Monday, October 27, 2008


I may have accidentally ridden 100km this morning.

Julia and I never ended up riding yesterday, with the general consensus being that the Southerly was too strong. So I was feeling obliged to turn up for Dee's 8.30a.m. ride today. I still wasn't certain of my knee and I was feeling nervous about her txt, which said that the ride would be fast. I wasn't sure I was going to be riding fast anywhere!

My trepidation only grew when Dee said we'd be riding the Blue Mountains. I really wasn't sure my knee was up to it! Two things swayed me - I'd missed this ride when the Gearshifters did it during the Grape Ride training, and Dee's reassurance that if I got to the hill and didn't feel good I could turn around and ride back.

So there I was - riding with the fastest of the fast Gearshifters members, with a dicky knee and feeling completely unprepared to crank out 100km. And you know what? I totally rocked it today!

I think we rode into a headwind the whole way, but nevertheless we held about 30kmph all the way out to the Blue Mountains, riding in a tight pack and sharing the lead. Of course, by the time we got to the base of the hill there was no way I was turning around. Besides, I wasn't even sure I could find my way!

In the end the hill was a bit of an anticlimax. Sure, it was longish, but compared to riding up to the turbine, well, it was a speed bump. I got some encouraging "looking good" calls from another couple of riders half way up, overtook a woman on a hybrid, and caught up with the others by the top. They'd left slightly ahead of me as I messed around with my tail light, which was hitting my spokes.

From there we cruised gently down into Whiteman's Valley. The sun was out and if it weren't for the headwind it would have been perfect. Other than the odd horse rider cyclists ruled the road. When I wasn't keeping my eye on the road I was appreciating the rural scenary and contemplating moving to the outer reaches of Upper Hutt for the good life.

We stopped at the dairy at Te Marua for supplies and to chat with a few other cyclists and then it was back down SH2. It was at this point that my cycle computer started to whisper sweet nothings to me. All the way back to Lower Hutt I was sitting over 35kmph. 38kmph? What was up with that?! All this into the headwind ...

Even once we got back to Lower Hutt and left the highway I was still maintaining around 32kmph, and I kept that up (and up to 35kmph) all the way back down the expressway to Aotea Quay (with no one to pull me). I did get dropped as we neared Lower Hutt, but the lead pack stayed within eyesight. I was happy with the pace I was holding so didn't push to try to catch them. A couple of guys hung back with me so I wasn't alone.

I think I died a little bit after we left the expressway and cycled down Old Hutt Rd. I should have eaten a bit more at that point I think. I picked up again on Thorndon Quay, but I didn't have a lot of kick left in me.

All up, however, I really did totally rock today. Since starting the Taupo training I've picked up several kilometres an hour in speed and I might have to start listening to Dee and co when they tell me I underestimate myself.

I'm a bit nervous about how good my knee feels so I've popped some anti-inflamatories and I'm icing it. I have very little planned for today now other than blobbing in the sun. Somehow I think I've done enough. Accidentally riding 100km on Labour Day is way too much labour ...


Kate said...

Woohoo! Today was a much better day for a ride than silly Saturday. Apart from those bloody headwinds...

Pip said...

Headwinds the WHOLE way - I swear. How does that work?!

This is what happens when I spend a week being good though. I go and blow it all with one ride. The knee seems to beholding up though. Let's see how it feels tomorrow!

Calyx Meredith said...

Thank you for the fun, encouraging comment. Best of luck with your half iron plans! It is so great to know there are others out there stretching towards this particular goal. I'm fairly confident in the water (slow, but confident). It's the bike that I'm terrified of. You seem to have that part of the process in hand. An accidental 100km?! Nice to "meet" you and I'll be checking back!

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