Posted by: fizzhogg | April 8, 2010

If You Heard Screaming, it Was Me

Two rides to talk about today.

Tuesday I rode the Pyrenees – the hilly road I spoke of in this post.

The Pyrenees is a stretch of road near my house that is approximately 6.5 miles long, and has few flat stretches, several rolling runs, and some 8% grade and higher climbs. I’ve ridden this road twice before this week, but never the entire 6 miles. I always rode the first 3 miles – which, in all honesty – is the easiest.

Tuesday I rode the entire 6+. And it was brutal. And it was straight into a headwind. My ginormous Clydesdale arse climbing 8% hills for 50 or 100 meters, then back down, then just as I’m recovering, back up another 6% for 200 meters, then down, then 7% for 100 meters, then down… all into the wind. It hurts just typing the memory.

But I made it. And after a short recovery rest, I decided to ride back home “the long way” to add some miles to my goal… and to avoid the Pyrenees.

So I turned down this innocent looking little two-lane road with no bike path. But I knew it was only a 25mph speed limit due to the twists and turns, and I thought I’d be fine…

What I didn’t know was that the innocent little 25mph road was at least an 8%-10% DESCENT for nearly a mile. Oh, and let’s throw in half a dozen tight, little switchbacks for fun.

You know that old cliche “Holding on for dear life”? I have now experienced that. I held on to the Unfat Machine for my dear freaking life. Literally – and yes, I know how to use the term “literally” – literally, I was squeezing the brakes as hard as I could without causing myself to slide ass-over-tea-kettle, and still I was gaining speed.

At one point I rounded a corner and saw a cop sitting with a radar gun. His head spun in shock as I and the UM flashed by. It would not be until the ride was over and I checked the UM’s computer that I saw I had attained a max speed of 34.2mph. I was ten miles over the speed limit. FOR CARS.

I have not been that scared since… I don’t know when. But I survived only by the grace of God – because if just one car had come down that road as I was bounding down it with no way to stop or control myself, I would have been road pizza.

But not a single car came through until I had made it to the bottom.

After checking my bike shorts for poo, and saying a prayer of thanks, I rode on home with a nice tailwind, and clocked 17 miles toward our goal.

The next day was Wednesday and I decided to stay far away from any and all hills. I rode the levee trail and some other flats, and managed to put another 20.5 miles toward the 2Kin2K10. I also had one of my better average speeds days.

I am getting smaller and I am getting stronger.

But the best thing about this week was Wednesday night when I found a shirt my wife had given for my birthday two years ago. I have never been able to fit into it since the day I opened it. Until last night.

It fit perfectly.

Eat better.

Keep riding.

Lose the gut.

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Responses

  1. […] Long ago, I rode the other way on this road. I rode down it. The road described in this post – when my life almost ended. […]


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