Three Days, 34 degress and a Wall
I knew today would be hot. The forecast said it would be 37 degrees – and with the dryness and the total lack of clouds I just knew it was going to be hot. I dropped Big N off at school, and opted to walk home in the (already rather warm) morning sun. I had decided last night that I should ride in the morning – work was a little less, and I did feel excited to get back on my bike.
Lately I have been trying to ride at every oppertunity I can, but with work being flat out it has been terribly hard. So last week I had a meeting with myself – and decided that I should try an hour ride everyday. The vote was unanimous. It also feel apart on the second day where I couldn’t spare an hour due to deadlines.
The double-edged sword that stuck me on todays ride was the increase in our family. December last year heralded the birth of our forth son – Dr. J – and because of this beautiful baby our car is not big enough to carry us all around. So I have been left to ride to the places close by, which has been great. Two days ago it was to Adventure Park. Yesterday it was from church, with a detour through Queens Park. Today it was for fun, or something like that…
I was double guessing the actual ride today – my legs were still feeling it due to the previous day efforts. Please understand that I am not some kind of master bike racer/rider/gentleman, I just simply enjoy the ride. So the heat and a few rides on consecutive days (which I haven’t done before) all added up to me falling.
I went out thinking I should take it easy. The first hill away from here was difficult keep a high cadence – see reasons above – but I got over that (its not huge) and down the other side I was feeling alright. Stuff alright, I was feel good – deceptivly good. Around the round about and onto a long stretch of road with the wind at my back. 40km/h and a high cadence, not pushing it too much because I didn’t want to hit a wall.
This road alone would be the reason for my adverage speed been so high…
I got off there and turned down the road to Queenscliff. Water runnng low, legs not liking the fact I stopped pedaling – I could nearly feel the lactic acid start to take over. But into the slight wind hitting my left shoulder I rode on to find a place to refill the water bottle.
A petrol station, and a wrong turn later I was heading back towards Ocean Grove. I figured I could take this road and the switch back onto the main highway and it wouldn’t be that long. The road to Ocean Grove was okay, besides that hill that sucked the life from my legs. Again note, I am using the term hill – there is nothing huge around home, mostly just short and sharp. This short hill took any excitement about getting home in a hurry from my mind, and left me thinking that it was stupid to even think of riding.
I watched the asphalt under the bike as I rode down the short road that brought me onto the main highway. Wind in my face and legs, which to my surprise, were still spinning.
And when I turned onto the main road, I noticed that everything became terribly difficult. I was an effort to reach and grab the bottle. It was an effort to reach down and change gears – to keep my cadence up. It was an effort to look behind me when I came to the round about to turn onto the long grind back to Drysdale.
I usually – well lately – fly down here. Big ring and a nice gear up the low and short hills at a good pace. But today, well, I can’t really remember what I was thinking. It wasn’t easy, and I was mostly disapointed in the fact that I couldn’t pick up the pace anymore. If I stopped to sit in the shade I wouldn’t be able to get back on the bike – If I kept going I wouldn’t be able to speed up to hit my time that I wanted to do.
I couldn’t win.
But therein lays the point of todays post: Although I couldn’t ride any faster, I also couldn’t stop. And this is what cycling is about to me – about riding till I can’t anymore, and then doing it again.
Now 38km is not very far, I am not fooling myself into thinking that at all, but it was 38km of riding on a third consecutive day, in stupidly hot weather. It was great.