Again I left the house on the way to work last Thursday night thinking, “It will certainly warm up enough today that I won’t need an extra layer for the ride tonight.” But as the rest of the group was recapping the night’s ride as the the sun was on its way down, I was driving away glad to be in the car instead of outside without the extra layer I left behind. It was another great night for riding in stark contrast to what the forecast had said earlier in the week.
About 20 riders gathered at the Case Pond Parking Lot Thursday night for the Central CT NEMBA RAW Ride. I’ve ridden at Case several times now, but only with a group, which is my excuse for not knowing the trails, so the following is for entertainment purposes only. The ride left promptly around 5:30 heading up the Carriage Path to single track leading up to the Case Mountain Lookout. From there, the group split up a bit and I followed the faster group to Black Mamba. With a stop part way down Mamba, the group split again. I abandoned my earlier resolution to take it easy and followed the faster group further down Mamba to Line Street, which was a blast, but meant we had to climb back up to meet up with the rest of the group. Next time I’ll have to pay more attention to the route, but basically we headed south towards Buckingham Reservoir, I think, via the trail that has a weird name like taint or something which was renamed “Tubestone” after halting many of last years rides for multiple flat repairs. From there I feel like we climbed forever up the classic rocky unrelenting single track that regularly makes me think I should take up golf. With about a mile left in our 10 mile loop, while navigating yet another rocky uphill section, my right foot slipped, which happens, but this time the pedal went with it. The spindle pulled away from the pedal body, with the nut that holds it in place still on the spindle, covered in thick grease, with some tiny ball bearings clinging on. I tried forcing the pedal body back on, only to have it slip off almost instantly. I was able to pedal a bit just using the spindle, but had to walk the bike most of the way back up. Not much further ahead, I was able to get on the Carriage Path and mostly coast back down to the parking lot.
All in all it was a fun night, and if you’re the glass half full type, you’ll recognize that less than a mile from the end of a ride is a pretty ideal place to have a mechanical issue. In mountain biking, mechanical issues can be limited with some regular maintenance but are not completely avoidable.
I hope you find some entertainment in this “blog”, but there is an ulterior motive behind writing this up. I’m interested to see if anyone else is as gassed the day after these rides as I am. Friday I was really dragging. Now, I admittedly ate pretty bad leading up the ride, but I did feel I did and adequate job of hydrating myself before and during. I didn’t have any kind of recovery drink or anything post ride. The hunger induced rationalization I gave in to driving past the old Taco Bell is probably not the best influence even though it seemed so trustworthy at the time. I also understand some kind of stretching is often advised after completing athletic activities, other than just stretching out onto the couch and falling asleep.
So, maybe I’m a wimp. The last thing I want to do is sound like some kind of elite endurance spandex clad training snob, but I think I can do better. Anyway, the reason I’m writing this is to call myself out, and hopefully hold myself accountable to do a better job next week so Ride after Work (RAW) doesn’t turn into Ride All Day (RAD). As great as RAD sounds, Ride All Day would only be possible when I’m unemployed as a result of lack of performance at work following RAW. So, I’ll set a few goals:
1) bring some kind of snack, maybe like a PB&J and apple to consume post ride.
2)I picked up a couple Cliff Shots with my REI dividend a few weeks back and they’re not horrible, so I’ll have one before and one during the ride.
3)Some kind of stretching routine when I get home, and maybe have some pasta to fill my stomach.
4)Do another write up Friday and report back on how I did and how I feel
Some comments or ideas would really help, even you just want to tell me to “suck it up buttercup”. See you out there at Grayville on Thursday!