more than just another bike blog

Thursday, August 30, 2007

my legs are made of ice cream

.....and I'm melting!

I love the sun and heat, but this has been a bit oppressive. I'm sweating just sitting at my desk. I've actually had a hard time dealing with the heat since my thyroid levels are corrected. Longer summer races just destroy me, but that's neither here nor there.

Wednesday is my weekend (sort of). I try not to schedule any appointments or big projects and just answer email and run errands. And I usually do a long ride.

My Wednesday riding partner for the past few years is my best friend, Kim. She's a super-skinny climber-girl and she's been pushing me to keep up with her (not easy when I was almost 200 pounds). Most weeks, I try to get in a good solid 4-5 hour ride with lots of climbing. We don't usually ride super-fast, and sometimes we even stop for coffee (even in the summer, Hutch).

Two weeks ago we climbed Page Mill. I was killin' it for the first 3rd of the 9-mile climb, but then the heat and my dehydration sucked the life out of me. Last week we couldn't ride together. So this week, we decided to climb a less-exposed climb -- Old La Honda.

Everyone knows their PB up OLH. I've watched mine drop (early in my cycling career), then rise (while I got fatter and fatter), and it's again been dropping. I haven't ridden OLH since May, and my weight and power have both improved so I assumed I'd be on track for a good time.

I jammed up the early parts of the climb. Because I was trying for a PB, I didn't wait for Kim and just rode my own ride. A couple of times I glanced back and didn't see her, so I thought I was doing great. I kept calculating my time and thought this would be the day.

Alas, about half way up the climb, I started waning. I could feel my breakfast in my belly and my heart in my throat. And even in the shade of the big trees, I was sweating buckets. But I kept pushing on.

As I passed the second sign for Upenuf Road, I glanced back to see Kim around the switchback. That was motivation enough to push to the point of recycling breakfast to the top.

But dammit, my time was 2 minutes slower than in May! Overanalyzing the ride, I realized that first of all, it was about 300 degrees out and secondly, I'm back on my weight-loss plan, so I'm not fueled as well as I should be to ride with high intensity. Oh well!

On a positive note, I kicked butt on my descents (Skyline and 84). 84 has always been my nemesis descent. I love to descend but there are certain points on that road I always touch my brakes. I did pretty darn good yesterday.


It was so hot yesterday that after climbing OLH and then climbing West OLH (because OLH just wasn't enough), Kim (the camel) actually needed to top off her bottles, so we stopped at the little store at the junction of 35/84 (across the street from Alice's). While there, we were approached by a man in his 30s or 40s who was very clearly drunk at 11:00 in the morning. I just hope he didn't drive there and then have to drive down the mountain, risking himself, other drivers, and cyclists alike. I mentioned him and the fact that I found him a threat to the store owners, but they didn't seem to care, even though they sold him a beer.

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At 8/30/2007 1:54 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

old la honda, definitely in the shade kinda climb

holly and i climbed it one day

i climbed it many times in club rides

the title of your post made me want some ice cream (soy)

At 8/30/2007 3:26 PM, Blogger CyclistRick said...

OLH is OK at the beginning of a warm spell, but after a couple of days the air gets warm and stagnant. My favorite hot day climb on this side of the hills is Redwood Gulch ... but it was closed this afternoon due to a fire nearby. Best warm day climb ... Tunitas :-) May have to escape there this weekend if the heat continues. And time for me to dial in a good electrolyte strategy.

At 8/30/2007 3:37 PM, Blogger lauren said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At 8/30/2007 3:39 PM, Blogger lauren said...

i've only done OLH once and don't remember anything about it.

why are you dieting? you don't need to lose any more weight.

shoot. i had to repost my comment for BAD spelling.

At 8/30/2007 4:28 PM, Blogger velogirl said...

I gained 6 pounds while I was on that anti-testosterone drug. and I never got down to my goal weight anyways.

I figure I'm old, slow, and fat. Maybe I can fix one of the three.

At 8/30/2007 7:48 PM, Blogger Chris said...

Heat can zap you in a hurry. I deal with it everyday here. Heat and dieting are not a good combination for setting a PB on a climb. Still, just 2 minutes off your pace seems good to me.

At 8/31/2007 5:14 PM, Blogger chatterbox said...

I have a picture of the Upenuf Rd. sign on my desk at work to remind me that when I'm feeling the burn, there's only just a little distance to go before the suffering is over!

Most of my friends are obsessed with the PR on OLH. I haven't measured time in years.

At 9/03/2007 7:40 PM, Blogger Nome Agusta said...

My field test is Palomares here in the East Bay.
I have posted my best times on the runs when I ease into the climb. I start with a fast smooth cadence in a light gear then when the first steep section hits I maintain the same speed and cadence. I work on going faster as the climb goes on.

I have tried it by killing it at the beginning, but I fade at the end and struggle on the steeper parts.


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