Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Ride to the Middle of Nowhere.

Andrea told me to ride to the middle of nowhere as my ride plan for today. It was summed up like this "Ride to the middle of nowhere. Act like riding is your job tomorrow. Eat a big breakfast and plan to eat lunch on your ride." *Gulp* I was scared. She told me "Go to Arkansas" and I figured, ah what the heck, I have never ridden across state lines. Might as well get that knocked out tomorrow. I did some homework on google maps and realized I could easily ride backroads to West Memphis and hopefully find a good place to eat. I made a cue sheet, preloaded my jersey, and figured out how to carry three tubes in an Awesome Strap Race, and went to bed.

I woke up and felt like crap. I didn't really want to ride. I was whining. A whole lot. I decided to not ride. LOL jk jk. I realized it was hot, I need to get used to the heat. It was my day off. My jersey was loaded. All I had to do was get dressed and roll out the door. Seriously. I did.

My route took me through parts of Memphis I hadn't seen before and over the I-55 bridge on the sidewalk. Once over the river I became very confused by no trespassing signs, standing water, and an urge to generally be an idiot (which turned out pretty cool). I went the opposite way I was supposed to go, almost got stuck in some mud with my road tires and shoes. I felt silly. Riding a cross bike, in a road set up, when I very much needed cross stuff. Grrrrr. I rode around and realized things weren't adding up. It seemed this exit of I-55 was just to go to a chemical plant of some sort. The people at the Security Hut of Big Chemical Nasty Smelling Place had no information on how to help me find my way. I rode around a bit more, explored a gravel road, and then realized what may be going on. I used my iFun to pull up the map, and sure enough. The road I needed to take was underwater. But it was just in one spot. I leave my shade of the overpass and sprint back down to where I started. This water looks bad. But the road looks good afterwards. So I look around, find a spot that doesn't seem too deep and ratchet pedal across to keep my shoes dry.

The road was gravel. Deep gravel. I followed it until it was annoyingly deep, hard to ride, and generally more grrr. I really wanted cross tires. Or mountain tires. Or a baja truck. But not 700x23s with 100psi in them. The other problem was putting a carbon soled shoe on gravel is much like wearing white sneakers in winter. You are just asking for trouble. Rather than continuing to beat up my sorer-by-the-minute wrist and potentially fall, I rode out to the river, ate a bar, took a picture, and rode back to Memphis. The labor of keeping things upright on the gravel plus the fact I rode a good deal of stuff off the beaten path to not walk in my road shoes and slip and die equaled I was more tired than I realized.

I crossed into Memphis with 25 miles in me and decided to go to Shelby Forest.  I could ride straight to the General Store, get a coldcut sandwich, and head out to the boat ramp before heading home. I was pooped by the time I got to the store. I ate a bologna and cheddar on wheat, drank a Coke and a Mountain Dew, and refilled all my bottles. I crept away from the store and worked on warming up slow to not leave lunch surprise in the side ditch. I eventaully ramped it up to a good steady effort, made the turn around at the river, and started back. I decided to ease up a bit before Jackson Hill in order to hit it fresh. I stayed in the saddle, recovered in the middle, and went over the top. I decided to put the spurs to it and see how long I could maintain a decent effort out the top and beyond. I kept rolling along, shifting, and bumping my heart rate up 2-3 beats. This went on for another 20 minutes. I finally popped, hung my head in shame, and faced the wind on the way back to Memphis.

I started hating life, running low on water, and generally sucking it up. I was having a hard time keeping the pedals turning and my head screwed on straight. I got some super skanky window waitress on Beale to fill up one of my bottles so I could make it home.

I rounded out the day with 2 states, 1 minor map mishap, 1 iPhone Maps save the day, some fun gravel, 1 hard effort that made me zapped, and 84 miles. Not shabby for a Tuesday.

I came home, made a recovery drink, started the bath, and hopped in. I drank my recovery drink and a bottle of water in the bath. I was hoping taking a cool shower would help stop any sunburn that was trying to finish set in, help me stop sweating (allowing my shower to be effective as well as rehydration to be more effective too), and relax. I shaved from neck to toes (just kidding. . . . I shave my toes). Then I took a quick, warm shower to knock the chill out.

My friend picked me up and we went to eat El Porton and catch up, but my stomach wasn't right so I barely ate. (For the record I am eating my leftovers now). When I came home I grabbed Marley and the long board and headed out for what could hopefully turn into our nightly shred session. He really enjoys running long with me while I scoot down the street.


Impassible Backwater? Merely a Puddle!




Wrong side of the river, still happy.


And the water said "Road be gone"


















I put Marley away and needed to run to Walgreens for toothpaste and thread. I almost grabbed the bike. Blegh, no mas bicicleta. I thought about the Fucus. Really, drive less than 2 miles? No way. I took the long board. It took me 8 minutes to get there and probably 10-12 to get back. I didn't time my way back. I was only gone a total of 28 minutes though. The way back was a little more uphill and I just carried it part of the way. Still a blast, definitely way better tha driving the car. While I am terrible at efficiently going places or not looking dumb on it, I don't care. It's fun.


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