Monday, March 29, 2010

...and its not even April yet.

Big weekend. Saturday, though cold, nevertheless drew Rob, Neil, David, Imad and myself out for a hilly ride at noon. Round McGregor Lake we went, everyone exchanging hard pulls except for me. Ailing in the stomach and beyond, I was simply hoping to hold on. Foolishly, I took a couple climbs in the first 40k too hard, and payed dearly later on, barely hanging on at times and second-guessing my decision to ride with the group. Once we arrived upon our turn onto the 366 to head to Wakefield, I tried to convince the others to do their thing while I continued alone. We'd originally talked about returning through Cascades and the Cantley neighborhoods. That would have been very hilly, not great for me, but great for the others. They were all more interested in staying together - very gentlemanly - so that's what we did, heading West on the 307 to Monte Cascades road, then North past the ski hill and up and over the Chamonix 'hood. The others who had not yet ridden that section found it rather...exciting. Our pace was mellow at this point, so I was feeling better, and my mood improved even more as I saw Pascal roll in to Pipolinka as I sat on the floor eating my green homemade energy bar. Pascal hadn't been too keen on chasing our group, so he had gone out on his own. I assured him that I was the lowest common denominator in my weakened state, and he'd be fine on the return via River road. And he was, taking us all to school in the climb up to Cross loop, though he did fade a little 20k later. No problem, we hung together and the others waited. Team work. By the end of the 130k ride I felt good about the day, and better physically than I had when I'd left home. I made a recovery drink, took a bath, ate a good dinner, and went to bed early to rest up for Sunday's big ride. Unfortunately, I pulled a completely clueless maneuver and downed a mug of immune boosting tea with Siberian Ginseng in it right before bed. Uh, right, bad idea. I got maybe an two or three hours sleep out of 10 in bed. Ginseng is a stimulant, it does not let your brain 'turn off'. When will I learn?

Sunday, Pancake ride day. Brad un/dis/organized this ride, and pulled in about 9 of us total. We rolled from the shop at 10, only one hour late, and headed West to Lanark county. I won't talk route details, as I don't know the area, and Brad promised to write about it, but I will say that there were some good bits. There was also a lot of wind, so we had opportunity to practice our echelons. Lots to improve on there.

We wound up at Fulton's sugar bush after about 70k, ate a bunch, then rolled for a lot longer, totaling 175k by home.

I had not come prepared for a 10 hour day, so I was a little underfuelled. Thom provided the tastiest chocolate chip bagel in recored history; outstanding. The accumulation of effort while ill over the long day, layered on top of the previous day's outing produced a bit of a death march home, a feeling I know Thom was experiencing too, except more. As emails trickled in today, it became clear that many struggled in the final hour/s of the ride.
Marty, fixed gear master, suffered cramps while still in Kanata, proving he is, indeed, not a robot (note, foods that are acid forming in the body draw calcium, a key electrolyte, form the bones to balance blood ph. This reduces the calcium you have to access to facilitate nerve functions (among other things!); misfiring of nerves is what triggers cramps. Coffee is acid forming, the whole pancake breakfast was, in fact. Go here to learn more about acid versus alkaline forming foods - Part3, 3:00). I won't say more about the ride, as I want Brad to fill in the gaps. He was the provocateur, after all.

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