everything's a little sore. No big deal at the office, but one tends to notice these things out on the road.

Luckily that last 15 miles is nothing on a psychological level, so it was just a matter of holding on to the finish. Around mile 50 someone told me the course was measured long and to expect it to be 65 and not 62 miles, but it actually came out to about 61.5. Back at the parking lot, I slathered one of my Bio-Freeze samples around my knees and on my lower back, which has been hurting a lot since I got lazy on my ab work. Let me tell you, that Bio-Freeze is good stuff! By the time I got home I felt great!

In fact, I felt so good I went and did late registration for the 20K race tomorrow!

Uh, yeah. Now I'm wondering if that was such a good idea. My legs feel pretty heavy tonight, and even though I hadn't intended to actually race the 20K, I'm wondering if it's really what I should be doing at all. It's been a jinx race for me in the past, always leading to some sort of injury.

So we'll see how things go tomorrow. I'm not racing. I'm really, really not. It's just that I was going to run 12 miles anyway, and since the race goes past my house and over part of the route I was going to run anyway, it seemed silly not to sign up. I will, however, take full advantage of the post-run massages tomorrow. No matter how long I have to wait.

Recent Workouts
Monday: 45 minutes elliptical
Tuesday: rest
Wednesday: 4 x 1 mile speedwork, total mileage 5.25
Thursday: 15 minues elliptical, 30 minutes run, easy pace
Friday: rest

1 comment:

Comm's said...

hey right on, good ride. Have fun on the 20k, that what 12.5 miles or so. If your reading this after the race, you raced a little bit didn't ya?