Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Les Miserables OR Paris IV+V/2011

Let's start out with the good of last Sunday's ride: The weatherman has been proven wrong and it never did anything more than drizzle... So we were actually able to ride outside. The bad news:

We had a wintery throw-back (no snow, but pretty cold) and it certainly didn't feel like South Carolina in March. But we've been riding all winter in the cold, so no excuses.... Just a lot of choice words.

I also used this ride to fine-tune some nutrition and gear stuff.... On the nutrition side, I tried out coconut water for the first time. Pure coconut water was a no-go taste wise when trying it the night before and after I made a comment on Facebook about it, a friend recommended to just mix it in something I don't mind drinking! Thanks, Kelly. That was certainly the way to go.

I filled half of one bottle with coconut water, than added a quarter of organge juice and another quarter of tap water. I normally drink my orange juice half-half. Coconut water is one of those super foods and are supposed to be great for hydration. Lately, I heard from more and more people that tried it instead of sportsdrinks during exercise, so I thought I give it a shot. Normally, I drink only water on the bike, but with my mileage increasing and once it's getting warmer outside, I don't thing water is going to cut it in the long run.

 Also to prepare for increased temperatures in the near future (pretty please!), I added some "butt rockets" on the bike to carry two additional water bottles. This was my first ride out with them and I didn't have any issues... Other than adding two pounds to the bike and having to lift my leg up higher on the mount and dismount.

But now coming to the ride on Sunday... The title says is all.... It was pretty miserable out there. We did a 10 mile warm-up loop (on the Green Valley Road Race course pretty much) and then headed to Paris Mountain for some climbing. We went up and over Paris twice, which brought our total climbing miles to 12 (We were supposed to do a double Caesars Head climb, but decided to stay close to home due to the weather conditions). The rough thing of this ride was warming up on the climbs, than freeze back solid on the downhill, rinse repeat that four times. At the end, I never properly warmed back up again and my feet felt like ice blocks, despite the toasty toes and shoe covers. After the climbing was done, we got another two hours of riding in on a rolling course.

In the books for the day were 63 miles. 17 miles short of the goal for this ride, but those 17 miles are not going to make or break Mitchell... At least we got spared by the trainer this time.

On other news... I fell over again. My cleats are driving me CRAZY. I fell more times the last couple of months since I have the new pedals/cleats than I did the two years riding my other pedals. I am getting more and more annoyed. Clearly, it was also partially my fault, because I didn't lube them after the shoes got drenched last weekend during the Marquis de Sade ride, but even if they are freshly greased, it's hard to unclip. On top of that, the right cleat also came lose, which made it even harder to clip in and out. This was the hardest I went down yet. I have some nice road rash on the knee and a couple of bruises on the hip and the ellbow... For good measure, I also clonked my head into Stacy's wheel, which fortunately didn't make her go down.

I guess, I will need to keep on fine-tuning those issues, so that eventually everything is going to clip in and out click on the big day... At least in the nutrition and gear department... With everything else... We'll see.


  1. OUCH! Sorry to hear you're still having trouble with your cleats. Have you tried loosening the pedals at all? I was having a hard time with my look-style pedals & as soon as I realized they could be loosened/tightened everything was A-OK!

    And if it makes you feel any better, my knee looks like that today too...because I bit the dust yesterday while walking across a parking lot...no bike involved... :)

  2. What is with this weather? We've had a cold streak as well. We had a dry Saturday morning and the rest of the weekend was rainy. Looking like the same for this week and better on the weekend. I hope your shoe problems get better. I have been there and they are no fun.

  3. As always, an impressive ride! I can't even make myself set up the trainer while watching tv...