Monday, May 21, 2012

Two Weeks to Go

Well hell. Has it really been three and a half MONTHS since my last, and first, Deadly Rigs post? I do declare...and I do apologize. But a lot has happened since then. We got a puppy (love you, Lemmy!), I got a new bike, we had a slew of visitors, planted a garden, excuses, excuses...

What I've lacked in words I've made up for on the road -- to Twin Peaks, the Headlands, Tiburon, you name it. On Saturday, we clocked 110 miles. Definitely a record for me, and my first century! We went from San Francisco to Marshall to Nicasio and back home. Around mile 75 I started dragging, and focusing on my body aches instead of the lovely red woods surrounding me. But after a little break, I got my head back in the game.

The ride to LA is less than two weeks away. And I have to say I'm becoming more excited and less nervous, thanks to all the training. I've received plenty of solid advice from Brian, Pat, and other folks who have either done the ALC ride before or are generally knowledgeable in the arena of physical challenges.

Some things I've learned:

1. Invest in a good bike.
Until mid-March, I was training with my city bike with an 8-speed internal hub. Then I bought a carbon fiber road bike, which has made climbing easier. And overall it's a much more comfortable ride. Hell yes, shock absorption! It also gave me reason to turn my city bike into a city cruiser. Take a look:

2. Find some electrolytes you like.
For a while I was avoiding electrolyte drinks because I didn't know of many options beyond coconut water and Gatorade. (I'm not partial to either.) But I was introduced to (sugar-free) Nuun tablets that dissolve in water. The orange flavor is acceptable to my palate. Unlike sports drinks, it isn't cloying.

3. Ask your friends for snail mail.
I gave a handful of friends envelopes addressed to me and asked them to send whatever they wanted -- a letter, a sketch, a joke, etc. On days or hills when I'm struggling, I'll pull one from the pile and open it. Poof! Instant inspiration.

4. Stop referring to the support vehicle as the "loser van."
The ALC ride is supported, and if you aren't finished with the day's route before sundown, the support vehicle scoops you up. My goal is to do the ride entirely on my own, but who knows what will happen. If the van comes for me, I'll hop in with a smile.

5. Just have fun!
A wise man once said to me, "Just have fun." That wise man was Brian Stegall, and it was about ten minutes ago. He said not to worry about anything you don't have to worry about. And really the only thing I will have to worry about each day is riding safely from one place to another, which makes it all seem like a day in the park.

Ride on!

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