last night's ride... tonight's ride

last night I went out for a post work ride on the cross bike
was feeling beaten after sunday's race
it was not so much the heat
no it was not the humidity either
it was my ego
my ego was sore

so... last night after work
I went out on the my still fresh, yet nearly a year old, Specialized Tri-Cross cyclocross bike
took to the Capitol Crescent trail thinking it would be a pleasure to spin car free for a bit
went out for about 45 minutes out turning it around at the end of the gravel path before the path crosses Connetticut Ave. then passing the Chevy Chase City Bikes store
turned it around
heading back the way I just came
looking forward to seeing some of the people I saw on the way out
you know
that jogger
that lady with the dog
that joker on the bike

the bike was heavy under my body
I slogged it out on a ride I usually cruise
it was flat but it felt up hill both ways
it was not so much the speed as I was spinning in the smaller ring trying to stay smooth and not tight
it was more a matter of how hard it was to rotate the cranks
the cranks were not spinning
the cranks were being mashed... not unlike how I muscle the cranks when I ride off road

the post work ride was not the confidence builder I was looking for
I wanted an refreshing spin to boost my moral
rather I had a ball busting rude awakening
an overwelming sensation of dread
my legs were gone and I was not going to be able to ride this weekend without a testosterone patch

went home
joined the family
went through the evening's events thinking that the shenadoah mountain one hundred was a bad idea

the next morning I woke
that was this morning
figured I would get another feel for how the body felt
not the 5-7 hour ride that frank of bike utopia was reccomending
but rather my ride to work and my ride home

with lycra tights rather than padded shorts with pockets and such
with Sidi shoes instead of my sasquach sneaker style touring shoes
(also with Time cleats)
I carried my bike up the wooded stairs to the alley behind my house
after opening the iron gate I went to pick up my bike and go through the doorway
at a glance I saw then when my wheel rotated it stopped without making a full rotation
I tried to spin the wheel again
the wheel did not make a full rotation
fearing being late I mounted up my bike with the tweeked rear wheel and rushed to work

after work I got suited up for my ride
before mounting up on my specialized tri-cross I disconnected the rear brake
then threw my leg over the saddle and headed for a post work ride
the wheel was ugly
but it was not hitting the brake
I cautiously moved through traffic knowing a panic stop would send me over the handlebars

not having a legit spoke wrench I figured it best to just ride
so I rode on

I went up the Capitol Crescent trail again
this time with less resistence
crossing the once train tressel over Bradley Blvd I decided to pop into Big Wheel Bikes to see if I could borrow their trueing stand and a spoke wrench
sure enough
they let me into the back of the shop
not even having to use my "I worked here a hunderd years ago line"

in seconds I found that several spokes had loosened entirely out of tension
it was like a few spokes had been replaced by well cooked spaghetti

with the wheel straight again I made small talk with some of the employees
a long time Big Wheel employee VJ popped up in front of the register
we caught up... I have known VJ for.... well.... forever
VJ has been in and out of Big Wheel since he was a young russian immigrant
although always part time it seems like he is always there

said my good byes and pointed back to georgetown
trying to get back to the family
trying to beat the fraile threat of rain
did not extent to the gravel section
just headed home
with the wheel straight and strong (for now) I was moving
the bike was fast
I was smiling
there was no more resistence that there should be

I laughed to myself about my slogging on the bike the night prior
then smiled about the weekend to come
the slight rain did not dampen my mood
I rode home smiling thinging about a weekend of camping and riding my bike


Frank Brigandi said...

Glad to hear it's just the wheel and not you. I had a coach once who set up the bikes so the brakes rubbed all of the time on certan training rides...mountain rides....it was torture, but when there was no drag we were climbing ferociously. It worked. I still think you need 1 long ride just to see what happens with your body, it's never a bad idea to test the waters, but yeah, time is precious.

gwadzilla said...


too late to cram for the test
just need to sharpen my number two pencil
make sure I have a fresh eraser
show up and fill in those little ovals

late nights with vocabulary lists
trying to memorize the quadradic equation

these efforts may clog what I already know

no more cramming
just go take the tests and do the best I can with what I have

next year...
as I say each year
I promise I will try to enter such events with greater preparation

thanks for your tips
next year I will consult with you earlier on


Redlack said...

I predict a personal best for you this year. You're riding well, you have the experience, and the course should be familiar now. You're good to go.

gwadzilla said...

thanks redlack-

ladies and gentlemen...
chris redlack
my own persona jerry macguire

I look forward to this weekend
if I am lucky
we can do some "cat and mouse" together

you know that your fitness inspires me to work harder

like a fool I think I let you slip ahead this season

you were fast out of the gate
you have not slowed down

have a good race
have a beer (or a whiskey) for me at the finish
you may have to wait a few minutes
I should be there


Anonymous said...

too late to see how prepared you are with a long ride- you'll find out sunday!

as for feeling out if it before a big event- I think it's natural to become hyper-sensitive to any possible fatigue, injury, or illness.

Also- warming up before our rowing erg (rowing machine) tests, it would often feel impossible for even a few strokes to pull the split times you had set for yourself. yet as soon as you start the actual test it fells suprisingly easy and you had to reign it in to prevent "flying and dying". at the actual SM100 race you'll be pumped and motivated. you'll feel a lot better when you are actually racing.