As the title says, I did the Great Pumpkin Metric Bike Tour this past Sunday. It was a 50k tour throughout the surrounding little counties outside my town. This being the third year I’ve done it, I started out with a completely unwarranted air of confidence, that I was the man with the plan (and the conditioning). Yet, the sad fact of the matter was that I hadn’t logged any actual distance on my 36er in say… ohh… I donno, the LAST pumpkin metric last October. This daunting fact was in the back of my mind the days leading up to the event.
Waking up at 7:30 on a Sunday is something I haven’t in quite some time either, and it was alarming how tired I was seeing as though 5 days a week I wake up around 6:45 for school. The day was already starting out crummy. Luckily my mommy made pancakes the night before so I had a quality breakfast.
I got my unicycle out of the garage I decided to go on a test run around my neighborhood, after a botched self mount I took off on my second try. Everything was strange and shakey at first, but after a good 100 yards I was cruising just fine.
Worry number 1 was now fixed, I could still ride.
Worry number 2 set in soon thereafter, could I really ride 33 miles?
Pushing aside the notion that I couldn’t accomplish my annual uni goal, I set out for the ride. It was a 15 minute drive to the other side of town, and the closer I got the more I realized, wow I really haven’t ridden in over a year… what the HELL am I doing? Saying this I knew backing out was not an option, mainly 'cause I already paid my 20$ coverage charge. Once I got there and got my name tag/number thing it was about 9:15, and for the next half hour I was putting around practicing mounts and just getting comfortable, while I was waiting for a friend to arrive. He did it on his bike, and I on my one wheeled beast.
Shoving off at 9:45, I waved off my early arrogance and replaced it with a little anxiety and a whole lot of hope. The first 5 miles went by like a flash. I was just cruising on back country roads lined with freshly cut corn crops and the occasional story book farm house. Then the hills arived.
I had forgotten, or should I say repressed, the feeling of riding up and down hill after hill. I have to power up hills pretty hard to keep my momentum going so I make it up the inclines, so when I reach the top I am extremely tired and then have to deal with downhills, the evil teases. Even though I would pass up many “semi” hardcore bikers (by that I mean the people who go out and buy lycra suits and $2500 road bikes) they simply zoomed by on the other side, bastards. I got to the first chekpoint, (12.8) miles without the much trouble.
Something must have happend in my little 10 minute gatorade, penut butter sandwhich break, because once I got back on my whip it felt as though and angry coal miner confused my perineum for a fresh slab of rock. It was then it occured to me that my legs were in good shape from working out and being in shape, but my “sittin parts” weren’t as up to snuff.
I wasn’t sure if I really was just out of shape down there, I lost my tolerance to that pain, or I was just being a baby. Regaurdless, it was painfully obvious that this would be my biggest vice. The pain I began to feel at about mile 18 was worse than the pain I felt in previous years crossing the finish line.
To make a long story short, I crossed the finish line an hour and a half slower than my previous slowest time. It took me about five hours with quite a few breaks.
UNI- Stock Coker wheelset and frame, 125mm cranks with Bullet Proof pedals, KH cross country seat and a T9 handle.
Amount of Gatorade- 3 refills on my camelback
Pain- A lot
So children, the moral of the story is… If you haven’t ridden a unicycle in over a year, you really shouldn’t enter a 50k race (gong noise).