Saturday, July 5, 2008

Day 2

43 miles

My hands and wrists are aching from death-grip aftermath!

The first hour today was actually much, much worse than anything yesterday. I was only moderately nervous when I left my room, far less nervous than yesterday, and I achieved a feeling of mild competence by using my multi-tool to tighten the two remaining screws on my left cleat.

But we stood around for quite a while waiting for one thing and another before getting on the road, which allowed for huge mounting-up of nervousness! I actually barely made it onto the ride, I made the error of deciding to walk my bike down the steep little driveway rather than riding--everybody else was off, and I was paralyzed--only thing that got me on was the notion that actually either someone was going to have to ride back and chivvy me onto the bike or that in the case they did not, I was going to have had an utterly wasted weekend! So I got on and caught up...

But almost the first thing we did was climb a mountain--I like riding uphill, but we were riding right along the edge of a huge scary mountain of utter heights-fearing-person's horrifyingness, I was virtually hyperventilating with fear, I think that is the highest my HR has been since EVER--and the ride down was fairly desperately terrifying...

ARGHHHHHHHHH!

Then a pleasant stretch, with the proviso that even the mildest incline feels to me like a steep downhill (fortunately I can catch back up on the uphills, which are what I like and where I feel strong and in control of the bike), and a very pleasant lunch at the Foundry Cafe in Cold Spring. (I like the dynamic of the group I was riding with today--some good advice-givers, and a good riding partner for me, one of the women from yesterday--we rode the last bit back together, I was glad I was not alone on the road!)

(Oh, and there was one insanely steep downhill that I got off and walked down, it was suggested as a possibility. It is actually fairly scary walking down a steep slippery hill in skittery bike shoes also, I think I would have been safer riding! I think I have some cleat covers at home, that is what I need to bring with me, or get some if I do not have them...)

The bit after lunch was not so enjoyable. A non-terrifying but extremely stressful 15 miles or so on what I think (based on the cue sheet) must have been Route 9D. A very narrow and bumpy shoulder, a lot of big cars. Extremely tiring mentally, and then it was with true horror that I realized that we were not actually stopping as planned before the Bear Mountain Bridge, but that I was being inexorably whisked onto it--and not onto a bike path, either...

(In retrospect, perhaps it was just as well, it gave me no time to build up a fit of nerves. Instead I just whimpered in fear as I rode across it! I am not exaggerating!)

It is possible that one of the useful things about this weekend is learning that the things that I find stressful or scary while biking are actually also stressful or scary to a meaningful proportion of other riders too. A lot of people don't like downhills, and brief post-ride consultation suggests that the narrow-shoulder post-lunch stressful bit was deemed extremely tiring by others as well as me. Hmmmm....

I am determined to go for a run later. I'd like to do an hour, but three miles would be better than nothing. My legs don't feel tired, it's just my hands/wrists, my shoulders and my brain! Plus thirstiness and probable need for calories. So I am going to have soothing internet time, drink diet cola and water, eat whatever part of the blueberry muffin (lunch-purchased) has survived being stuffed in bike jersey pocket, and take a nap. Then I will head out for a run around six o'clock and have room-service dinner while I watch the Olympic swimming trials on TV at eight o'clock. And that really will be enjoyable!

4 comments:

Wendy said...

Well, it took mental fortitude, but you did it!! Good for you!

(Maybe it is best you didn't stop before the bridge.)

Wendy said...

P.S. Plus room service and watching Olympic trials is a good reward for powering through.

Dorothy W. said...

We did a scary steep downhill yesterday and I didn't like it one bit -- I rode my brakes the whole way trying not to think about how my brake pads are in backwards (my fault and I haven't fixed it yet) -- I don't think that fact makes much difference, but it was NOT comforting as I held the brakes tight the whole way down ...

Leah said...

As comfortable as I am on the bike, I would have been whimpering on route 9 and the Bear Mtn. Bridge too (have driven them many times!).