My biking in the last month since the completion of RTYD IV has been dismally low. In total, I have only biked 250.5 miles since I completed a week of nearly 800 miles. To put that in more perspective, bad weeks of biking during the summer training would be weeks I only logged 200 miles. I’ve done that distance in a month.
The month in review post…a week late. This post has a strong chance to be quite redundant if you followed along with the daily posts of RTYD IV, as that was certainly the highlight of the month.
With the ride finished, there’s only one thing left to do. Well, two things if you count a trip to Texas Roadhouse, which I do. The second thing is to thank all the humans that helped me along the way and they do come in all sorts of packages.
The final day. Well, it started out exactly as planned by having no alarm go off. Using a different phone than normal, I didn’t pay attention to the fact that the alarm was for weekdays only and thus didn’t go off on a Saturday. Perhaps this undesired outcome was fortuitous in that it allowed me to get more sleep than the average five hours I had been pulling each night.
Today’s ride really explains why it’s called endurance. I find myself pedaling around without any real skill, just needing to endure the whole experience. My body is sore, my legs are relatively unresponsive, my hands are numb, and my back is cramping. I just have to keep pedaling and not pay attention to my speed or my pace or the time it’s taking to complete the trip. I would rather just focus on getting the next few strokes in.
As Day 2 waned on and on taking with it my energy, my confidence, and several layers of my skin, Day 3 proceeded to change in my mind from a ride that I could do in a certain amount of time to a ride that I might not be able to do at all.
With loose gravel churning, the dirt road sloping this way and that with deep ruts generated over years of truck tires digging in, I pedaled my way at a steady, blistering pace of 10 miles an hour. Going down these hills on loose gravel with a cross wind wasn’t getting me anywhere particularly quickly and my undeserved punishment continued for over 8 miles. Three turns, four near wipe-outs, and two dog “attacks” later and I finally found my way to a civilized, paved road only to have my big sigh of relief buffeted right back in my mouth by a blasting head wind. Suffice to say my longest winter ride to date in 16-degree weather did not go as well as one would hope but it did go and that’s always half the battle.
Today did not go according to plan at all. My expansive training involving many back-to-back rides was supposed to have me geared up for this particular scenario with Days 1 and 2. It was Day 3 that I was worried about, as that is “uncharted territory.” However, a bad stomach ache at the beginning of the day that persisted for almost half the ride followed by an extremely muggy midday left me without any power and zero rhythm. Add then the other bodily ailments of a sore neck and back, extreme chafing from planking, and numb, tingling hands and the day was not a very good day. Now I have to hope that I can find enough reserves to get me through the next three days.
“Now you may find it inconceivable or at the very least a bit unlikely that the relative position of the planets and the stars could have a special, deep significance […]
Emma here. As Joey prepares for his upcoming ride of epic proportions, I wanted to send him off with a few words from me and his parents.
The ride is upon us. Well, upon me, I suppose. Seven months ago, I got this bright idea in the dead of winter that I should bike to New York. My wife, ever supportive, agreed that it would be something worth trying to achieve, surprisingly, instead of scoffing at such nonsense and telling me to go home and sleep off the crazy.