Baker Road ride

Greg and I rode the old Baker Road club route out of Aledo today. Planning on doing the 50 mile route, we missed a turn and added 17 miles to end up with 66.35 miles. Baker Road, itself, is not fit for a bike ride these days. If you ride the area, you should avoid it. There are a dozen or so spots where the pavement has been destroyed, and replaced by very large packed gravel. It was way too rough for the 650 wheels I was on today, but I navigated it without a fall.

I downed plenty of carbs today, and the hills, wind, and rough roads kept our pace down to a 14.0 mph average, and I had no problems like last weekend. I was a bit tired afterward, but Greg looked like he was ready to ride another 66 miles.

FWBA Let’s go see Lillian ride

It was a small turnout by FWBA standards, with 20 – 25 riders. It was another beautiful morning, 62 degrees at ride time, with a light southwest wind that became more brisk as the ride progressed. This is a good route which I’d like to ride again, mostly flat, but with a few small hills. It starts and ends on Kelly Elliot road, and follows the SH287 service road for a ways, but most of it is on quiet rural roads south of Arlington. I ended up with 51.0 miles, and a 15.9 mph average.

EDIT: Well, I guess I missed the excitement on this ride. Kevin (I don’t remember his last name) and I dropped everyone else on the return loop from Lillian, and I left in my truck without seeing anyone else after the ride. It turns out that 10 miles from the end, Bill Skau stuck his wheel in a pavement seam, crashed, and broke his neck. He is not paralyzed, and is in John Petersmith hospital, but that’s about all I know at this point.

FWBA Decatur ride

I rode 64.3 miles of the FWBA Decatur ride today. The main problem with that is that it’s a 66 mile ride. I cratered less than two miles from the finish, and had to be sagged in. A bonk seems most likely, though looking back, I suspect some dehydration may have been involved, too. I guess it’s a good reminder that if you try to do a 66 mile hilly and windy ride at a brisk pace, you should probably do a good job of preparing yourself.

I’ve been trying to teach myself to use a liquid diet when doing a long ride, like most who do long rides at a fast pace do, but I guess I need to work on that some more. The Accelerade/maltodextrin mix that I thought was enough for this ride, apparently wasn’t. I guess there’s something to be said for estimating high on nutrition, especially when there’s hills and wind involved. I had also ordered one of those small Bento Boxes to stash a couple of gel packs in, but it hasn’t arrived yet, and I forgot to put gel packs in my regular bag. When I ran out of my mix at 50 miles, I was out of nutrition. I thought I could finish fine, but I was mistaken.

My day-before-the-ride routine wasn’t very good, either. I left for Lake Fork at 4:30 am, and got home at 9:00 pm. My nutrition for the day wasn’t so good, and I must have dehydrated some too, because I weighed 190 pounds this morning, 3 pounds less than any other day this week. I also woke up in the middle of the night with a leg cramp, something that hadn’t happened in over two years. If I’m going to make these long, grueling fishing trips from March to May, maybe I should restrict myself to shorter rides the following day.

I felt fine most of the ride. The two lead riders had dropped me on some hills at 45 miles, but I reeled them in at mile 51, and they were drafting me down the next hill. When I started up the next hill, I didn’t seem to have much strength, and it worsened from there. Each hill after that, I struggled more to get up, until I finally had to stop and walk my bike up a hill. I rode down that hill, but as soon as I started up the next, both legs locked up with cramps, my right leg with a cramp on the front of my thigh, my left leg with a cramp on the back of my thigh. After stopping and waiting for the cramps to subside, I walked my bike up this hill, but when I reached the top and started to climb back on the bike, I realized I was too weak and dizzy to continue, classic bonk symptoms.

I sat down beside the road, and a horse wandered up to the fence right behind me to keep me company. One rider had passed me as I walked up the first hill, but after I stopped, it was over 15 minutes before the next rider showed up (even after walking up two hills!). As I explained to him that I couldn’t continue, I realized that my speech was slurred, and he said he’d be back for me. A rider gave me a Payday candy bar, and as I sat beside the road eating it, I had this inexplicable craving for a large bag of Fritos, and when I stopped for a subway sandwich after the ride, I did get the Fritos too. A fun sport, isn’t it?