more than just another bike blog

Friday, July 20, 2007

by special request

I know, I know, I'm not blogging. no stalkers this time, I'm just not blog-inspired. life is too good right now. I don't feel sarcastic or bitter or funny or have tales of woe. everything's just right, Golidlocks! and I've been busier than a bee.

July has flown by before we even knew it.

I finished up the CCCX series in 2nd. finally had my bite back in the last race but a month of no intensity prevented me from pulling out the V needed to move back into 1st place in the series. but I'm okay with that. Keith and Rod put on a fabulous series and I had more fun than I've ever had racing. I'm not sure what my plans are for next year, but I'm certain they'll include some mtn bike racing.

immediately after the race I flew to Colorado for a week of riding, gardening, partying, meeting friends and family, and helping Hans prep one of his houses for sale. I did some awesome rides and for some odd reason, the elevation didn't seem to affect me much at all until I hit 9,000'. I rode Squaw Pass with Daniel, Jamestown with Vera, and climbed Dear Creek Canyon with Hans and Pieter. oh yea, and we went mtn biking on borrowed mtn bikes -- me with my speedplays and road shoes -- not the best ride of my life. and I rolled along the fabulous bike path network of Denver -- what a great system!!! Denver is definitely somewhere to consider for my future. I love the hot sunny days and HOT nights and being able to wear a skimpy little dress instead of a fleece or a leather jacket.

home again, a furious week of work and preparation for the Death Ride. my long-time readers might recall that I had some unfinished business from last year. this year, 25 pounds lighter with better fitness and some recent altitude under my legs, I hoped to complete all five passes. Hans agreed to ride it with me even though he's not really an endurance rider.

long story short, we started too late. don't ask why. the plan had been to start riding at 5:30am when most folks begin, but we didn't leave until 7:00am. we jammed on the first two passes (Monitor), felt okay on the third pass (Ebbetts), and then started our death march. seems we mis-interpreted the cut-off times and were making it into the rest stops with only moments to spare. and being at the back of the pack of 2,800 riders, we found that many of the rest stops had run out of food and water. by the time we finished the fourth pass (Ebbetts), we learned that we had only 35 minutes to make it to the stop in Woodfords before the cut-off time (and it was 14 miles away). a bit dehydrated and glycogen-deficient, we rode like crazy until the clock struck 4:00 (the cut-off time). we still had three miles to go to the rest stop, so we weren't going to make it. the 5% grade suddenly felt like 20% and my legs slowed to a stop. I dismounted, sat on the side of the road and cried. it was over. we failed. of course, we still did 4 mountain passes, 85 miles with almost 11,000' of climbing, so it really wasn't a failure, but we didn't get that darn pin!

after piling me into the car and driving back to Turtle Rock Park for the post-ride BBQ, Hans wasn't doing so good. he was certain he was going to die. I tried to calm him, explaining that the way he was feeling was normal for someone who just spent seven + hours on the bike. but he retreated to a nearby haybale, laid down, and curled up into a ball. I finally convinced him we should go back to the campsite and shower. he felt a bit better after that, but still didn't have that sparkle in his eyes. he asked me if I would keep his bikes at my house for a while -- maybe even sell them for him. he never planned to ride again. I felt terrible, thinking that I'd ruined cycling for him after he's loved riding for 15 years. he informed me that he never loved riding. in the back of my mind, I knew everything would be better the next day, but I still questioned what it would be like being in a relationship with someone who doesn't ride.

I finally persuaded him we should go get a little something to eat, so we headed down the hill to the Creekside Inn for spinach salad, greasy burgers and greasier fries. and cobbler for dessert. half way through dinner, he came back to life. whew! crisis averted. by Sunday morning, he was talking about how we would approach the ride differently next year (including leaving on time at 5:30am).

and here we are, at the end of another super-busy, whirlwind week. the new Tri-Flow program started on Monday so I'm busy-busy again. I've gotten some good rides in, including a short but sweet climbing epic with Kim yesterday in the Los Altos hills. Amazingly, I hit my peak 5-second, 1-minute, and 5-minute powers. my legs are just about fully recovered and I'm feeling great! and my strength is obviously coming back.

next week is my birthday. every year since I started riding I've either done a century or hosted a birthday ride. this year, we've got 6 or 7 birthdays on the team in the same week, and since there aren't any local races, I decided to host a ride. big fun, I promise, and I'd love to have lots of friends (boys and girls) join us. here's your invitation!

so that's that. are you happy now? I am!

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At 7/21/2007 1:05 PM, Blogger chatterbox said...

Woo hoo, a post! You look fab on the podim. You should be proud of your accomplishment in the series - especially that you had so much fun this season.

We're looking forward to the birthday ride. It should be fun fun fun! Oh, and we'll get to meet Hans. Yay!

At 7/21/2007 7:20 PM, Blogger Ippoc Amic said...

wow...glad Hans is not selling his bikes. But I've been there, I was just going to leave it outside.

We're at Districts next Sunday. Have a great B-day!

At 7/21/2007 8:14 PM, Blogger Chris said...

Great post VG. You didn't fail, you just started late. I would be wiling to bet that you could have covered those last 3 miles in 90 minutes:)

I am glad Hans is back to normal. Exhaustion can do wierd things to the mind. It is kind of like thinking about future drinking escapades when you have that killer hangover. You are sure you are never going to drink again.

Have a great birthday ride and if I don't chat with you before then, HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

At 7/23/2007 8:07 AM, Blogger Flandria said...


At 7/23/2007 12:40 PM, Blogger CyclistRick said...

Perhaps a portable alarm clock is in order for the birthday? ;-)

Congrats on your CCCX accomplishments; any position on the podium is a good thing, in my opinion.

See you on Sunday for the big birthday bash.

At 7/23/2007 1:27 PM, Blogger alicat said...

Hey there
i just saw your comment about needing my email. sorry to have been so slow!
allison dot krasnow at sbcglobal dot net

At 7/23/2007 10:34 PM, Blogger Jackie said...

Good gawd, when do you sleep? I'm exhausted just reading about it all!

At 7/24/2007 9:18 AM, Blogger Jeff said...

You did great on the Death Ride! I live just down the road from that area, and it was HOT! I didn't ride, but two of my friends did. The one that started at 5:30 AM made it. The other friend started around 6:30. He made it about as far as you did when exhaustion set in.

I heard that some guy died following the ride from dehydration induced heart failure!

At 7/27/2007 5:32 AM, Blogger Ippoc Amic said...

I think I read on Lauren's blogthat it was your birthday? Happy b-day!


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