Monday, June 29, 2009

A serious (and not so serious) ride

Saturday was another unique day for me. There were 8 of us heading out to climb Rockpile. This is a long hard climb and I would usually be quite excited. But there I was early Saturday morning strongly contemplating staying in bed and skipping the ride all together. And that just doesn't sound like me.

My issue was not the early start time of pre-ride coffee at 6:00 a.m. and rolling by 6:30. I like early starts. Plus, it was going to be in the mid to upper 90's and Rockpile is an exposed climbed most of the way up. No, my issue was that I just didn't feel like being around people or riding my bike. That's almost unheard of for me. Most people who know me would call me the poster boy for extroverts and if you read this blog regularly you know how I feel about riding. But every now and then I just want to be alone and this was shaping up to be one of those days.

Eventually, I decide to suck it up and go. I skipped the pre-ride coffee, which was at Starbucks so that doesn't really count (they were the only folks open at 6:00 in Windsor). I get ready to roll by myself and then wait for the ride to start. I start looking forward to the ride because if anyone can help me snap out of this funk it would be this group. They are great people that I enjoy hanging with both on and off the bike.

Finally we're off. I am enjoying the chit chat but not participating very much so I take the first pull. As we roll along, I begin to let the adventure of cycling take over. We are riding through vineyards on a gorgeous morning and I feel myself starting to come around. By the time we hit the climb I was my normal chatty self. However, I was still thinking more about Sherry's french toast then the ride.

As we start the climb, I decide I need a focus. So I make the decision to try and stay in the middle ring to the top. Now, let me give you a few stats. Rockpile is a 12 climb that gains nearly 2500 feet with double-digit pitches in some places. I have never even contemplated staying in the middle ring. Today, it was just what the doctor ordered. I focused on using every ounce of energy wisely to get myself to the top and it worked.

We hammered back down the descent, which actually has 800 feet of climbing, and headed home. Somewhere along the way I finally lost the battle, and all motivation to ride, so I simply fell back from the group. David fell back with me and we were both feeling like we just wanted the ride to end. Finally, we reach the car and once I was off the bike my spirits improved and I had a great time at our post-ride coffee chat.

Sunday, Pat and I went out to spin the legs for a couple of hours. Surprisingly, I felt great! We both wanted something easy and fun so we decided to try and drink more ounces of coffee then we rode in miles. We met at Bad Ass coffee and headed north while avoiding every road that had even the smallest rise. In Healdsburg, we had coffee at Flying Goat. We then rode the 7 grueling miles to have coffee at Cafe Noto in Windsor. Pat was posting each coffee stop on his Facebook page as another summit. It was the first time my maximum heartrate was caused by a double espresso and not the effort of riding. It was a blast!

So there it is. A very challenging ride both physically and mentally followed by a fun little coffee run disguised as a ride. The issue of not wanting to be around people - gone! The issue of not wanting to ride - gone! And what was my reward for riding my way through this self-induced funk? You got it. French toast!


0 Comment(s):