Saturday, October 09, 2010

Faire your velo, lassie!

Heeeeeey! YOU!

Eight-thousand four-hundred and sixty eight of my best looking friends have moved away so now I'll write. This week has been stupid and feels like my brain was in a tilt-a-whirl for six days. Now, Jen loves rides, but six days? No thank you. Result would be similar to this scene in Problem Child 2.

The most disgusting movie scene ever. I hated it when I was young. Maybe because I puked a lot as a child - though not on rides.

In testimonial to how little I wrote this summer, two blog posts down are about my strategy for biking the tip to tip in one day. And now, the result!

My day started at 2:20am when my alarm went off. It was such a refreshing 1.5 hour sleep, it only made sense to participate in a massive bike ride. I went downstairs and greeted the housefolk who were just getting home. Nice. Hopped in the auto, and went to the Charlottetown Mall to catch my ride up to North Cape. I stood around in a daze in the parking lot waiting to load the bus. It was a school bus, and freezing. I basically slept for twenty minutes on the 1.5ish hour bus ride and curled up against a heater. I grabbed some brekkie at the school we stopped at to pick up more riders. Too early to eat, but I tried to swallow anyway. Then finally fell asleep on the bus for about six seconds while we drove to North Cape. People on the bus seemed very cyclish and were holding their wheels, which they had taken off their bikes. I, on the other hand, can barely get my wheel off (or worse, on) my bike without muttering foreign curse words.

The winds in North Cape were about 6,000 km/hour, but in a very favourable direction. We stood around and did nothing and I tried to make small chat with people. However, we should all recognize by now I can barely hold a coherent conversation prior to 9:30am.

We were supposed to start pedaling at 7:00 but got a bit delayed waiting for missing (late) cyclists. I positioned myself towards the back of the group for a few of reasons:
1) I'm slow.
2) Still new to clipless pedals. Was semi-convinced that the more people I could tip over and crash in front of the higher likelihood it would happen.
3) Suspected most slow people placed themselves at the back. This would increase probability of finding someone to ride with, instead of chase after.

And eventually we took off. The first leg was about 55km to Portage. All was smooth but our route was closed in one spot and we got diverted down a dirt road. After a series of flats last summer (which stopped one I purchased Bicyclete new tires), I tend to panic on roads with tiny pieces of rocks or gravel, particularly when on a road bike (aka, Lady Velo) with tires the width of an oxen's tail. However, I survived (thrived?!) and Lady Velo's tubes remained puncture free. I would have high fived them, but high fiving rotating bike wheels is not advised. You will crash and likely rip your hand on the spokes. Even worse, you could damage your bike in the process!!

Pit stop no. 1 was well timed as I finally felt ready to eat some breakfast and made myself a 4-diamond PB&J sandwich. It tasted like the clouds of heaven, mixed with the temptations of the Under World. Also made executive decision to have a blue gatorade day, not orange. Least favourite artificial flavouring is orange.

In a too much info sense, but those who have ever travelled with me know so well, I feel the need to pee at any available moment. Even if I don't have to, but it seems like a good idea, I will. Pre-bike events I pee about 452 times leading up to start time. So in Portage I proudly strutted towards the building anchoring the parking lot we were in and realised it was abandoned; shuttered. This turned out to be a trend for the buildings we biked by in Upper Prince. So I "watered the grass".

My biking partner and I got back on our bikes and took off for Summerside, only about 45 km away. Weather was pretty much perfect - wind was at our backs and the sun was shining. Could had used an extra degree or two temperature wise, but I like sweating. The ride to Summerside was easy and uneventful. We biked by the visitor info centre in .. somewhere. Pleasant something? One car in the parking lot. Made a mental note of that.

Summerside = more food + more actually-not-necessary peeing

Summerside also marks the end of ease. Prince County is such an easy ride. No real hills, and the Economic Action Plan (go recession!) has ensured that most roads are nicely paved.

Then, there is Queens County.

PEI doesn't have a high elevation; the highest point is only 145m above sea level. However, central PEI can be classified as 'rolling hills' - constant up and down. It is exhausting, but great training for long rides such as this.

This is also where I bonked. Going up the overpass to head to Charlottetown was a struggle. But, bless them, the three people I was biking with at that point slowed to let me catch up. I mentally smothered them with kisses and nibbled their earlobes. At some point heading towards Crapaud area I made the best Jen MacBike move ever: I was sipping from my water bottle while in a small pace line, and completely missed my water bottle cage when I tried to put the water bottle back. It fell to the pavement and I ran over it and skidded around. *cough* amateur. *cough* epic beginner, ACTUALLY. The fact I didn't crash is actually quite impressive. Had people been watching I would have received the slow-clap-eyeroll combo.

Then the fun started. Oh, hello, hills. Flew down into Crapaud. Slowly climbed out of Hampton. Up/down/up/up/up/UPPPP/down. I looked at my bike computer at one point and it said I was creeking along at 9.5km/hr. People RUN faster than that. A lot of people. I could probably run faster than that and I only run when I'm being chased OR chasing something (boys? penguins? ice cream truck?). This is when you drop to your lowest gears and realise you keep trying to gear down, but there are not any gears left. Instead you just pant a lot and feel fire burn through your legs. It's actually kind of amazing. Going down the last biggest hill (Churchill!) was insane. Pretty sure it's the fastest I ever went on a bike - 60km/hr - with braking due to fear of (1) death, (2) cars, and (3) hitting the tiniest pothole and flailing thirty feet into the air, feet still attached to bike. Hopefully body still attached to feet.

Oh, right, if you are a concerned adult relative, I wasn't going 60km/hr down a hill on the TransCanada. I, uh, dismounted my bike and walked down the hill and encouraged all the other cyclists to do so as well. At one point we linked hands and sang Koombyah. (NOTE: looked up proper spelling, apparently "kumbaya", which sounds like something that would be said in Newfie porn.)

At this point I was giddy. I had originally planned to bike only to Charlottetown ("only" being 175km) but thought I might do the whole thing. Then I got word that my dear friends were going to meet me in Ch'town with a cake AND there was a party that night. So I had decided Ch'town would be the end, which I kind of regret. The weather conditions were so perfect that I don't think the day will be as nice next year. Ugh. But yes, hyper brain kicked in and I started pedalling like a mad woman towards Charlottetown, but then slowed as my pedal-mate was starting to slow, like I had in Borden. Returning the favour, I slowed and encouraged her, being much more familiar with the geography than her.

Then the paparazzi showed up. Ahh, the MacPhail parents. Finally, the chance to capture their daughter in an athletic activity after many years of Brother-hockey-baseball action. No longer did their daughter simply twirl around in the livingroom with a scarf tied around her waste (IT WAS A TAIL, THANK YOU), now she actually uses her cardiovascular system for good instead of nothing.

Then I got to Charlottetown and ate food. Friends were there with cake (love you, friends!) and parents. It was pointed out that I had white crap (dried up cocaine?) all over my face, but upon licking my arm I realised it was only salt from my sweat (aka healthy woman glow). Then I got really indecisive about whether to keep biking or not, but decided that 6.5 hrs on my bike was enough. I didn't feel like sitting anymore. Shoes came off, and friends and I wandered to Peake's Quay for a bevvie. If you ever want a beer to hit you with the power of four bottles of wine, may I suggest having a pint post six hours of cardio activity. Bang for your buck, b'y. Then Shan drove me home, after a stop at the place where she was housesitting. There was leftover pizza in the fridge. I let it make love to my face. Got home, turned on laptop, fell asleep. Woke up to half-eaten slice of pizza and bag of gummie worms next to me. Wish I could wake up with a breakfast like that waiting for me everyday.

Showered, napped some more, drank some gatorade (this time with vodka! what an athlete!) and went to a party. Then to a bar. Around 11:00pm I wanted to lay down in the middle of street and pass out from exhaustion, but instead I drank about 30 glasses of water. Then got my 9th wind of the day and rocked out til 2:30.

The following day I didn't hurt so much, but ate way too much and then got violently ill and half died on a friend's couch. I blame exhaustion and dehydration.

Monday my legs kind of hurt and I was wearing wedge heels at work. Walking outside with my coworker I completely tipped over started bleeding from the knee. Coworker seemed concerned (very kind of him - I probably would had laughed provided no serious injuries were obvious) and I laughed. I like to think it was exhaustion and sore muscles which explained the tip over, but it was probably me being clumsy and stupid. So now both knees have scars - right from tipping over on my bike, twice, onto pavement, struggling with new pedals/shoes, and left, from being a moron. *fist pump*

So next year I do the whole thing, weather pending. Start praying to your favourite weather God now, please.

1 comment:

Kalena said...

I would like to wake up with gummi bear like things next to me ... Hugs Maki!!!