Scouting Combine 100K Populaire

I decided to spend the day after being beat up on by the TTTT course doing this nice, easy 100K LSR Populaire. So much for that thought. I ended up with 63.6 miles with an on bike time of 3:22 for an 18.7 mph average. Checking my journal, that’s the fastest average I’ve had for a ride of over 60 miles. I actually spent most of my time cruising at 20+ mph. Only the dozens (well, it seemed like dozens) of traffic lights and stop signs on Danieldale and Pleasant Run roads brought the average down to 18.7. This came, surprisingly, on a day when my legs were already feeling like toast from yesterday’s TTTT lap.

Only 4 of us showed up for the ride, which starts in Duncanville, and is an out and back to Combine. The pace was slow at the beginning, but when Richard took off ahead, I joined him, and we ended up hammering the whole way to Combine and back. Actual time was only 12 minutes more than bike time; the one control stop was our only stop. The ride started at 6:05 am. We finished at 9:39 am, and I was home by just after 10:00 am. I don’t think I’ve ever gotten home that early from a 60+ mile ride.

Now, I think I’ll enjoy some TDF coverage between snores…

rbent Celina ride

A bunch of rbent riders did a ride out of Celina yesterday, 7/7/07. Foorider (Mike Schwitzgebel) did a very nice report on this ride on his blog. Read it here.

I still don’t think my breathing is quite back to normal, but it was much better on this ride.

Leaving Celina.

Peggy and company.

Me on my Corsa.

LaBellaRani Duencento 200K – Part Deaux

Well, I guess it was my turn in the barrel. Greg and I joined 6 others in Italy to ride the same route we had tackled Sunday, and this time it was me who cratered early. Almost as soon as we started riding, I felt short of breath. I figured it was allergies acting up, and I’d be fine after a few miles, but that’s not what happened. I simply could not take a deep breath the entire ride. If I tried to exhale deeply, I sounded like the worst smoker’s wheeze you’ve ever heard.

And it didn’t get better. I’m here to tell you it’s pretty tough getting up hills if you can’t take a deep breath. And it seemed to sap my strength more, the further we went. I didn’t feel too bad at the first control stop at 28 miles, just a bit puzzled why I couldn’t keep up on the same hills I had been fine on Sunday. But the bigger hills just after the first control let me know this was going to be an extremely tough day. Greg stayed with me as I slowed. By the second control at 64 miles, I had doubts that I was going to be able to finish, and by the last control at 94 miles, I was sure I wasn’t going to finish.

But I did finish. My total was 132.5 miles. On the bike average was 15.4 mph. I forgot to check total time, but it had to be around 10 and a half hours, with many more stops than usual. My mysterious illness was only one of the indignities I endured on this ride. I ended up with body aches, much like you get when you have a fever. Every joint I have which has arthritis issues, was screaming. My Garmin Edge 305 wouldn’t power on. Even now, plugged in to power, it still won’t come on. It appears to be dead, pending repair. I really would have liked to have that heart rate monitor today. On this day when I felt so bad, it would have been nice to watch that window into my engine.

I also had two flats. With only one working co2 cartridge and a bad pump, I finished the ride with less than optimum pressure in my rear tire. When we stopped at mile 110 to water a roadside tree, I found out the hard way that I was doing my business while standing in a fire ant bed. I also had a wasp fly inside my sunglasses, but escaped being stung.

By the end, I was barely able to turn the pedals, and when we stopped in front of a Milford store with just six miles to go, I was certain that I was done. Greg bought a Dr Pepper from a machine. At first I decided against a soda (I don’t drink carbonated beverages at all), but then remembered all the times I’d seen a pro peloton racer down a Coke, so I bought an RC. That old racer’s sugar and caffeine trick does seem to work. I still had no leg strength left, and was still wheezing like a terminal smoker, but I felt a lot better, and kept the pedals turning for the final 6 miles.

I still don’t know what to make of my strange symptoms. I never coughed up much, so I was left to believe that it was just constricted bronchial tubes or such. Sure enough, when I chased down and took an ephedrine pill at home, I was able to breathe better. We’re talking classic asthma symptoms here. I don’t know what to make of it, but I’m going to discuss it with my doctor.

As I break out my dictionary now, and look up the definition of the word, “fun”, I wonder if it will match today’s story. Somehow, I don’t think so. Thanks for dragging me in, Greg.

LaBellaRani Duecento 200K

Friend Greg Gross and I joined a bunch of Lone Star Randonneur riders on this 200K route that starts in Italy. It turned into a brutally hot day and Greg DNF’d 38 miles from the finish. This group had so many fast riders, it was just too easy for us to set too fast an early pace, and those of us who haven’t ridden much long distance stuff need to keep in mind that we should first concentrate on just riding a long distance, then later think about riding a long distance fast. For me, that’s easier said than done.

We heard at the control where Greg DNF’d that Jorge had a crash further up the road. It turned out the he actually didn’t crash. Three miles after the next to last control, Pam hit his rear wheel causing her and Dan, who was beside her, to go down. One of their bikes hit Jorge’s rear derailler, breaking it off. Jorge didn’t go down at all. Dan’s front wheel was tacoed, so they put Jorge’s front wheel on Dan’s bike, and that left only Jorge’s bike unable to continue. Pam got the worst of the crash. As she congratulated me on my finish, I could see blood on her knee and shin, and as she walked away, I noticed her elbow was really scraped badly.

Mark M hammered the first part of the ride, but then seemed to lose motivation. He slowed down, and rode a mile out of the way for an unscheduled ice cream stop. I think he is still tired from RAAM. After I left the last control, I rode the rest of the way with him. It was a fast group today. Mark and I were the last two finishers.

I ended up with 132.4 miles. On the bike time was 8:07, for a 16.3 mph average. Total time was 9:51. These were mostly very low traffic roads, in a part of the state I haven’t traveled much. Starting in Italy, we passed within sight of Lake Navarro, and rode all the way to Groesbeck. On a less trying day, the scenery would have been very enjoyable. The clouds that were around all day never were over us. Mark joked that a sunny spot was following us the whole ride. The heat was brutal, but just two miles down I-35E after I started home in my truck, I hit a major thunderstorm.

LaBellaRani Duecento 200K route