Saturday, May 20, 2006

Mulholland - My First Century

Distance = 102.45
Time = 8.38.53
(Actual time was just over 12 hours!)

Got up bright and early and made my way over to Calabasas, CA, which is pretty close to where Robin, my supervisor, lives. I definitely thought about just going to her house and hanging out (sleeping!) instead. But I had committed to doing a century. And I wanted to do it before the AIDS Ride. It was more of a psychological thing. Although the physical part was huge too! I just wanted to know that I could ride more than was required on most days of the AIDS Ride. Many people weren't doing this particular century because it is so close to the AIDS Ride. But I still have over a week to recover. So I'm not sure what the big deal is. Maybe I'll find out! Anyway, I got to the park with plenty of time. I was meeting Elaine... sortof. She wasn't going to do the ride because of what other people had said about doing it so close to the actual ride. Then she found out I was doing it so I guess she decided she could give it a try. Before a ride starts, especially one that's longer than I've done before, I get a little anal. I want everything to be perfect. Well, of course it can't be. But I have my system down now so I basically had all I needed. The other cool thing about this ride is that it looped around back to the park after about 20 miles or so. So I had another opportunity to get what I needed, change clothes, etc. I didn't need to change anything. But it made me feeling better! lol I was also pretty nervous. I felt like I was competing. Though I wasn't. Maybe with myself. Regardless, I felt tight and a little nauseous! lol Once we got started, all seemed okay. Although I had trouble regulating my temperature. That seems pretty common in the first 20 miles though. Especially being in California where the terrain changes so drastically. A cool thing about this ride is the themed rest stops. They seemed to get more and more interesting as time went by. The first part of the ride was pretty uneventful. Your regular ups and downs. At some point, near the halfway mark, the road got pretty flat and it was really windy. We were out near what looked like horse ranches etc. Then we were around what I thought looked like cabbage fields. I don't know if that's possible! lol But that's what I saw. Elaine was pretty good on this part of the ride as she knows that I'm not a big fan of wind. So she stayed in front a lot more of the time than she had been or usually would. As we were riding along, I realized that I live near an ocean and lots of fields. There will be wind. Always! So it was here that I decided to embrace it. Well, not embrace it so much as stop bitching about it. (= So I just put my head down and went. The halfway point was a nice park where they had a LOT of food. It was great! We stayed there for quite awhile. Elaine's tire was out in the sun and popped randomly. So we had a whole drama around getting that fixed. I saw with Suzann and Kar while they were there. I wish I could have taken off with them. But I knew the right thing was to stay with Elaine. I've made sure she knows that during the AIDS Ride, we won't necessarily be riding together. She may be faster one day, I may be faster. My goal is not to finish this thing as a team. But for this ride, I felt like we should stick together. The second half of the ride was awesome. It was the most difficult thing I've done in my life. But it was incredible. It was afternoon so it got very hot. Maybe near 100 degrees. I'm not sure. Lots of ups and downs. And I just keep telling myself to peddle. Lots of thinking time. That's a great and horrible thing about cycling. The amount of time I have to think about my life! Yikes! We did more fields and such in the wind. Not great but not horrible. Then we get to Hwy 1, the Pacific Coast Highway, and we ride down that for about 10 miles. Easy right? Ha! A side wind kept blowing us around. And traffic is very much in your face... or ass, I guess. Not much room for error. The ocean looked beautiful. I just looked that direction most of the time and the road just passed under me. I did stop at one point to rest my ass. Just needed to shake some blood around! heheh We got to the next rest stop, which I thought was one of the best. It was a Hawaiian theme. They had the skirts, leis, pineapple, all of it! We stayed there for a little while taking photos and getting our circulation back. I heard someone mention the upcoming climb. And I thought I heard 13 miles. Nah, couldn't be. Off we went with our water and food replenished. And up we went. And up and up and up! For, yep, 13 miles. I cannot possible describe how it feels after 80 miles of riding to ride such an angle for another 13. I just can't. It was so hot, I was actually dripping sweat. Dripping! They had a couple of people in trucks driving up and down to make sure people weren't dying. Seriously. They had water and such just in case. I hailed one for some water at one point. As she leaves, she says, "You're halfway! Good job!" I about vomited. But we did what we do. Get on the bike and peddle. That road also seems to be a popular one for motorcycles, especially crotch rockets. Apparently Elaine saw one skid out from under his owner and slide into a ditch. Lucky he wasn't turning the other way, it would have been a MUCH steeper and longer drop. Crazy people! Ha! *I'm* calling *them* crazy at this point. Funny! Another mini rest-stop and he says we're near the top. Maybe 2 miles then it's rolling. That means more hills, just not consistent climbing like this one has been. As we were heading downward in an awesome downhill, I decided to stop at a Biker Bar to use the restroom. Lots of leather and sweat going on there! My cyclist garb definitely stuck out! lol It was actually a pretty cool looking place. But we had to get back on the road. The guy was right about the rolling hills. It had become a single focus point where we just wanted to be finished. We caught up to a woman we had seen wayyyy at the beginning. She seemed to be struggling a little so she jumped on our wheels. Elaine also began to struggle. I turned around a couple times to get her back on my wheel so she could finish. We went along that way for a few miles. And then I could smell the finish. She knows I'm an end kicker. So off I went. Elaine sped up a little but doesn't quite have the kick I do so it took her slightly longer. The other woman came in just a little after us. Turns out the three of us were last in! But we finished! I completed my first century. Amazing! I sat down on the ground and ate a ton of licorice whips! lol No sugar while I'm riding. Makes me feel sick. So I got my sugar after! (= What an incredible feeling. Sortof like the 13-mile climb, I can't quite explain what it felt like. What I can describe is my desire to be home, bathed and in bed! I did the home and bathing part. But I also went out afterwards. Weird! Gotta love that LA social scene. We'll see if I can recover in time for the big day!

Tuesday, May 16, 2006


Distance = 13.13 miles
Time = 1.01.38
Max speed = 26.5 mph
Avg speed = 12.7 mph

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Riding to Church in The Valley

Distance = 26.90 miles
Time = 2.09.19
Max speed = 32.5 mph

The distance and time were there and back. I rode to church... and actually got there on time. Not something I regularly do when I drive! lol I brought some sweatpants and a t-shirt to wear while I was in church so I wouldn't have to be in my tights. I still hadn't recovered from my horrible day with Gail. So I sat toward the back and cried most of the service. Afterwards they generally have a pretty nice meal available. I spent some time in the office talking with my friend JJ about the G situation. She always makes me feel better. Then we went out and had a good amount of food. Enough to get my back home. I got changed again and made my way back home. Part of the route I took was on what in some places I've lived would be like a frontage or service road. I don't know what they're called here. But there's too much traffic. In one portion there was really no shoulder so I was holding up traffic. Yuck! I sat at one of the stop signs for a minute or so debating whether I had enough gumption to ride up Mulholland Drive. I didn't! lol So I just headed home. It was a pretty uneventful ride.... as uneventful as it can be with LA traffic. But it was nice to do rides 2 days in a row. It's good for getting my butt in shape for sitting. (= And I think it was nice for people at church to see me training since many of them have sponsored me!

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Solana Beach Train Ride

Distance = 82.95
Time = 6.07.12 (Ride time)

This is the second time I've done this ride. I can't find my write up from the first so I'll have a little more detail than I usually would.

I drove to Irvine, CA and parked at the Amtrak train station. We would ride out of Irvine and then catch the train to return to Irvine. I was meeting Elaine for the ride. She invited everyone around to join us, telling them that we were going to attempt the 100 miles for this route. Suzann and another woman joined us. But it ended up being just Suzann, Elaine and me for most of the ride. When we got to Pendleton Marine Base, I was starting to feel a little sick. After the base we went through a park area, it seemed like some kind of park anyway. I assumed the ocean was on the other side of some sand dunes because I saw people with surfboards going that direction. I have great deductive reasoning! (= There are bathrooms every 100 yards it seemed. We kept asking each other if we needed to go. When it looked like the regular bathroom schedule was going to end, I thought I should go. Just because that's how I am. So I did. And I was so sick, it wasn't funny. I knew I felt a little "icky." But this was too much. And we still had about 60 miles to go at that time. We started talking about the possibility of doing the shorter, 80 mile, ride instead. I thought after what I had just done in the bathroom that was a pretty good idea. I felt better but I felt a little dehydrated and definitely weak. I was slightly embarrassed because I'd never ridden with Suzann before and I didn't want her to think I was weak. Ego. I know. The ride is really beautiful. A lot of scenery along the ocean and such. Incredible! But I was focused on finishing. I hate that! We got to the 70 mile point, which is a turn off that most of the people we were around were taking. Why didn't I take it?? I wanted to do more miles than I'd done before. So I continued with Elaine and Suzann. It was a hilly and difficult 10 miles! I thought I might DIE! There was some confusion at the beginning about getting return tickets for the train. So I didn't have one. And because I was slowing us down, we were cutting our departure pretty close! As we got about 2 miles out, we devised a plan to get our bikes to the Uhaul trailer, get my ticket, and make the train. The line was long! Arrgh! But I did get the ticket and I actually got to the train platform several minutes before the train got there. I was exhausted and felt awful! Elaine took a nice photo of me nearly passing out in my seat. God was looking out for me though. A couple of men from our group were walking by and asked if anyone wanted half their sandwich. The train ride is about an hour long and I may have passed out if it hadn't been for that sandwich. I immediately felt better. Though I was definitely sick. It feels good knowing I can complete 80 miles on a bicycle when I feel like that. It helps me to know what I'm made of. Literally! lol But when it's happening, it sure does suck!