Sunday, October 28, 2012

When the Nice Guy turns into a Bad Boy...

A long time ago (after all...aren't all my posts from a long time ago), I wrote about how running was the bad boy in my life, and cycling was the nice guy.

Basically my thesis was that running, for the most part, beat me up, caused injuries, and could be downright difficult; whereas cycling treated me well, didn't hurt me, and for the most part was relatively easy...I mean cycling became easy once I figured out how to not fall over in the clip-ins...but overall, cycling treated me well, really well, spoiled me even with kindness and injury free riding.

So here's how to make a nice guy turn bad; that is, here's how you take a nice guy, push him to his limits, and cause him to hurt you and abuse you.

Train for a Century.

Yep, that did it.

I'm here to say that my name is Alice, and I'm in an abusive relationship with cycling. In the last three or four weeks, I've been letting the nice guy abuse me. It's my fault really. I let him do it. I could have walked away. Really, I could have. But let's not kid ourselves. I've always been a glutton for punishment.

I've always been the kind of girl who thinks she can tame the wild ones.

The problem really started about two months ago. As the mileage in our training together increased, as did the elevation of the hills, so did the abuse. It started off with some little things. After some training rides, when I typically feel pretty good, I started to notice that my hamstrings actually ached. I noticed that I was going through a fair amount of Chamois Butter. I didn't take it seriously though. I was kinda happy that the nice guy was taking charge. In fact I probably encouraged the situation by taking on longer rides and trying to tackle more hills.

But I also started to notice that the nice guy was taking on more and ore of my time.
Five plus hours to ride 74 miles...and that's just riding time! My Garmin stops when I do at stoplights and SAG stops. That particular ride probably started around 7:00... 
and those looooooooooooooong-ass rides left me really, really, really tired.

Yep, Betty, Seven*, and I are a chipper looking bunch after 74 miles
I barely made it through the Aztec game the following weekend...or the KGB Sky Show that followed...
Even still... I came back the next weekend for more of the nice guy and for more abuse, and he served it up the following weekend, but with a cruel twist.
Halfway through the longest training ride. San Diego to San Clemente and back... we were looking pretty spry at that point. My goal that day was to finish the ride in about six hours so that Walter and I could make it to an Aztec tailgate party
Not more than ten minutes after that last shot was taken, I hit a divot pretty hard and blew out my back tire....
It took three guys, three tubes, four C02 cartridges, two C02 cartridge inflation devices, and almost an hour to change one tire...causing a 6 hour ride to become a 7 hour ride (which made me really late for an Aztec game, and the subsequent sky show...see above)
In addition, I think the nice guy was jealous of the herd's typical after-ride festivities and celebrations! All those loooooooooooooong-ass, multiple-hour, tire-changing rides, resulted in rides ending so late on Saturdays, and because The Herd has families, and other events to eventually get to on Saturday nights, we DIDN'T EVEN HAVE TIME FOR MIMOSAS!!!!


I should have seen the signs, the nice guy was taking over my life!
I scrolled through three months of photos, and the closest I could come to a photo of a mimosa is this...the two beers Betty and I had after the 74 mile ride...and we only stopped for those because we needed food and luckily Rubios has both food AND beer!

But the ultimate hurt came yesterday, on our last training ride before next week's century. First of all, I broke almost all the rules of being prepared for a long ride. I stayed up too late the night before. I didn't eat anything before riding. I didn't eat enough during the ride. I figured it was ONLY 50 MILES... I mean, after the 60+, 70+, and 80+ rides I'd been doing, I didn't really need to take a measly little 50 miler, very seriously right?

I was wrong.

It was HOT yesterday. AGAIN!!! I don't like to complain about the weather because I know that the east coast is about to batten down for the storm of the century, but let's just say that it is NOVEMBER HERE PEOPLE...ENOUGH WITH THE HEAT ALREADY!!!!

Seriously, we have not seen fall yet. It's been HOT, DAMN HOT, since about JUNE. Almost all of our training rides have occurred with the temperature generally in upper 80 to lower 90 FREEKIN' SEPTEMBER AND OCTOBER!

Yesterday topped out at about 95F...maybe it was hotter. I would also add that when we started riding, it was about 46F. It's tough to prepare for a 50F swing in temperatures. Typical Santa Ana conditons...cold and dry turning to hot and dry. Miserable.

But for the most part, I ignored all of what I've learned about riding yesterday.

Which resulted in this

I crashed...while riding. Now I've tipped over a few times because I didn't get out of the clip-ins fast enough, but this is the first time that I actually crashed while riding, and I can pretty much attribute all of it bonking.

Bonking while running means that you sit down. Bonking while riding means that you fall down.

The best that I can describe it is that I we were coming to the last hill of our roughly 56 mile ride. On the left was traffic coming off a freeway offramp, and it was moving pretty quickly. On the right traffic merges from Camino Del Rio South (not a very busy street, but still). 

See...can't you visualize the situation much better now?
As I was looking over my right shoulder to make sure there was no traffic, I must have turned my tire sharply to the left (oops), a lazy, tired, move, and then, because there were probably cars zooming by on the left, I over corrected and (probably complicated by the fact that I was tired and hot) went BOOM!

Again, don't you appreciate my mad illustration skillz? 
And because I have nowhere else to post this...I screamed...
I carved this on Thursday night, I didn't know at the time it would be foreshadowing...
In any event, today, today my elbow looks like this... My right leg and right shoulder look about the same...
You never know how much you lean on your elbows, until it hurts to lean on your elbow...
I'll be honest, my thoughts as I was falling were: 
  1. Fall on the dirt and not the street, it'll hurt less
  2. Fall on your butt, there's lots of padding there (I do think that my butt hit the ground shortly after my elbow. I call it my ski fall. When you learn to ski, you first learn to not fight the fall. Betty told me afterward that my fall looked quite graceful!)
  3. And most importantly DON'T TEAR THE NEW HEFFER JERSEY!!!!

The unveiling taken earlier that morning in Poway. No florescent, day-glo- neon, lime green, but they do look pretty sharp!

So...can I call the police and report cycling for assault and battery? I think I have a pretty good case.

Or should I wait until after next week's Bike the Coast Century? Maybe he'll be nice to me next week...

* Seven has seven children, thus the nickname. We also call her Nascar because she got hit by a car on one ride with Betty (she's OK of course, but it was scary....yet another way the nice guy can hurt you). We also call her BIMP, because she rode one day with a "Burrito in my pocket" from a breakfast burrito that she decided to eat "later." On the 85 mile ride, she brought a potato...which means, of course, that she has ANOTHER nickname!


  1. Alice - your new boyfriend does love you! We can settle down to normal length rides with "post ride" events after next week! Pretty soon - we can start half-mary training. You inspire me always.

  2. OUCH! I hope you have healed. Good luck in your Century!!

    I think if I had a group like yours, I would abuse a cycling relationship too. I don't want to cycle by myself. Well, I am living in the biking capital of the US, so it is bound to happen eventually.

  3. The Heffers are looking good! Have fun at your Century!

  4. I didn't know that cycling after so many time could turn like that but at least in the worst you are enjoying it.