The trial of miles; miles of trials.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Poto Double Down

Ouch, ouch, ouch!  The last ten miles of this ride hurt!  Right out of the gates I made a wrong turn and ended up tacking on an extra two miles on an already lengthily 18-mile loop.  It turned out to be a really incredible wrong turn as the Cooked Lake Trail was interesting, brutally steep and had a few really cool bridges.  It was in those first few miles that I got the idea to double down this ride just to see what would happen.

The first 30 miles were awesome, the next eight were sketchy and the last two almost killed me; literally.  I didn't plan well in terms of calorie replacement and only consumed a handful of Wheat Thins and water the entire time I was out.  By mile 35'ish my vision was blurry, I was dizzy, my heart was pounding and I was abnormally short of breath.  As if that wasn't enough, my legs and back were in serious pain.  I had to keep telling myself to stay the course and it would all be over soon.  I stood on the brakes so I wouldn't go off course and hit a tree.  I feared I would pass out.  I badly wanted to walk, but I couldn't allow myself to (read stubborn and stupid).  When I got back to the car I spread out prone right on the pavement next to my car.  I was toast...but slowly recovered and was on my way.

It was an awesome ride and the bike was incredible.  The Reba RockShox ate up even the biggest hits and kept the front tire in contact with the ground as much as could be expected on this trail.  All I had to do was hold on and pedal and the bike did the rest.  This bike is going to work out well for me and I'm pretty excited about that. 

An interesting thing about riding the same trail twice in one shot is that you have the advantage of feeling very familiar with the terrain the second time around.  I was able to hold a much cleaner and much tighter line which made for smarter biking.  It was easier to know when to brake and when to let the bike run while holding on for dear life.  This is exactly why locals always have the biggest advantage.

The trail was pretty dead the first time around, but traffic really picked up on the second loop.  There were a lot of hikers and a handful of other mountain bikers.  One guy I passed had an amazing beard.  As I passed him I said, "sweet beard" and held my hand out for a fist bump.  Sadly there were no trail runners.

This was a statement ride to myself.  I knew it could be done as long as I could put up with the pain.  It hurt badly and reminded me a lot of how I felt after the marathon, but I got through it and feel fine now as I type this 3 hours post ride.  As I've come to learn its much more about overcoming the mental obstructions than the actual physical work.

It's a beautiful time of year to be biking, in another few weeks the leaves will be down hiding all kinds of hazards beneath.  I hope to get some more rides in.


  1. Psycho. Dude, that was retarded to hit 30 miles w/o nutrition.