For better or for worse, I woke up at 5:45am. Apparently my body said "no" to the alarm clock and passed right back out without even registering the act of turning the alarm off. Despite the late wake up, I was out the door and on the road by 6:20am.
I planned on riding to 5 of the 6 locations of the gym I work for. It'd put me somewhere between 90 and 100. Due to time I cut out the last location and made it an 84 mile ride, but the fun is always in the stories you get from the ride.
Low on Fuel
When I went to stock up my bike with nutrition, I realized I am at the bottom of my gel box; there's only 5-6 of my preferred flavor left. With a training camp coming up this weekend and my local bike shop only being able to get my gels when the Clif rep comes around, that had me worried. Do I use them today and hope I can find more or save them and hope I can make it through today. Ugh!! I went with "use them today."
You know the feeling of getting pricked on the finger for blood tests? What if you could get that on your ride, multiple times?! "Where do I sign up?," right? Wrong!! Well, it turns out the gear cable for my rear cassette was fraying, so I got at least a few good pricks during the ride. The entire time I'm chanting "Please don't break. Please don't break." in the back of my head. I was worried I'd end up some 30 miles from home and I'd get stranded.
I swear they're the adrenaline junkies of the wild animal kingdom. I was riding through a rather scenic portion of the route and I come around a bend to see a squirrel in the road. Now, normally they'll just scamper off so I didn't think anything of it. Then, with a few feet to go, it starts running towards my side of the road, comes within an inch - I swear, an INCH! - of my front wheel and then does a 180 and runs away. I didn't have the time for my heart to start racing, but my mind was thinking "Well, this should be interesting. I'm going to get thrown from my bike by a squirrel getting caught in my wheel."
Three stories here. First, there was the car that felt it necessary to drive within inches of my handlebars. Normally I can blow it off as just another stupid driver who doesn't realize how much that can scare a cyclist, but I happen to catch the driver as he went by; he was staring at me the entire time and then moved back to the middle of the lane as soon as he passed me. He was TRYING to scare me. Stupid driver.
The second guy thankfully was just ignorant. It was a rather large SUV pulling out of a driveway that decided not to look both ways until the last second when I yelled "HEEEEYYYY!!!" I swerved further into the road while he did the usual "I'm sorry!" wave and proceeded to look both ways multiple times.
The third guy was in a modified black BMW car and having been stuck behind me for maybe half a block, decided he needed to rev the engine WAAAAAAY up and cross the yellow lines to pass. Honestly, I'm quite used to that. What I was more perplexed by was when the same car did the same thing not half a mile later. I hadn't passed him that I'm aware of unless he pulled over. But it was an odd type of deja vu.
In either case, I made it home safely (aside from the finger pricks) after some 84 miles; the bike computer read 83.4 miles, but it also had been cutting out, so who knows! I got in a quick 1 mile brick run and then ate, napped, dropped the bike off to get the cable fixed, and headed to work.
1. What's your favorite training story? Have you seen anything interesting while out?
2. Have you ever run over an animal on your bike?
I know one of you has!!
3. Do you have a motor vehicle pet peeve while cycling?
I have plenty! Not enough people know that CT has a three-foot law; you have to give cyclists three feet of room or you cannot pass. I wish I had a dollar for every time I've seen that law broken! I could retire!
4. Have you ever fit in your long ride/run before work?
Dream. Believe. Achieve.