It was a good day for a January bike ride, (no snow, ice, or rain)!
I got out into the county for 65 miles and change. I decided to alter my route a bit and explore some roads I’d not seen in awhile. I hit part of my normal route, making sure to grab what passes for hills here in the area and proceeded up Weston Road chewing on a headwind the whole way.
Weston soon passed by and I ran east on FM 455 to FM3356 northbound. Yay! More headwinds, just grinding it out and up the road I go. I’d not ridden FM3356 since my brief return to cycling back in 2004, it was just as I remembered, rural chip and seal with minimal traffic. FM 3356 ended and I picked up FM121, I was sad to see the Mexican restaurant that had been there was gone as they had pretty decent food. FM121 brought some relief from the headwinds but had some nice hills to play on.
Finally rolled into Gunter feeling pretty tired and a little bonky. I’d been planning on stopping at the Kwicky Mart there for a bit of food and rest. Something however about best laid plans because as I came down to Highway 289 four roadies pop out in front of me and turn south. While the legs may be 20 some odd years older, my former Ricky Racer mindset says that I must chase them down and catch them! So merrily I go heading south, riding a beautiful tailwind. I relaxed a little bit and backed off the speed enough to grab a Cliff bar and half a Powerbar from my Fastback bag. This brought enough snap back to my legs I was able to bridge up to the roadies in front of me. I bridged up to say hi and chit-chat a bit, they weren’t very talkative though… “Hi, nice day for a ride”… Suffer fest roadie, “uugh”. “you guys enjoying the ride?”… Suffer fest roadie, “ungh uggh” “Talkative bunch aren’t you?” Suffer fest roadie, “uggghh”. I guess maybe I offended them by catching them and being able to carry on a reasonable conversation. After all, everyone knows recumbents are slow and if you ride one you’re supposed to be only doing 5 mph on the local bike trail! How dare I catch up to them on their nice carbon road bikes with carbon aero bars! Plus, not being at my maximum heart rate and actually having the breath to be able to talk to them, how dare I! Actually, I thought it was pretty funny… Some folks...
A quick aside here… It’s unfortunate that there seems to be a dividing line between the type of bikes, (road versus recumbent versus mountain bikes….) people ride. My personal belief is that anyone on a bike is a good thing. It doesn’t matter to me if you’re on a Walmart special and your neighborhood sidewalk, or a $10,000 carbon Madone and the open road, you have my respect, after all, you’re out there turning the pedals. I wish other folks were the same.
The suffer fest roadies finally turned off to pick up their vehicles and I continued on down HWY 289. Rural Grayson counties smooth beautiful HWY 289 soon gave way to Metro Collin counties rough, chip and seal. You would think that with the money in Collin County that the road would be in better shape. After all, that chip and seal was causing a noise/rattle that I just could not pin down, it was driving me nuts!
CR 88, Twin Bridges road, to CR 168 and a full on bonk. I had to stop and take a few minutes to grab some food as the blood sugar was falling. I got ready to head back onto the road and found out what the nasty rattle/noise was. My headset had managed to vibrate itself more than a little loose on the fine chip and seal around here. While I carry a pretty extensive tool kit, headset wrenches aren’t something I normally carry. A quick call to my wife and tools were inbound. A fast fix and down the road I went in search of bonus miles to round out my ride to the 65 miles I wanted.
Wilmeth road offered an opportunity to explore and I was glad I did. I ran across some nice roads and hills to add into the route database. I ran Wilmeth back to FM1461, (aka Lake Forest) and turned southbound for the run back home. A fast downhill, a sprint across HWY 380 with a green light and I was at my nemesis. My nemesis is a hill on Lake Forest that is way to short and way to shallow to kick my butt every time I ride up it but it does. I guess it’s something about it coming at the tail end of my ride. Down Lake Forest to my neighborhood with a short detour on the local MUP, (multi user path) and I had my 65 miles.
A note about my bonking and the nutrition I was trying out. As an insulin dependent type II diabetic nutrition is something that I am trying to get a handle on. I eat a low carbohydrate diet to handle my blood sugar. Prior to long/hard exercise events I try and fuel up properly. Breakfast was a banana, two slices of rye toast with peanut butter, two slices of toast with honey, and a yogurt. On the bike I was trying out Hammer Nutrition’s Perpetuem. It seemed to be pretty good, easy to eat, reasonable on the stomach, and a reasonable taste. I think my bonking was just not eating enough of them. I was eating nowhere near 200 calories/hour during the second hour of the ride and probably should have pushed more food earlier than I did. I really have to work on pushing my calorie intake on these longer rides.
Hydration was good, but it’s January! I had overcast for most of the ride and it was maybe 60 degrees at most. I took a 100 ounce Camelbak loaded with water and Camelbak Elixir. I only drank through a little over half of the 100 ounces. I need to start cranking up my hydration to about 20-25 ounces an hour, once it gets warm around here; I’m going to need it.