Monday, November 17, 2008

Tour das Hugel 2008

As told by the Little Voice in My Head:

It wasn't that cold (not as cold as Sunday, certainly), and a base layer/arm and leg warmers were plenty (as well as jersey and shorts, of course). The only time I noticed the wind was when it was trying to blow me into traffic along some of the open stretches of Bee Caves Road.

The hills did catch me by surprise, though.

I saw >20% numbers on my GPS many times. Twice along Terrace Mountain.

The first loop (38 miles) went pretty well. I stopped, got another bottle, ate a PB&J sandwich, traded out my full-finger gloves for fair-weather gloves, and my leg warmers for knee warmers. Then I headed out with Greg and some other BSS folks. I was feeling ok, but was determined to ride my own pace, instead of keeping up with a pack, and told Greg to not worry about me if I got dropped, even though our current pace was currently pretty relaxed.

All was going well until we got to Smoky Valley Trail. I had ridden this street, at night, a couple of weeks before, and had no trouble getting up it. Of course, I didn't have 50 miles in my legs at the time, and it was dark, so I couldn't see just how steep it really was. When we got into the wall portion of the climb, I felt a pretty good twinge in my right quad, and decided to stop while I could still unclip. The rest of the group zig-zagged their way to the top.

I walked.

I looked at my GPS to get the grade (I seem to remember seeing 26% last year, but wasn't sure), but I wasn't walking fast enough for it to register.

I re-mounted my bike when I got back onto Ladera Norte, and rode up the final hill there. Daniel has proof:

I rode on to Mesa, then over to Spicewood Springs. I saw my group turning left at the Spicewood Springs light, but I caught the red. When the light changed and I turned left, I again felt my right quad trying to cramp up on me as I ascended the slight rise. Coasing down to the light at 360, I caught my group, but did not want to go around the car that was between us, as there was already a bunch of bikes in front. The light changed, the front group of bikes went, and the light turned red before the car could go. I decided to take the time it would take until the next green light to stretch out my quads. As I did so, my hamstring tried to cramp up on me.

I then decided that when the light turned green, I would turn left, down 360, instead going straight to follow the course up Bluegrass. I then enjoyed the tailwind to the finish line at Zilker.

Since I was cramping before I even had half of the miles in, I decided to hang it up while I could still get back to my car. I don't see the value of "sufferfests."

The astute reader may have noticed that I only replaced one bottle at the 38-mile point (end of the first loop). That's because that's all I drank. The cool weather made me slack in my drinking.

I still had a good time.

Tour das Hugel 2008

As told by John Howell:

Tour Das Hugel: Frank Irwin and I were the only Velocitites to show up for the ride. You were all smart to stay home!!

The ride was COLD, WINDY, and surprisingly HILLY. The cold and wind were no surprise because the local meteorologists predicted the cold front. And the ride description warned us of the hills. However, I was surprised that the route went through neighborhoods I'd ridden many times before and yet the ride organizers found hills that wisely avoided before. I don't know the % grade for some of the steeper pitches, but I'd guess they were in the neighborhood of 20-25%. I abandoned the ride at the 38 mile mark. Frank continued well into the second loop before coming to his senses. Looking forward to next year.

Enough about Saturday.

The real ride report is about Sunday afternoon's ride down Shoal Creek. I was cruising down Shoal Creek at about 44th street when I passed a rather tall young man with his lady friend. He called out to me by name and I suddenly realized it was Tom Hall and his wife out for a Sunday afternoon ride. We continued our cruise down Shoal Creek for a few blocks in a rather brisk fall afternoon.