Sunday, October 05, 2008

A confidence booster

Today we finally got round to having the bike adventure I've been planning for weeks. It was thwarted by Xterra races, wind and travel, and I'm actually glad we waited til today- partly because I was feeling a little more confident after Thursday's morning ride, and partly because it meant we got to ride with our friends D and A.

We headed out to ride the long way to Freyberg (to avoid the Cescent, which was my undoing last week). We were running a bit late, and it was fun pushing a slightly faster pace in a bigger gear for a change. Met D&A and headed around the waterfront (hate that part- blimmin pedestrians everywhere). I was a bit nervy about the lights, but they were fine- thanks to P, who now knows how to guide me through traffic.

We rode along Thorndon Quay, then onto the Hutt motorway. I hadn't ridden the motorway before, but it was fine. About 20k or so along, we turned up to go over the Haywards. A tough climb, made tougher by my bike's reluctance to shift down into my triple (thank god for the triple!) Stopped briefly part way up, so P could fiddle my gears. The descent was pretty fun-I'm getting much better at letting go of the brakes, and P said he was surprised by how soon after the boys I arrived. The seal wasn't the greatest, but at least it was consistent.

Next we headed around Whitby. I was a bit stuffed by this point (only 40 or so ks in!) and took some time to enjoy the view of the Pauatahanui inlet, which looked lovely, even on a grey day. P was too far ahead, so I was pulling D&A (both of whom I'm sure were cursing being stuck behind me), and my legs were fading fast. I wonder if running 1:50 on the road yday had anything to do with that??

Then it was out to Porirua, and round towards Tawa. I called another stop in Tawa- bought a Mizone rapid to fill my water bottle, and stretched my shoulders out a bit. I felt like a bit of a wimp, but I knew there was another climb to J'Ville, and also some nasty roundabouts. I realised on Thursday just how much being hungry affects me on the bike, so I'm going to work MUCH harder on nutrition. The J'Ville hill was one of those nasties that shouldn't be so bad, but because it's on the way home, it really is. I made full use of my triple, and made plans for lots and lots of leg strengthening work.

After J'ville, we headed through to Ngaio. The rollers seemed more like mountains to me, but around this time, the calories I'd ingested in Tawa kicked in, and I felt much better. Finally, we were at the top of Kenya St and ready to head down. I was crapping myself at the thought of riding down Ngaio, which I've only ever run up before (one of my favourite running hills). But it was fine- some of the switchbacks threw me a bit, and I had a few moments of screechy brake action, as I overestimated my cornering skillz ;)

P congratulated me at the bottom, as I was nowhere NEAR as gammy on the descent as usual. I was buzzing! It had started to rain, and the day was feeling pretty long, so we decided to skip coffee at La Cloche, and to just head home. D&A turned off, and P and I headed round the Quays back to Oriental Bay. The rain started in earnest, my tummy rumbled, and I suggested a number of far-fetched shortcuts to avoid the headwinds on the way home. Sadly, the only way to avoid the headwind is to Go Straight Up. No thanks! So we trudged back around the bays, me trying to stay tucked in behind P's wheel. The only thing that kept me going was the distance reading edging up to 80!

The last couple of ks, up Wellington Rd and through Hataitai, were uneventful. I usually power up the hills, but today I "practiced spinning". Finally got home, 82k's later. It took a good wee while, but I'm really pleased with today's effort- especially as we're about to head out to Masters now!

Last learning- crunchy peanut butter on fresh grainy bread is a damn good recovery snack.


Pip said...

What a fantastic ride. Congratulations! You did really well to fight your demons. We both rode 80km today, but your route was much hillier! Wairarapa went well but I was hindered by crosswinds and couldn't hop onto a good pack so had to ride most of it on my own. :(

Are you eating every half hour on the bike? It really does help!

SUB6 said...

Sounds like a great ride ... altho when I read about the 'shoddy seals' on Buckeye I thought you were commenting on the local wildlife ... another ride in the Half Ironman bank :)