I’ve been moaning about the rides being too easy with just about as much time standing around as riding so today we decided to road ride instead. I was dreading the cold but with a bit of thought and preparation I was warm, my fingers hot and tootsies just right. The weather and views were stunning.
The ride started badly as we met at my place. No time to warm up. They hacked off down the road as I was still doing that “last minute” check routine as I rolled down the hill. Then got to the A24 and sprinted off before I had even got to the junction. I had only had about 4 hours sleep so I was hoping for a slow start. The first half an hour was miserable as we climbed the A24 then headed off though Storrington and onto Amberly. By the time that we got to Bignor I was warmed up and in gear.
We didn’t really ride very far this morning, the plan was 50 miles. It should have been easy but my defence against cold hands made getting food out impossible. I began to realise that, for various reasons, I had hardly eaten anything the day before. We had one stop for a gel and that was it. Due to the cold I drank very little so by the time we began our descent to the flat lands that should have been a breeze I was getting weak. There was a breeze, a North Easterly in our faces all the way home. I usually look forward to Littlehampton to crank it up fo the final blast home. Today I was praying for a puncture, crash, anything to slow us up. I was dying! Every part of me was aching even my bum hurt. My buddies comments about the first road race being only 3 weeks away just made me feel worse.
I left my friends at Northbrook College and crawled back the last few miles ever slower and slower.
A few lessons learned despite being in my fifities and with countless rides under my belt. No1: Eat, eat before, eat during and eat after (although this won’t help much on a ride). I used up over 3000 calories and had eaten far less than that in the entire 24 hours before and including the ride. No 2: Sleep, it is the only know way to recover. No 3: Don’t bitch about slow rides and expect to get away with it!