Saturday, April 22, 2006

Day on the Ride

Distance = 78.12 miles
Ride time = 5.46.00
Average speed = 13.5 mph
Max speed = 39.0 mph

Day on the ride. This is the practice run so to speak. We started out in Santa Monica. There were rest stops and lunch along the way as it will be on the actual ride. I'm not sure exactly why but this ride felt very tough. The beginning was fine. Elaine was the only person I knew that was riding so we started out together. Lunch was probably the most significant time for me. I hadn't ordered a lunch so I didn't need to wait in line or anything. I had my own food so I just sat somewhere and waited for some people to get theirs. While I was waiting I saw a guy with a massage table in the shade. No one was there so I went over. I've never had a massage but I figured I could start now. Though I wasn't sure if one should get a massage halfway into a 70+ mile ride. I told him about my lower back pain and issues with my knee. He had me lay on my back. He manipulated what I think he said are my sciatic nerves or muscles. Felt like he was playing with my ovaries or something. lol At some point on each side he was rubbing and looking up then said, "there it is." I couldn't tell anything at the time. Then he pulled on my leg to see if that might help even them out a little. Apparently muscle tension can seem to shorten one's legs. Interesting. When I got up I had no back pain. Zero. Zilch. Nada. Niet. For the first time in about 4 years, no pain. It felt like a miracle to me. I know it was simple for him. Thank God I decided to take the chance of getting a massage mid-ride!!

The last part of the ride was very hilly. No mountains. Just lots of rollers. I rode with an older man for a little while who lived in the area we were riding. He talked a lot. I couldn't! lol But I stayed with him. The very end of the ride made it's way through Santa Monica. I was temped to just ditch the last mile and go right to my car at Emily's in Marina del Rey. We passed right by it. But I wanted to finish the ride and get some food. By the time Elaine and I got there most of the food was gone. We got some fruit and a couple tiny pieces of pizza. Strange that they'd run out already. There were plenty of people still behind. I can only imagine that the earlier finishers were pigs or took stuff for their families. Rude!

Good ride. Great weather. But I was ready for it to be over.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Not sure what ride this was

Distance = 72.93 miles
Riding time = 4.54.28
Average speed = 14.8 mph
Max speed = 33.0 mph

I have no idea where we went. I'm updating this almost 2 years later. Oops! It may have been one of the Solana Beach rides where we rode from Irvine to Solana Beach and then took Amtrak back to Irvine. That seems right. But, like I said, not positive. (=

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Santiago Canyon

Distance = 48.57
Max speed = 32.5 mph
Time = 3.32.19

This ride occurred the day after the worst day of my entire life! I had met Gail in Los Osos, CA for a day while she was visiting a friend in San Francisco she had met online. She had, up to that point, been courting me like you wouldn't believe. She had been telling me she loved me and wanted another chance to prove to me she could be a good partner. When she saw me, something else happened completely... actually, I'm quite sure something happened while she's been staying with the SF woman, which then affected how she acted toward me. ANYWAY.... suffice to say. WORST day of my life! I drove home in the rain for about 4 hours. It was around 11pm or so when I got there. Then I had to get ready for this ride. And then I couldn't sleep. So when I got up at the buttcrack of dawn this morning, I was not happy. But I was determined to ride. I was feeling a little competitive I guess. There was a woman there named Elaine that didn't look to be in the same shape I was in. But she was cruising. So I did everything I could to hang with her. She actually gave me tips on how to shift gears before stopping. I suppose that was a nice thing to do. Just because it's my first AIDS Ride doesn't mean it's the first time I've ever ridden a bike! lol Anyway, we climbed pretty far up Santiago Canyon out of Long Beach. I rode up alone most of the time. Just staying on Elaine's wheel. I cried part of the time. Wondered what I had done to deserve the treatment Gail gives me. It's hard to climb and cry at the same time. I've tried running and crying and it works out about the same! lol So I tried to take deep breaths and just climb. But my thoughts could not be controlled on this day. /= At the top, we stopped at a little private lake that was having a fishing contest. Cute! I met a guy named Kenny and we shared a sandwich as neither of us could stomach a whole one. We ended up riding most of the way back together, which was nice. We seem to have similar styles though he is faster than I. I also rode with a guy on a hybrid who is HIV+. He was talking about a dead lover and being +. I figured my worries were nothing compared to his. So I left my shit behind on that canyon for awhile. We got back into Long Beach and everyone stopped at a Starbucks. There were a few of us that didn't really want to stop. So we hung for a few minutes and then took off together. I dragged a couple for about 10 miles in a horrible headwind. Then they started moving in front a little and pulled me for a little while. That was the longest straight flat I've experienced in a very long time. It was so windy. There were times I would just yell into the wind to get a little more energy. Counterproductive possibly... but it felt good. It was nice to see D'Azul sitting in the parking lot waiting for me! A nice long cry on the drive home and I am working on mental and physical recovery. This too shall pass!