Monday, June 8, 2015

Return of the Dawn Patrol


The Journey of a Thousand Miles

It’s not that big a deal.  I once rode my bike in the dark so often I actually have an old, used "to see" 250 lumen bike light that I felt wasn't strong enough.  These days I'm rockin' 700 lumens of real genius power.
And so I should have no excuse.  I've got the gear, and I've got the experience.  Why not get in some pre-work riding?  But I've lagged in the execution.  It’s taken a month since the cold weather and blistering darkness has gone to get my nappy butt out of bed and on the bike.
Thursday night I pumped up the tires on my sporty sport bike.  I laid out my kit, made a small pile of jersey pocket treats, and topped off my water bottle.  Then I thought better of it, dumped the bottle out, rinsed it with scalding hot water, and finally refilled it with cold.
I set my alarm for 4:50am and as I climbed in bed was pretty sure I'd end up killing the whole plan in the AM.  But, despite my fears, I managed to get up, get out, and pedal my bike toward Clay City in the pre-dawn darkness.
Oh yeah, part of my night-before prep work involved charging up The Lazer 2.0 and my rear blinky light.  First I had to find them.
Anyway, once I was cruising along the river at Turkey Knob I was glad to be on the road turning my crank.  And let's be honest, I was not cruising along at even a respectable clip.  Oh well.
The ride went well.  I cut it a little short only because of my unnaturally slow pace and because I didn't want to face the North Bend dog gauntlet in the dark.  And because I cut it short I was able to get out the door earlier than usual and even made it in early to work.
Dawn Patrol had been officially reinstated.


Three County Dawn Patrol
Since I was on a roll I got up early again on Saturday morning, though I slept in an hour longer than on Friday.  I headed out north along 213 toward Morris Creek "mountain" loaded with two water bottles, about 300 portable calories, and a spray can of Halt!
I stopped just before leaving town and posted to the Book of Face:

Dawn Patrol Report: Stanton is secure; moving on toward Montgomery County

In retrospect I realize I gave out too much info to potential hostiles, but I still felt good knowing I had swept the sleepy town successfully.

 
There was a lot more traffic than I expected along  213.  There's a big construction project at Columbia Gas and it must have been just the beginning of the workday.  Once I got past the Manly Truck Corral that was the construction parking lot things eased up.  I made the slow climb up the mountain knowing I was not going to be KOMming any segments.
I breathed a sigh of relief once I turned off of 213 onto Willoughby Town Road.  It was a pretty quiet ride after that.  Willoughby Town turns into Cream Alley Road.  It’s rolling farmland with hillbilly residential development—despite being in upscale Montgomery County.  I crossed KY 11 and turned onto freshly paved Nest Egg Road.  Nest Egg is of similar character to WT and CA except it slowly begins to change over to more open farmland with fewer fly-by-night subdivisions.
Somewhere along Nest Egg I found my legs and started to ramp up the pace.  I was halfway into a 32 mile ride and finally warmed up.  My expectations are all out of whack these days.
Sunrise on Willoughby Town
 
Anyway, I cruised across Old Indian Fields past Kiddville and crossed the new interchange on the Mountain Parkway for the second or third time on my bike.  Then I was at Goff’s Corner.  I realized I had forgotten to bring cash or I would have stopped for a quick bite at Goff’s Corner Market.  Alas.  I ate some Sports Beans and headed for home.
I managed to keep my speed above 20 mph for a long way and only slacked to 18-19 mph as I approached the intersection with KY 82.  Once I turned onto the banked overpass and was pointed directly like a missile at downtown Clay City I was back up to cruising speed and held it until I was in sight of me auld home lane.
I ended up averaging 15.6 mph, but the first half of my ride was a poor showing with only a 13 mph average that took a herculean effort to drag up.
It was a good ride, and I don’t truly care about averages.  The numbers are just proof I’ve stayed off the bike far too long.  My recent mountain biking has been good, but I’ve needed the dawn patrol opportunities and longer road miles to really get my stems back in shape.
West Bend, KY
 
I finished up with a post:
 
Dawn Patrol: mission complete


Please Don't Drop Out!
I got the family worked up to go try short track mountain bike racing.  I got an invite on the Book of Face to the last of the Easy Rider Short Track Series at Coldstream on Sunday afternoon.  We packed up the bikes, changes of clothes, and the nephew and headed off for church.  Afterward we fueled up before making our way out to the sunbaked savannah of northwestern Lexington.
Lily and Ty participated in the Kids’ race.  Against a kid on a Strider!  At least Ty didn’t come in last.
Kitted up and ready to go!

It's gettin' real now!

We were laughing too, Ty

Podeo
 
He then wanted to do the Beginner race which bumped me into the Men’s Open because we had to share the OBS (Orange Blossom Specialized).  Since we were sharing I didn’t bother to wear a kit or even bring clipless pedals to swap to for my race.  I went in mountain bike shorts, a t-shirt, and my Keen sandals.
Did I mention that it was hot?
Ty bowed out after the first lap of his race.  Poor guy, he was wearing jeans and also fighting to propel the orange two-wheeled tank around the unnecessarily hilly course.
Then I was up.  I knew most of the other guys (and one of the two gals).  I knew they were at least semi-fast.  I also knew if I had The One and a proper aerodynamic kit, had shaved my legs and eaten a gel, that I might have been able to hang on as caboose to the crazy train that took off on the repurposed CX course.


Obligatory action sequence from my warmup lap.  It didn't help.
Notice I am in "casual kit"
I did hang on with Casey (who also has a son Boone that rides on a cargo bike) for about half the first lap, and then she slowly but surely walked away from me and never looked back.  I was the last male with one female (“Bev”) behind me.  She kept a respectable distance for the first lap and a half. I knew she was sparing my ego.  So I tried to show my appreciation by going as hard as my fat little legs would allow. 
Going into the second lap I kept looking back to see if she was gaining ground.  She hung on about as long as I hung with Casey, but then blazing (from the sun, not speed) across the flats the three of us spread out.
I’m pretty sure even though the spectators were all specks on the horizon they could probably hear my breathing across the prairie.  In my own ears it sounded like the dying labor pains of a mother elephant giving birth to octuplets.  It kind of felt like I was dragging herd of elephant newborns through the weeds as I tried in vain to close the comedic gap between the rest of the field and myself.
With a lap to go all I wanted was someone to take the cottonball out of my mouth.  My legs hurt.  My head was baking in the sun.  I missed my racy mountain bike.  Oh, I missed it so!  Still I cranked.
I heard over the bullhorn that I was making a strong finish as I “raced” across the flats along the Legacy Trail.  I think the announcer was just bored waiting on me and Bev.  I was determined not to get lapped.  And I kept praying silently to Bev: please don’t drop out!
I labored across the finish line to a smattering of cheers and applause.  I think everyone was ready to move on to the more exciting footrace that was about to begin.  Mandy walked up and congratulated me by announcing that she had forgotten we had a birthday party to get to back in Pee Oh Cee Oh.  I loaded up the bike as I struggled to regain normal breathing and bodily function, and after a quick round of goodbyes plopped in the car for a forty-five minute car ride to stiffen up.
It was a great time.  We all had a blast and can’t wait for 'cross season in the fall.
Yes, I said it.
I won't promise I'll remember sunscreen next time,
but I'll try my hardest
WEIGHT UPDATE:

Don't want to leave this out.  Yesterday morning I was soooo close to my weekly goal of 197.  Scale said 197.8.  Right up until the race I was doing great.  Hadn't overeaten, had been moving all day, then I raced for almost 22 minutes.  At the birthday party I had a conservative plate of pizza, a can of Coke, and Mandy and I shared a slim slice of cake.

Just before bed I ate some watermelon and drank a couple of glasses of water.  I still woke up feeling parched.

I eagerly stepped onto the scale this morning: 202.  I growled menacingly and tried it again: 200.  A third time yielded another double century.

Pizza really is my kryptonite.  Or I'm retaining all of the water I drank after the race yesterday.  I know I didn't eat enough calories to gain over two pounds in twenty four hours.  There's more to this than calories in and calories out.  I did great all week and ended up weighing exactly the same.  I mean, I watched everything I ate.  I cut out 90% of my sugar intake and held my calories in check.  I upped my activity level considerably--especially in the past three days--and my reward is no change.

I'm not sure how I'm going to be able to lose even two pounds of the thirty I want to drop.  I'm not giving up.  Gym tonight.  And maybe in a day or so when my legs work normally again it's back to the bike and running.

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