Monday, September 22

gravel grinder grounded me

Well, instead of painting, I decided to ride the Pirate Cycling League's Good Life Gravel Adventure last Saturday. I didn't finish the 135 mile route, but I did learn a lot about long distance gravel riding and myself. Cornbread and co. reconned a great route and the weather was very favorable.

We rolled out around 06:00. Unfortunately, I crashed around mile 13. Was sight-seeing instead of watching the loose gravel. Front wheel slid out when I tried to correct. Scrapes on left leg, hip, hand, elbow, and shoulder. Shoulder took the biggest impact and I couldn't lift the left elbow outward. Didn't think anything was broken but it hurt. Wanted to see how my body responded to pain and riding. (Get a feel for what those peleton riders feel like after going down and continuing to ride.) Slowly made way to mile 30 checkpoint in Cortland. Took advil, washed scrapes, ate something. Felt the worst there. Almost pulled plug but decided to try for Wilber checkpoint, only 15 miles away. With Advil, electrolyte tabs, perpetuum, pro bar and I started feeling better. Got to Wilber and ate pizza gatoraide and more advil.

Finally hit some high rolling hills on W. Pella Rd. Used momentum and steady cadence and felt pretty good. Headed north on sw29th and received message that Leah was breathing better after breathing treatment in ER. (She has some allergy attack at BO and couldn't breathe well. Like croop, throat closed up.)

I didn't eat enough and the legs started to feel strained on smaller hills now. Got to hwy 33, went to pull out my cue sheet and it was gone. This was about mile 73. Decided it was a God-thing and headed east to US77 and then north to Lincoln at 13:00, I didn't get to the van till 15:00, about 25 miles. The next checkpoint at Denton mile 84 would probably have been my last checkpoint anyway. As it was, my legs fell apart the last 4 miles to the van and I was toast.

Went to doctor Monday morning and had MRI in the afternoon. Thinking it may be a rotator cup tear, but hopefully just bruised. Will find out in a couple days.

Some things learned:
- get the right skinny tires for the gravel, a cross type with knobs (used my road tires)
- stay focused on road with loose gravel, not the time to sight-see
- use ring to secure cue sheet to handlebar, not back pocket
- keep backup copy of cue sheet
- 48x20 (66" gear) worked well
- listened to body and could ride hurt for long distance
- legs started to be sore when lost sheet, forced dnf probably good since I was toast when finally got to van
-- fell off on refueling a little after 2nd checkpoint
-- mentally distracted with news of Leah's allergy attack
- enjoyed unsupported long gravel grinder - different kind of challenge experience
- averaged around 12mph with stops, about the same as on road century into 20-25mph headwind.

1 comment:

Biker Bob said...

That is still a bloody long way on gravel, especially if you were riding somewhat injured. Plus, the injuries would have been sapping your strength as well as you body started to try to heal them.

Good job on getting as far as you did.