I’m feeling worse this morning than I did at the end of yesterday’s bike ride. I’m hoping that it’s just the reaction from being slumped over handlebars for over eight hours this weekend combined with not sleeping well last night. I don’t how people do week-long rides like BRAG or RAGBRAI, but I may have to find out soon because of my plans to do RAGBRAI in July, as well as a week-long ride in Vermont in August, come to fruition. Of course with my history something will occur and I won’t be able to participate on either ride.
I’m not too concerned with the ride in Germany given that I shouldn’t be in the saddle for a long time nor exerting myself greatly.
Saturday: Jackson Brevet
I arose very early on Saturday morning and drove the bicycle for an hour to Braselton for Jackson Brevet for a 7:30 wheels-down start. The weather forecasted was better than it was the day before, though it turned out to be a hotter day in the saddle than I had anticipated.
My ride was to be, and thankfully was, 64 miles long. I started with a coworker who, even with some mechanical setbacks rode 100 miles; I cheerfully peeled off from him at the split. The ride was well-organized and to my astonishment well-attended by female riders.
I didn’t feel as if I were having my best day in the saddle, but managed to finish in what I would consider to be a reasonable amount of time for a ride of that length. Not that the heat would’ve allowed me to, but I didn’t want to push myself too much because I assumed I’d be riding another 50+ mile day on Sunday.
Hot and tired, with absolutely no hunger for the post-ride meal offered, I hopped back into the M6 after the ride and returned home. There I took a good shower and nap, before heading out for an early dinner and some shopping at Performance Bikes and REI.
Sunday: Hello BRAG
Arising early again on Sunday morning I kept an eye on the weather radar and clock all morning, calculating at what time I should leave the ITP Estate in order to meet the BRAG riders near Candler Park; that time was 8:00am.
From East Atlanta I rode to Freedom Parkway where I encountered the first group of license-plate-clad cycles and made a u-turn in order to ride with them. From what I see on the map I joined in somewhere around mile 12 of their 68-mile day which started in Brookhaven. When you add in the distance from the ITP Estate to where I met them, my total riding for the day was 59 miles.
For me yesterday’s ride was self-supported, eschewing the three BRAG rest stops along my route (I hadn’t paid, so I wasn’t entitled to use their supplies). On me from the start I had some snacks that I had squirreled away during Jackson Brevet, as well as two bottles filled with Poweraid on the bike. Just before the third BRAG rest stop I pulled into a convenience store and bought a Slim-Jim, miraculously their last banana, a bottle of Poweraid in order to refill mine, and a bottle of water that I shoved into a jersey pocket for later consumption.
After passing by the rest stop before Stone Mountain I bye-and-large rode solo. Every once in awhile I would encounter a pack ahead of me, or get passed by superior riders, but I covered many miles blissfully alone. Physically I felt much better in the saddle than I did on Saturday, though inexplicably it appears that I rode the 59 miles slower than I did the 64 miles the day before.
The only “mishaps” of my day were getting stuck for a few minutes behind some cars that were stopped while a dog owner retrieved his dog, and being told that I was #1 by a passing SUV who felt it was cool to honk at me while I was riding no-handed as I tried to consume a power bar that I had stuffed in a rear pocket.
At the end of the ride ITP-Reader Barb and Allan set up their BRAG Cafe and served up many hamburgers and hot dogs to people, who unlike me, were planning on getting up and doing it all again today. I envy them more knowing how shitty I feel this morning even after sleeping (however poorly) in my own bed for the past two nights.
Barb and Allan kindly shuttled me back to East Atlanta, where I proceeded to shower and fall asleep very early. I even managed to sleep through the phone ringing at some point in the night (9:45pm according to my mother’s voice message), that’s how tired I was. Of course at some point in the wee hours of the morning I woke up and then had fitful sleep from then until I had to get up for work.
Recovery Ride Tonight?
That’s a big “maybe” right now. I’ll be doing a rain dance all day in hopes that I do not have to make a decision based solely on my health.
If I am so fortunate to see rain tonight I will be returning to Performance Bikes to return the shorts I bought there on Saturday because my fat ass doesn’t fit into them. This is too bad for me because they were going to be the pairs of shorts that I wore on my bike ride in Germany. Perhaps they will have a larger size… Ugh.
Hope that you had a fantastic weekend.