Thread: Bicycle thread
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Old 09-25-2006, 10:38 PM   #1503
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Joined: Jun 2002
Location: portland, or
Oddometer: 29,570
Originally Posted by Gummee!
I think, if its possible, I like hills better'n headwinds. Hills end.

Even turning 180deg, lots and lots of times I end up with a headwind out AND back!

That would be the ride Rubber Cow, myself and about 700 other people went on yesterday. Almost any direction the road went in the afternoon there was that emasculating wind. At one point I switched the bike computer to not show speed, I hated watching the number drop so.

The ride didn't go quite as planned, at least not for me...
After waiting for a few of our team to take their turn in the port-a-potties, the ride starts at a nice mellow pace. It didn't even feel like we were at the beginning of a ride that was going to last hours and many many miles.

The group thins out, a modest pace line forms. Minutes are ticking away, we're warming up at an easy pace. Some faster riders have moved ahead. We catch up with slower riders that started earlier.

I bid a little goodbye to my friends, step out of the line and move forward. At the front is John, the coach. As I pass him, I see him drop a little lower in the bars and pull away with me. Our pace quickens. Soon it's just the two of us riding together, each taking a turn pulling - though he did more of the work.

What's that twinge? Damn bladder. I'd skipped the port-a-potties.

As we pass a man in a blue jersey, he grabs on to our tail. The three of us move ahead. The brisk, just at that point where any faster and I'd be dipping too deep into my energy reserves. His name is Ed, he's on the Department of Corrections cycling team. He's trying to catch up with friends.

The miles are sliding by at this pace. We're humming along at 21 to 24 mph, with occasional spikes. Ed takes a turn up front. He starts hammering. Our speed creeps up as my bladder is sending off all the alarms. Somewhere a fire needs to be put out.

I can't take it. I need to stop. I need to piss. I will produce the river nile. I am the headwater of the Amazon. Flow forth great river. But not quite yet. I can see a paceline ahead. Ed and John have grabbed it.

I crank it up, but too late. Catching a line is a talent. Throwing out the grappeling hooks and hauling yourself forward despite your legs. The sugar is emptying from your body. The burning builds. But if you could just grab the end...

Then I've got it. I'm at the end. But too late. The line has broken. I've grabbed a handful of people who couldn't hold on. I'm not at the end, I'm flying by the tattered remains of what had been a magnificent line.

I pull into the rest stop just after John. We'd made amazing time. I feel good. Legs feel strong. Lungs stronger. I know the speed I want and the speed I can hold.

The phone rings. Someone is down. Not our team. But some of ours are rendering aid - Tera is calling the ambulance, Jorge has his ever ready medical kit out, Mary is watching over everything. There's blood. A report that he can't move.

As clumps of riders head out, having consumed gummi bears, pretzels, nasty sports drinks (Heed? citrus vanilla flavored seawater. blech), and piles of bagels, I decide to wait and make sure everyone on our team is ok. The man that went down probably crossed wheels. Luckily, last we heard, all he had was a laceration in his forehead and a cracked rib or two.

One hour later, I'm on the road again. All the faster groups long gone.

maybe to be continued...
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