Friday, August 01, 2008

Goodbye July part 2

Date: July 29 and 31
Mileage: 20.1 and 95.4
July mileage: 747
Temperature: 50 and 52

I had a bit of a disappointing bicycle month, so I thought I'd try to bump up the ol' monthly mileage today by riding a quick out-the-road-and-back-and-then-some century. I waited around all morning for some kind of break in the weather, and when that didn't come, I set out at 1:30 p.m. in the rain. I still hoped to be home in time for tentative dinner plans - not that I really believed I could crank out a five-hour century, but I was hopeful for something close - and motivated by the prospect of getting out of the rain as soon as possible.

Things went really well on the way out. I zoned and zoomed and hit Echo Cove with my average still well above 18 mph, feeling strong. That all fell apart, of course, once I turned around. I ate a Power Bar at Echo Cove, but hit a bit of a bonk about 10 miles later (I'm notorious for not eating until I have to, and never enough.) So I reached into my side pocket only to realize that both bags of Shot Bloks had fallen out (um, oops.) Oh well. I've taken my aversion to eating-while-riding far enough, often enough to know that there's no great danger or even all that much discomfort in being hungry on the bike. But it does make me slower. So my hopeful five hours was already pushing toward six, and then I got a flat tire. It took me forever to fix, because my spare tube failed and I spent at least 10 minutes probing the punctured tube for its microscopic leak so I could patch it. It's actually pretty funny how frustrated I become when I am trying to do simple field repairs. It's a part of my psychology I really need to work on, because I let the shadow of that flat tire and all the time I lost fixing it hover over me for the rest of the ride. Luckily, I caught up to a bike commuter near town, and having someone to ride and talk with did help distract me from my wet glower. Riding with him also caused me to skip my spur that would have made the ride an actual century rather than just a fairly uneventful 95 miles, but I was late and had pretty much had it by then anyway. I really need to learn to do that spur at the beginning of the ride.

It was after 7:30 by the time I got home, but Geoff didn't care because he had stayed late at the gym anyway. We ended up meeting up and having dinner with a friend who had a long layover between Anchorage and Seattle, so it all worked out. Our friend peppered us with stories about all the fun stuff he did in Anchorage because it was warm and beautiful today. "It was pretty clear until we were about 10 minutes from here," he said, "and then we just flew into this dark cloud."

Yup. What can you say? It really doesn't end, and as complainy as I've been, I guess I'm OK with that. Only three more months until snow!