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This Next Ride is Still Questionable

by on May 29, 2012

I can’t believe the anxiety I’m having over my next ride.  In fact, I’m still not 100% convinced I’m going to do it.  Some of that showed on this morning’s ride.

I was hesitant about getting out for the 5:45 ride this morning.  The only thing that got me out of bed was a decision to spin easy and ride my own recovery ride.  Yesterday’s heat took its toll on me.  I made sure I kept the speed down and my heart rate below 120 as I rode to the Rusty Bridge.  I announced to the gathering group that I was simply spinning easy this morning.  I took the trail rather than any of the hills in the first half of the ride.  Bryan was content to ride with me and it was a great opportunity to listen to his story of a spectacularly ridden 400k last Saturday.  He rode it in under 18 hours.  At the end of the trail, we met up with part of the group and took it easy back, although I must admit I picked up the pace above the easy spinning I had planned.  I cut the ride short because of another early meeting.

My legs were stiff.  I had a little lingering pain.  I kept telling people that if everything works out right I’ll be riding the fixie 115-120 miles across the Eastern Shore tomorrow.  The emphasis has been on the “if everything works out right” part.  I’m still not sure.  My concerns?

  1. The forecast is for hot.
  2. It is the fixie and the longest distance attempted on it.
  3. It will be a solo ride.
  4. The forecast is for hot.
  5. There is also a good chance of thunderstorms in the afternoon.
  6. Long stretches of the hot ride are without shade.
  7. Friends of mine have dehydrated enough on hot rides to end up in the hospital.
  8. Did I say that the forecast is for hot?
  9. If I have to bail, I’ll be lucky to find a rescue ride within hours.

You see … I’ve got some anxiety about this.  The decision will be made tonight.  If I decide to go, I need to decide and not fret over it all night.  I’ll prepare as if I am going.  That will mean a drop bag for the hotel taken by a friend.  Install another water bottle holder on the fixie.  Make sure  the Camelback is fresh and clean.  Decide on a hydration and food plan in advance.  Make sure all components are good.  Make the final decisions on the gearing to be used.  Take enough of the right emergency supplies for a solo unsupported ride.  Establish my baseline limits (which tell me whether I’m pushing too hard).  Review the course once again.  Sleep.

If I go, I’ll push off as early as it is light.  I’ll want to get as many miles in as I can before the heat or storms set in.

This morning’s ride numbers:

This Ride: 18.8 miles
Month: 762 miles
2012: 2359.8 miles
Total since 1/1/2010: 16,213.5 miles

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From → Cycling

One Comment
  1. Clearly you know what is best for you, so any specific advice from a stranger won’t help you very much. Instead, let me ask this: since you are considering not doing the ride, you can clearly imagine a situation where you wouldn’t go. Is tomorrow’s ride anything like that situation? If you are taking risk, what is the benefit to be gained that you are balancing the risk against?

    Finally, besides the basic prep work is there anything you can do to mitigate the risk? Can you shorten the distance or perhaps leave before dawn so your hours in the heat are further reduced?

    Personally, I would strongly consider not going. You are no doubt still suffering the effects of Monday’s very hot ride and to embark on another one not having recupperated from the first seems risky to me. If things go poorly for you, you’ll have little help, no bailout option, and little shade. That is a recipe for a serious heat injury. Just saying…

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