First distance bike ride.

Today the team did a 24 mile bike ride from Gasworks to Seward Park. I didn’t bring my Garmin with me, so not GPS data.

Because Gas Works is only about 2.5 miles from here, Amy and I decided to leave early and ride our bikes to the team practice. The ride down the hill and 8th Ave was nice. We got to practice with plenty of time left before the scheduled ride.

We left Gasworks and went along the Burke-Gilman trail to Husky Filed, where we crossed the Montlake bridge and headed onto some side roads. After a few hills, we got onto Lake Washington Blvd. and went down some crazy steep curves to the lake.

Heading toward Leschi, we then continued to follow Lake Washington Blvd up another hill and over I-90. Some more fun curves back to the Lake and a few more flat miles and Seward was in front of us.

Half way…

Turning around, I could feel my legs starting to get tired. I had paced myself fairly well, but this was the longest ride I’d done in quite a while. I was glad I had added some CarboPro and Nuun to one of my water bottles.

Back up and over I-90, and up the crazy steep, twisty hill I had so much fun riding down earlier. When we crossed Madison, a few people behind Amy got caught at the light. Amy and I rode the rest of the way alone.

We took a wrong turn at one point and had to ride along Montlake Blvd across the Montlake bridge and back to Burke-Gilman trail. At this point, I could feel my legs were really fatigued. We bombed down some slight hills on the trail and took the rest of the flat back to Gas Works at a nice slow cool down pace. About 1/2 mile to the park, I started to feel some twinges in my right leg. This would come to haunt me on the way home…

Amy and I finished about mid pack. When the rest of the team finished, we found out two riders had fallen, but they were coming to stops and were new to clipless peddles. No one was hurt. 😀

As the team dispersed, Amy and I started heading home. We stopped at Solsticio for food and coffee. We’ve decided they are a bit pricy and will probably try somewhere else next time. But they are RIGHT on the Burke-Gilman trail and we could watch our bikes from our table. Plus food was excellent.

We sat around for a bit and I had thought my legs had recovered enough to head home. We hopped back on our bikes and started up 8th Ave. About half way home, Amy started leaving me in the dust. My legs were done. They didn’t want to move anymore. 8th has a slight uphill lean that can really drain your energy.

We turned off 8th and stopped for a minute. Only a few blocks from home! And… hills. Steep hills. We ended up walking. SLOWLY walking. My IT bands and quads were starting to cramp. I asked Amy what time it was and we had ridden for about 3.5 hours at that point. Yep, right on time. My legs always cramp between 3 and 4 hours without salt tabs.

We got home and I hit the shower, putting the hottest water I could stand on my legs and doing stretches. The cramps eased off and I finished my shower.

The rest of the day? Nap time and some shopping. Oh, and the cat is trying to push the laptop off my lap. Guess he wants the warm spot it made.

– Beowuff

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