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.


Robert said...

You are a super stud, Frank!

Daisy said...

That looks like a pretty steep hill. Geez, my legs hurt just reading this, Frank. I don't blame you for hanging it up early. I would have quit long before you did! HA HA!

I'll probably regret asking this, but what does BSS stand for? ;)

And for pete's sake, keep yourself better hydrated!! Ooops, sorry! That was the mom in me coming out. My older son used to run cross country for his high school team. It seemed like I was always pushing water bottles at him. :D

Terpsichore, Confusia said...

I was going to read your entire blog, I really was, but then I got distracted at the part that says, "Austin, Texas", because that's where I live and so I thought I'd share that with you. So now I shall go read of your cycling adventures. -Terps

Frank Irwin said...

Thanks for coming by, ladies!

Daisy, BSS is Bicycle Sports Shop, a local bicycle store. And I'm working on that hydrating thing, but it's hard to think about drinking when it's cold.

Terpsichore, I knew you are in Austin. I tried inviting myself to your birthday bash, but I guess you went north for that.

Daniel Norton said...

Robert's first comment revealed most of the meaning of BSS: "Bearded Super Studs".