Monday, April 21, 2008

Mali-BLEW (sorry)

These bike rides are really starting to put a dent in my weekends. On Saturday we did 90 miles.

We met at Zuma Beach in Malibu and headed north up the Pacific Coast Highway. We did NOT stop at the glorious Gas Station Spa that we did last time, so I was highly disappointed. But we did go through a nice Harbor area on the way to Ventura.

We hit some pretty rough spots on the way back. We had to ride through - of all things - giant celery fields. When you have wide open spaces right off the shore, all those nice ocean breezes turn into hurricane-force winds. It was a VERY tiring few miles. And to top it all off, there's a bit of a stench. Celery might smell nice when there are just one or two stalks in a stew, but riding through a couple hundred acres of it becomes a bit overwhelming.

Speaking of food, my primary energy source during long rides are Shot Bloks. I have recently discovered their new Cola flavor, and it is yummy. Well, sort of. As with pretty much any of the Shot Bloks (or Gu), the first couple taste great but by the time you're on you're 6th or 7th they start getting a little gross. But I have to hand it to Iron Chef Greg who came up with a new recipe for the Bloks. He had a bag of Cherry Bloks, I had Cola. He suggested taking half a Blok of each, putting them together and voila! Cherry Coke. Brilliant! And delicious. It also opens up a world of possibilities: I think we're all disappointed with the Margarita Bloks, but what if we made Strawberry Margaritas? Or Cran Razz Pina Coladas? I need to publish a recipe book.

Ben was kind enough to hurt his knee AND get a flat, which meant Mike W. and I could actually catch up and ride with him for a while. So that was good. I'll have to injure him more often.

The Zuma Beach parking lot is 1.5 miles long and hugs the PCH, with the entrance on the South end. Since we all parked at the far north end, it meant that I came with 100 feet of my car, saw the fast group already back and packing up their bikes, and I still had 3 miles to go. Bollucks. I was riding at a pretty good pace though so I didn't think it would take me too long to finish up. I soon realized that the reason I was riding so fast was that I had a strong tailwind, which became painfully obvious when I made the 180 degree turn into the parking lot and now had to face the same headwind. I don't think I've ever fought such strong winds. I was tucked in my high-speed aero position, and was still crawling along at 9 mph. It was worse for the group who "only" rode 60 miles and then went back for a run on the beach; they had headwinds AND sand blasting them for 3 laps.

I've been riding with the Ironman Brazil group so this is a little early in my training for the really long rides. I'll probably scale back for the next week or two and then ramp up again.


Blogger SWTrigal said...

I waws just on the coast and rode on the PCH and it was geuss what-windy! But so beautiful along the can really suck on the bike though..

7:25 AM  

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