Sunday, August 16, 2009

Man! That was buggy!

The 2009 Covered Bridge Metric Century
I love this organized bike ride...I've been half a dozen times and it's always a great morning...
Pulled out of here at 4:30 this morning to drive the few hours to Lancaster, PA to do the ride which is sponsored by the Lancaster Bike Club.
Inexpensive at $20 with good food great views and 3,300 other people...
The ride s supposed to start at 7:30, but it's "Show and Go" so after registration and getting my wrist band I pulled out of the parking lot at 7:05. 65 degrees and misty and almost as soon as you leave the lot, you're in Amish country... Quiet on a Sunday morning, until the buggies start making their way to meeting. The Amish are always friendly to cyclists and I've often pulled up along side and chatted about the horses or the buggy or the speed at which those things can move! A crack of the whip, a snort and some flaring nostrils on the horse and you will be hard pressed to keep up!
I fell in with a group of riders of various ages a few miles out and ...well riding in group is ALWAYS faster than going it alone , so I jumped in and took some pulls at the front and drafted when I had the chance...the group seemed to be getting along fine and we got to 20 miles in an hour, on a rolling course....
Two of the group , big strapping lads, solid bikies for sure, (Note: team uniforms and big meat (legs) are always a dead give away that they're serious) decided to shred the group and so went to the front and hammered the pace. Five of us dropped the group as we flew off the front. I was able to hang for a few more miles finally getting buried on the big lump of the day. No worries...they're probably 25...I'm 55. Lets see if they 're even still riding in 30 years!
The next twenty miles found me in a gap so I had the road to myself with no one passing me and no one to the front...nice! Just an exquisite morning to be out.
Rolling into the "lunch stop" at 9:00 was fun...just a few folks and lots of food, no lines for the port-o-john and quiet...Later in the morning the place will be packed with riders. I like it this way better.
After the stop (10 minutes, maybe) I pick up a "buddy." Now I don't mind riding with folks ...but this guy. Oy! The bike course is so well marked the Three Blind Mice could follow it. Signs and arrows painted on the road. HE'S following the cue sheet, the written directions.
At EVERY intersection he's like, "Are we still on the course? Are you sure this is right? I didn't see an arrow!" If I said "Just follow the arrows" once, I said it a dozen times and that's NOT hyperbole! Several times he went ahead of me and at clearly marked intersections...went off course. The first time I yelled for him. The second and third time..I left him to his own devices.
He'd realize his mistake at some point and come back up chattering, talking to me long before he got near enough for me to make out clearly what he was saying. At 58 miles the Metric Century and Half metric ( that's 62 and 31 miles respectively for the metric impaired) He zipped ahead and I never saw him after that...
Arriving back at the start at 64 miles ( the course is obviously long) I was a bit cooked, but that's 18mph average and a 3:45 elapsed time (not bike time!) was just fine by me! I haven't been working on speed recently so going harder than normal was great.
Got some ice cream...chatted with a few vendors then toweled off and headed home....

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Post Placid Plague...

Post Placid Plague... or Hygiene, how are ya?
Ugh...the Tuesday after Lake Placid Ironman...that's the 28th we're driving home. I'm feeling worse and worse as we go. Finally, getting home I confess to the spouse that I'm sick. Off to bed and a fever check and sure enough I'm spiking at 100.9. Yes I know that the standard human temp is 98.6, but if you've spent anytime around the medical field you also know that base temps vary from person to person. I'm usually 97. So ...yup...I'm sick. The next two weeks were a drag especially because ML came down sick a few days after me...We are just now coming out of the funk and are both sporting a bit of a cough...
Why did I get sick?
Iron Hygiene or lack there of. When I look back to race day I possible to see SOOO many places you could pick up a virus. (I'm sure it was because a virus because of it's sudden onset, the fever and a number of other symptoms that point that way.)
How many little kids did I high five or fist bump? No idea, but you know kids...there is NO telling where their fingers were just before you made skin to skin contact. At Ironman, on hot days, they had out nice cold, sopping wet sponges. You toss them on the ground when you're done swabbing yourself ...the volunteers pick them up and re-soak them so they can be again handed out. YUCK! I am sure that cold water is not doing much to inhibit bacteria or viruses.
You don't think of it at the time but lying in bed with a fever you sure do!
Grabbing cups of liquid from aid station volunteers who's hand cleanliness might be questionable...bless 'em they work their asses off and it's hard to keep yourself clean.
And finally...the swim. An article at recently suggested you shouldn't get anywhere near the swim course until race day because of all the foul stuff you can pick up in the water...even a nice cold Northern New York Lake. And race day! 2,300 people all taking the opportunity to pee in Mirror Lake, even though the Mayor reminded everyone not to!

Any way back on the up swing except I made an appointment to get back to the podiatrist to see about managing my metatarsalgia. (right foot pain that's keeping my running in check right now.