Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Please Release Me - Let Me Go

Saturday was a much better ride because I figured out how to make my pedal clips looser. It didn't occur to me that the clips to attach the pedals to my shoes might be adjustable. My pedals had been set to hold my shoe very tightly and I couldn't get out in time to prevent falling. Now that my pedals are looser, it's much easier.

As part of our training ride we climbed the hill at Torrey Pines. It's over a mile of steady climbing. That's when all those marathons become money in the bank; the climb was fun. It was challenging, but I didn't have any worries that I'd need to stop and rest. In fact, I was consistently gaining or passing other riders. It felt good to be good at something.

Then I realized that I would also need to ride DOWN that hill. That was pretty terrifying for me, because at that speed I wasn't sure I was in control of the bike. My poor coach had to listen to me screaming like a banshee all the way down the hill. He would remind me to let go of my brake so it wouldn't overheat. I'm continually impressed by the incredible patience of TNT coaches and mentors.

At the end of the ride I wasn't physically tired, but mentally I was exhausted. Everything is still a conscious effort for me, and I need to focus all the time. Actually, my forearm was exhausted from clutching the brake. I asked Steve to drive home because my arm was tired.

On Sunday we went for a walk/hike at Iron Mountain. It's about 6 miles round trip. The first 3 miles are uphill with an ascent of about 1200 ft. Then you get to turn around and scamper down the mountain. Actually, the downhill had some little challenges where it was tough to get some traction.

On the way down Iron Mountain we ran into two teenagers hauling their bikes up the mountain. They weren't that far into the climb, but they were already dirty and sweaty. It's not a great ride for bikes because it's a lot of switchbacks and loose rocks. I'm not sure, but I think Torrey Pines was probably the better/safer downhill ride.

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