Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Long, Hot and Windy Ride

You know you're a newbie cyclist when you record your longest ride ever, and it's barely over a half century. But that's exactly what I did yesterday.

I met my new riding friend, Tom, at a local trailhead yesterday morning, where we set out on the Centennial Trail for a casual ride. We didn't have a set distance or time in mind, so we played it by ear. It was a hot morning and getting hotter as the ride progressed. We crossed the border into Idaho and decided to continue through Post Falls (a small town just across the border) with the hopes of finding a trail by the river. We failed in that quest, but managed to ride through a Strava segment named "Cruising through the Ghetto of Post Falls. Watch out for the drug dealer at the auto place!" Nice. We could tell it was a shady part of town, but I wasn't aware of that segment until I uploaded my ride data to Strava. Maybe we'll choose another route next time.

We had a tailwind all the way out which meant, of course, we had to ride back into the wind. It was approaching 90°f by now, so the heat was becoming a factor. After a few miles riding into the headwind, I could tell my tank was running low. I was okay through about 42 miles, but from then on I was running on fumes. I had just about polished off my second bottle of fluid, and my legs were toast. I hung onto Tom (a more experienced and more fit cyclist) and, after a short rest break to stretch and eat a granola bar, we made it back to the trailhead. Thankfully there was a working water fountain, where we refilled our bottles with cold-ish water (the water & sports drink in my bottles was warm for most of the ride, even though they started as mostly ice). Once I dismounted, I noticed that I was pretty lightheaded and dizzy. Tom had another 15 miles of riding — including some climbing — to get home. I knew if that was my situation, I'd be in trouble. It was 93° at this point.

I loaded up my bike, started my truck and sat in the AC for a few minutes to recover and cool off.

Once home, I ate, drank, took an ice bath followed by a hot shower, put on compression socks, then laid on the couch for 30 minutes.

I learned that, even though I'm improving on the bike, I have a long way to go. Heat + headwind are not my friends. Still, I'm happy with the ride and enjoyed Tom's company and conversation.

Distance - 52.1 miles
Time - 3:05:55
Pace - 16.9 mph
HR - 131 avg / 145 max

Cycling miles YTD: 714

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