A daft thing to do, but I dunnit

Another bad day at work, and stress levels are high. The weather is mediocre, and it’s tempting to spend the evening indoors… but it’s a week or two since I’ve ridden…

So half an hour later, I’m leaping onto the Coker at the usual place, and riding past the kids who try a variation on an earlier theme by shouting “Yoooooneeeeeeeeeeebiiiiiiiiiiike!” as I disappear into the distance.

I have a vague plan to do a long ride without dismounting… My previous best is 20.05 miles…

And of course I’m well prepared: I have half a Camelbak of water, with a faulty mouthpiece, I have no chocolate or other calories, I had a couple of light sandwiches at 12:00 and it’s now gone 6:00, and I’m wearing jogging bottoms over my cycle shorts, instead of my padded cycling longs.

I soon reach the Water Sports Centre and set off around the lake. It’s not a fantastic ride, but it’s reliable, with a lap of around 5km on decent tarmac. There’s a stiff breeze blowing up the lake, so one half of the lap is a bit of a slog, and the other is easier, but too warm.

Two laps in, I start to notice that everyone else is lapping in the opposite direction. There is the “proper” bicyclist, with is head down, lapping about 2.5 - 3 times as fast as I am; there are the attractive lady joggers lapping rather slower than I am; there are the three portly girls, ambling round in jogging bottoms and trainers to work up an appetite for their pizza, chips, cream cake and Diet Coke later… I’m lapping about 4 times as fast as them.

Around this time, I start to feel a bit of cramp in my right calf.

Three laps in and I notice the fit young bloke on roller blades. He’s deadly serious, acknowledging me with only the slightest of nods as he glides past. We’re lapping at about the same speed.

Sometimes the road is partly blocked by huge numbers of Canada geese, with their fluffy goslings being cutely obstructive. On the hillside, I think I can see the yellow flash of cowslips, but I don’t stop, because I’m on a mission.

Four laps in and I calculate I’ve done about 13 miles, give or take, and now I’m in pain. Try as I might, I can’t get my intratrouserial adjustments right. Everything feels out of place and trapped. I resort to shifting back in the saddle and resting the heel of my hand on the front with my arm straight. After a while, that hurts my hand, so I alternate between the positions. The bloke on roller blades is lapping about 1.5 times as fast as me now. I don’t think he’s accelerated though!

My feet are also starting to feel it. I’ve been riding fairly steadily for well over an hour, and I can feel my feet slipping forwards in my trainers - the trainers are held firmly in place by the pins on the pedals. My toes start to go numb.

About 15 miles in (I can’t read the computer when I’m riding) and my calves haven’t cramped up, but my right knee is starting to twinge. That’s bad news, because my right knee has to work hard when I’m fencing. I back off a bit.

Now comes the tricky bit: I calculate I’ve done over 19 miles, but can’t be sure if it’s over 20. A UPD now is a risky proposition… all this pain and a failure to hit a new record would be unacceptable. So, do I do yet another technically easy lap of the lake? I’ve noticed I’m now the only person lapping the lake. The joggers, bicyclists, roller bladers and portly pedestrians have all gone. The rowing boats have all been put away. It’s starting to get dark,and I have no lights.

I take the risk. I turn away from the main lake and take the slightly tricky route across the loose ballast path down to the canoe slalom course, cut back through the carpark, nearly being knocked off by a car, and then do one more section of loose ballast before reaching the road.

From here it’s familiar and fairly easy riding, as long as I don’t meet anyone on the narrow bits. I’m in considerable intratrouserial pain (US = “intrapantsal”) and I’m starting to feel like I’ve had enough. I’m pretty sure I’ve done over the 20 miles, but I doubt I’m within reach of 25.

Enough is enough and I take the easiest route back to the car, and arrive to the gentle strains of Fucek, sung in chorus by an informal choir of urchins.

And the numbers?

Coker, absolutely standard with the cheap wheel, except for:
Slightly lighter 150mm cranks,
Pinned platform pedals.
Total distance ridden: 22.36 miles without a single dismount or UPD. (35.97 km.)
Total time: 2:19:27.
Average speed: 9.61 mph (15.47 kmh)
Max recorded speed: 12 mph (19.3 kmh)

And when I got home… as I complete the other two stages of the triathlon: ride, climb stairs, have bath, I discover that in my haste to get changed for the ride, I’d put my cycle shorts on over my normal underwear. No wonder everything hung wrong! Ouch.

That’s a very impressive no-dismount record! Hope it was worth all the pain. Now you know you can reach the 25 someday, with a little more planning, and maybe even have fun doing it!

Re: A daft thing to do, but I dunnit

So it was “intrapantsal” after all - even in the Empire!

Re: A daft thing to do, but I dunnit

Not sure how to use this quote feature. Hope it works properly.
Thought this was hilarious (sp?). I used to work with a rather portly gal who was famous for walking around with 2 donuts in one hand and a diet soda in the other.

Anyway, great ride!!

Congrats on your new mark. Even through the pain, it sounds like a great ride. 22 miles and no UPD or dismounts, awesome! --chirokid–

Re: Re: A daft thing to do, but I dunnit

I’m with underdog, I lost it when I read that sentence too! --chirokid–

I was gonna let it go if no one else mentioned it, but I thought it a bit unfair to assume the poor large girls were off to pizza after their amble. Maybe they’re at the beginning of their new excercise and weight loss plan. Ya gotta start somewhere :wink:

And I don’t know about you guys, but diet coke goes really well with pizza. Regular pepsi tastes like liquid sugar to me.

Diet Pepsi (or Coke) tastes like liquid artifical sweetner to me. But I think it’s a matter of getting used to either. After you drink it for a while it’s a lot easier to tolerate.

I was going to comment on the three “large walkers” also. I think those same three women used to do that on the track where I used to train for racing. They never stopped talking, and of course they never got out of lane #1 for anyone or anything. If you are walking do you really need the inside lane? Even if you’re timing yourself? Passing them with a very tight margin didn’t seem to help.

But hogging the inside lane aside, you’ve got to give people credit for getting out and doing something. Better to work up an appetite for the chips and soda and sit at home and eat it anyway. I think getting out onto the trails makes people nicer. People on trails are certainly nicer than people in cars!