Thursday, March 25, 2010

Appetite for Destruction

Working today just isn’t sounding very appealing to me right now. I’ll go to work, but I certainly don’t want to.

Sometimes when I miss a few days of riding, I will come back with a tough ride. I'm not sure whether this is subconscious punishment for being lazy, or if it is simply a desire to catch up on the lost mileage. If it truly is a way of punishing myself, then I learned my lesson. I won’t miss riding days anymore, Mister Self. I swear.

For various reasons I hadn’t made it out for a ride since Saturday, so when Wednesday came I was itching to get out. I took the Fargo and mapped out a basic route in my head that would use roads, dirt and gravel roads, and some singletrack. I figured on four hours and 50 miles.

I rolled down to El Dorado Hills where I jumped on the Brown’s Ravine trail. This was the first time I had taken the Fargo on real singletrack. It’s a very capable trail bike, and the drop bars weren’t really a hindrance. It was the bar-end shifters that made things slow at times. You just can’t shift quickly with those things. On more than one occasion I came around a corner and was late downshifting for a steep climb.

After that I dropped onto the bike trail and crossed over the new bridge near Folsom Dam. I circled around Lake Natoma back into Folsom and took various pieces of bike trail and dirt paths back into El Dorado Hills.

At the 40 mile mark I was getting tired. My route featured a lot of climbing to that point, but the toughest climbing hadn’t even started.

The first grind was a dirt trail out of Empire Ranch. It takes you up to a ridge with a gravel road running along the top. That leads to another tough grunt up a gravel road with great views of the area.

I saw a number of deer, but this was the only one that would stand still:

View from the top:

At that point I consumed the last of my food and water, and I was beat. Unfortunately there was a lot of climbing still to come.

After the descent off the ridge, I had to climb a couple miles through Serrano. The wind was picking up and hitting me from the right. It was slow going.

At the top of the Serrano climbs I just wanted off the bike. I had been out of water for a while and my head hurt. There were still a number of stiff climbs in the last eight miles home, but I only had one nasty ascent to conquer before the next water fountain. I made it over the steep mile-long climb and coasted down to the park where I drank about 25 ounces of water. I immediately felt better.

The last five miles home were tough, but I actually started feeling better towards the end. I finally made it over the final crest and rolled up the driveway with 57 miles and 4.5 hours of ride time.

Today I am very fatigued and my motivation to sit at work is pretty low. But, it has to be done. Time to get my day started.


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