First Long Ride of the Season

I am registered for an 18+ mile time trial from Freeport on May 4th. I had to ride a time trial without previewing the route. Now, most of these roads I am mildly familiar with as I have ridden on them before. However, I wanted to refresh my memory with the nuances of the route and to see any damage to the roads that might have occurred this winter. With the upcoming trip I knew that this weekend would be my only shot and I’ve reserved Sunday for packing and cleaning to today was the day. Besides, the weather forecast looked conducive to a nice long ride.

I was joined by a couple club members on the trip. Though none of them are actually participating in the time trial they were up for the 55-mile ride.

Coffee Stop-2-19Apr2008

(Don’t blame Julie for the phone. She was able to steal away for several hours and was just checking in at home.)

I felt like a pack mule at one point as I had come to strip off my vest, arm warmers, leg warmers and stuffed them in my back pockets amongst the cell phone, camera, Cliff Bar, and tissues. But this is the time of year where the temperatures can vary, depending on where you are, what route you take and how close to the ocean for the sea breeze effect.

Misc Stop-2-19Apr2008

(This stop was another request from me so I could take off my leg warmers.)

The nice thing about a relatively warm day is I’m able to wear my half fingered gloves with padding. My full fingered gloves are not padded. Furthermore, it’s only taken this one ride today to bring my tan circles back to life on the hands. You know the ones, they look like bruises from the sun tanning your hands through the holes in the gloves. It’s like the shorts line – it’s a badge of honor and I love when people ask “what I do” to because the tan lines are so intriguing. I always proudly tell them I’m a cyclist and it’s from wearing gloves.

That relaxed tired feeling is back, too, after a long ride. I should have a nap but it’s too late. I’ll fight through it and just make it an early bedtime. I remember when I started riding, I’d go ride 20-30 miles, sometimes more, and I’d be useless for the remainder of the day. I’d lay on the sofa all afternoon, often napping. It took me a long time to recover. I’m getting better at that.

I was reminded of that last night when I went to hear Mark McCormack speak at a local bike shop. (Thanks to Gorham Bike and Ski for hosting it!) He said when you are a pro-racer you race, then you recover. You recover by doing nothing. “If you are standing you should sit; if you are sitting you should lay down.” (I’ve heard this adage before.) Words of wisdom. Hmm, I’m sitting. I should lay down. Ahhh, that’s better.

It was a good day on the bike. A long ride that was far over due. Tomorrow will be another day that will be related to cycling: packing for the Tour de Georgia! (4 days to go!)

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