Saturday, April 3, 2010

We Have a Problem, Houston....(April 1: Day 29--Kerrville, TX)

As you read in the last post, the ride on March 31 was a taxing one, and I immediately fell asleep after slurping down a cold beer.  That was my first mistake; I should have been rehydrating and drinking water instead of drinking alcohol.

The second mistake was not feeding my body after such a ride....instead I had the beer and fell asleep.  Truthfully, there was nothing to eat but the PB&J I had made that morning, and a protein bar in my pocket, but it was nourishment.   I had not fed myself properly during the ride, and further exasperated the problem by not eating it SOMETHING after the ride---I had depleted my glycogen stores and done nothing to replenish them.  I did finally eat at 6:30, but by then the damage was done.  Like Old Mother Hubbard....the cupboards were bare.

Mistake 3: To further compound the mistakes I made nutritionally, I was also sleeping on an extremely soft twin bed that sagged in the middle.  I have a bulging disc in my lower back, and that bed played havoc with it....(and still is 4 days later).  I slept very poorly.  In addition to the discomfort, the wind howled and rattled the cabin; every 60 minutes or so, something would 'thump' on the roof with the decibel level of a sonic boom, startling me from my restless slumber.  Having the honor of sleeping in the living room of the cabin, I was the only one that heard it.  (I never did figure out what it was).  Toss and turn, toss and turn.  The night lasted forever....finally the alarm went off and the morning brought wind that was still howling, and a misting rain.  Great.....

For breakfast I had oatmeal-- great for its high content of complex carbohydrates and fiber (which encourages slow digestion and stabilizes blood-glucose levels), but  I was hoping for some good protein, but not today.  Don't know if it was a mistake, but I am counting it as issue number 4 ...

Mistake number 5: I was in a foul mood and didn't really want to ride. I was tired, there was a strong head wind, and it was cold and misting, with a threat of bad weather.  My head was not into it..  Despite that, I rolled out....alone.  That was mistake 6.  In that kind of mood, and with a head wind, I should have ridden with at least one other person, for moral support as well as to help ride against the wind.  But, alone I went; I was so grumpy  that I just didn't want to be around anyone. Big mistake (that was #6, remember)

The head wind was strong and in combination with riding on the chip seal, I soon got too warm despite the temperature only being in the low 40's. Peeling off my outer layer, I tucked it neatly into one of my back pockets and headed off again.  After pedalling a few more miles, I knew a major climb was looming at mile 9, and was doing my best to get my mind in the place it needed to be to successfully ride it.  First, however, I had to turn left.  Since cars were approaching in the opposite direction, I applied my rear brake to stop....nothing happened....nothing! Slight panic, and puzzlement... Since the rear was not functioning,  I gently depressed my front brake and slowed to a near stop.  I tried to stand and unclip, but couldn't move.  WHAT WAS GOING ON??  Now, for a split second, I did panic--WHAT WAS GOING ON??  Rational thought came back--(it was either that or fall), and  I unclipped, stepping far to the right, leaning my bike almost parallel to the ground so I could put my foot down on the shoulder. That crisis averted, I looked back at my rear wheel; the sleeve of the jacket I had removed several miles back was tangled in the rear wheel and caught in the brake. I was extremely lucky---riders have been killed from such occurrences....I only had a ruined jacket. As I untangled the mess and readjusted the brakes, the SAG car went by and stopped a half mile in front of me to service some other riders.  With all the preceding events, my mental attitude and the temptation of riding comfortably in the car was too much.....I tossed in the towel and decided that today was not a day for me to be riding.  As I started to mount my bike to pedal to the SAG (yelling, 'wait for me!!), I nearly fell swinging my leg over the saddle.  Yep...there was no doubt in my mind-- I should not be anywhere near a bike today.....I was a danger to myself and everyone else.

So, what did I learn? 
  1. Take care of your body--feed it well, for Pete's sake!
  2.  Attitude is everything-- how I allowed my attitude to affect me was merely how I truly wanted things to transpire, regardless of what my mind and mouth were saying.  There is no doubt that being physically unprepared played a part, but I could have made that ride...and the climb, had I been clearly committed to the intention of doing it.  I was not, so I was not successful.   I was, however, clearly committed to NOT riding, even though I was 'telling' myself otherwise-- and I certainly was successful in achieving that commitment. 
After all that whining I did awhile ago about not riding, here I was sagging voluntarily.  I could have beat myself up about it.  Instead, I am embracing the choice I made.  It is what it is--neither right nor wrong--just a choice, with no expectations or judgments attached.  I am, however, wiser from the things I learned this day.

51 miles


  1. Close call, Mom! Glad you decided to sit that one out...

  2. Lessons like this is why you are on this trip. You sure are learning a lot about yourself! and I'm glad you decided to sit it out so that you didn't hurt yourself or someone else! Try to keep an eye on where you stuff your jacket next time in order to avoid a crisis!
    -your secret friend.