I had forgotten what it's like to be so tired, physically, that you can't keep your eyes open. Shuttling around like a zombie, ravenous but still too queasy to really eat. Conscious of the diet, drinking water but wanting a coke, or a beer.
I went out with my Lazydays bike team for a 53 miler in the hills of San Antonio. This was not my first time venturing into these parts... I'd ridden once out here for the Hilly Hundred two years ago (it was mercifully the 100k ride) and then I came out with some billy goats to ride one Sunday about a year ago, hammered up one of these hills (I was in Iron Shape then) and blew a spoke on the 2nd or 3rd really steep hill. Had to limp about 20 miles back with a wobbly rear tire. That was a scary ride.
So five of us set out for a Sunday morning jaunt, wheels up at 7am. The meet-up is 40 miles from my home (the things you do to find hills in Florida), so I almost drove farther than the ride was long. It looks pretty certain that the five person "team" for the Bike Across Florida will be myself, Lee, Markle, John and Mark.
We launched out without a hitch, but shortly into the ride, I downshifted into my small chainring for the first little climb and "snap"; the front derailleur cable breaks. Fortunately, the front derailleur's spring pulls the chain to the smaller ring without the cable tension, or else I'm telling you, I would have been walking up a few of those steep hills!
John flatted. Lee flatted. Lee ejected his water bottles twice out of his X-Lab. We stopped for water at mile 36. They stopped - and waited for me. I had just enough time to run in the store, buy up some Gatorade, fill my bottles and hop back on for the last 17 miles. Seemed like a lot of rigor morale for an hour of riding, but at that point, I was really sucking down the fluids. It was after 9am, and it was hot in the Florida sun (and it was longer than an hour...).
We climbed about 3,700 feet in 52 miles. Took us about 3:25 - yea, I was the anchor. I weighed in at 280 when I got home. Dropping at least 20 by the Bike Across Florida is a must. Two weeks into this train-up, I'm confident things will improve. As hard as that ride was, it was an awe full lot of fun. Hearing my back spokes ping and groan with each climb was cool. I was kinda scared to stand up in the pedals; that little bit extra force with the added weight might have been too much for those skinny strands of aluminum to bear!