Sitting in my office yesterday, I was ready to go. Fired up, in the groove and ready to get my speed on after a relatively easy weekend and a nice spin-up ride on Monday. Then, while driving home and speaking to my wife through my hands-free blue tooth mobile phone hookup, I my voice switched from clear to gravelly. At first I was nervous, I know what comes next. A sore back, a runny nose and a cold. Sunday standing out in the rain for most of the morning must have done me in.
Much to my surprise, the fall off of the healthy cliff never came. There was no runny nose, no sharp pain at the small of my back… I was not getting sick. I rejoiced! I was still going to be able to rock my ride (but I took a short nap just in case)! Some kind of strange anomaly. I woke up from my nap, rarin’ to go.
I packed up my gear, trued my rear wheel (I hit a bump the last time I rode it that I figured was going to knock it out of true a little bit and I wasn’t mistaken), pumped up my tires, filled my H2O bottles and loaded everything into the car and I was almost out the door when I thought I should grab a Gatorade and a granola bar for the road. I figured I’d be okay so I didn’t bother.
On arriving at the meeting place, several minutes early, I decided to spin around the parking lot for a minute…and that’s precisely when I noticed that my left hood was about a half-inch (1 cm) lower than it should have been on the handlebar drop. I went back to my car, found the set screw, adjusted the hood (I got it close at least – eyeballing that stuff is tough). I guess I’d hit that bump a little harder than I thought.
Mike forgot his shoes so I went out for the warm-up with McMike. I was feeling fast and awesome for about three miles. Then I started struggling on the silly, little 20 mph warmup. I knew then I should have had that granola bar and Gatorade. I was running on an empty tank. Well, maybe a quarter tank. On getting back to the parking lot, rather than spin another mile around the block as I normally do, I stopped and drank a bit of Perpetuem with the hope it’d charge me back up a little bit.
We rolled out and I was second bike, behind my buddy, Mike. After our first right turn, I took the reigns and promptly fell apart. I spent the next nine miles struggling to hide at the back. I don’t know what the hell happened, but I was a mess. I sat up after eleven miles and let the group go. Whatever it was, I was going to be better off sorting it out by myself. I showed some flashes of brilliance on the ride home and even opted for the 24 mile route rather than the 21, but I started to run out of gas with five miles left. I limped back home, sometimes struggling just to maintain 16 mph up some otherwise easy hills that we climb north of 19. Something was seriously off and I’ll be darned if I could figure out what it was.
Of course, you know what that means… I blamed it on the fact that I took Sunday off and I haven’t been riding hard enough over the last four days, of course. In other words, I was wrong. Entirely. One does not entirely lose their fitness in four days because they took a rain day off and rode slow for the other three.
I just had an off day. Oh well.
Today I’ve got some maintenance to do on the Venge, I want to pull all of the zerts that hold the cable housings for the internal cable routing so I can clean the salt out, reset the brakes and lube the pivot points, and then I’m going to get that hood dialed in a little better and maybe mess around with that rear wheel a little bit.