Monday, August 20, 2007

Your First 100 Miles in the Saddle

dddI remember my first 100 mile bike ride...or my first official "Century" ride. I chose the Ojai Valley Double Metric Century so I could stay with my pseudo Grandma, and so I could brag about my endurance bike-riding capabilities. I had SPD mountain biking cleats from 11 years ago, a bike I like to call the "Silver Bullet" (the paint is all stripped off so it's incognito), and 5 Luna Bars stuffed in my pockets and my little bike bag.

Mistake #1: Luna Bars--especially the chocolate kind, which is the only kind I will eat--are disgusting on rides. They melt. When I finished the ride, I had chocolate all over my face, and nobody was kind enough to tell me; I discovered this fact when I looked at myself in horror in my pseudo Grandma's bathroom mirror. How many people had I chatted with while covered in what resembled poo slimed all over my face? I shutter at the thought.

Mistake #2: I went alone. That was cool with me, but having just rode my second "official" Century ride this weekend with the coachancé, I now realize how truly fantabulous the whole experience can be when you go with someone you know and like. You can pretend to be doing a stage of the TDF by taking turns pulling each other and blasting past all of the other riders. (Of course, you can always tag along with someone else's little peloton. But what if they start conversing about such gag-worthy topics like, say, wedding planning?)

Mistake #3: I had no salt pills. It was 100 degrees outside. At that point in my life, I had no idea what a salt pill was or that they existed, but this is a case where ignorance is certainly not bliss. I cramped. Big time. And at the end of the Ojai Valley Century, there is a nice big ass climb.

Mistake #4: I had my bike gearing set up like this: 12-21. I didn't know it didn't have to be that hard. It was my first road bike, and I just wanted to ride. (I also had...and still have...full fingered mountain bike gloves. I'm convinced they'll keep me from getting skin cancer on my fingers.)

Life is all about learning from mistakes, so the second time around, coachancé and I had a grand old time.

#1: I ate PowerBars and Gu and Gatorade. Ironman training did me good.

#2: Coachancé came with me for what became his first 100 mile ride ever. He kicked butt. I am so proud.

#3: I had salt pills. No cramps. They are a little miracle drug unto themselves.

#4: I rode the same bike. Same gears. Different shoes and pedals. What doesn't kill you makes you stronger, right?

So get out there with your buddies and do a Century ride! What have you got to loose besides bodily fluids? (And many of them are for charity, so you can do something good for others while you do good to your beautifully muscular physique!)

Happy riding!

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