I've been fortunate enough (so far) to have been able to do all my bike workouts outside still. I want to delay the long, long days of trainer riding as much as I can -- so my trusty steed (y'all remember Crash right?) and I have had some fine autumn days together. Oh -- and Susi --- you'd be so proud of me! My courage has blossomed in regards to my mountain biking skills. Granted, I am still not technically on a real trail, but my confidence is at the point now, where I am excited about venturing off the well-beaten logging road. Heh-heh-heh!
That said, I had a helluva bike ride on Saturday morning. I should have known something was wrong when 35 minutes into it, my Camel-bak froze. No amount of gumming the nozzle would coax out even a droplet, but still I pushed on. My ride was to last 2 hours with overgear work during the second hour. Now, as all roads in the Crowsnest Pass lead up, I thought I'd bike for about 1.5 hours up and then sail back down and home. Things were going great -- I was really enjoying myself out there. The dirt road I ride on is a wicked steady climb (starting in Blairmore), followed by a long descent that flattens out in the bottom of a valley. I turn around before this point, however. The road eventually curves back and climbs steadily back to Hillcrest. I think it is a 50km or so loop, that I would like to do in its entirety next year -- gorgeous!
Anyways, things literally went downhill when I turned around. The wind was against me and it was so frigging cold, I couldn't believe it. My fingers and feet quickly froze. I had a really hard time trying to change gears on my bike, and I could feel my core was getting cold. I had layered up with wool and a wind blocking jacket, but my cheap sports bra/tank top was soaking wet and retained all the moisture.
I went as fast as I could go -- but I knew I was getting to be in bad shape when I felt my face scrunch up and start to cry. It was so weird -- it's like my mind was separate from my body. I was thinking to myself, why in the hell is my face trying to cry? I'm not sad or worried, I'm just f$%#ing cold! I had no control over it. It's like trying to stop yourself from sweating when you are working out. Very weird.
By this point, I couldn't feel my legs, my feet, or my hands, and I pedaled like the hounds of hell were yipping at my wheels. I remember looking down at my legs as they were pedaling and thinking, shouldn't I be feeling the exertion of this effort?
Well, I felt it as soon as I got home. It's like I had held my breath while cycling home -- when I finally stopped, I was breathing so hard and fiercely I thought I was going to spew. I also started crying uncontrollably. Poor Mike had to literally undress me and put me in the tub. I was pretty mixed up too. I got in and out of the tub 2 times, all the while crying and saying, "What the hell is the matter with me? I can't stop crying!"
Mike made me a tea and gradually I warmed up. My feet HURT so much -- I couldn't stand the pain of them warming up. I gradually warmed up, until suddenly, I was back to normal. It was like a light switch went off in my head. Mike said to me in his no-nonsense voice -- "That's enough biking outside for this year." Eeeeeeep.
But......yesterday it was so nice outside, I was able to bike outside. I had to pass through the security check-point of Mike however, telling him where I was going, and for how long I was going (only an hour).
Keep warm everyone, or suffer the face-crumpling consequences...