Tuesday, October 28, 2014

A Delightful Giro and Living at the Edge of Anaerobic Oblivion

Sunday's Giro was well attended, perhaps because of the spectacular weather or maybe as a consequence of certain people taking Saturday off due to excessive celebration of the Bashful Artist entering his sixth decade of existence. The pace was fast but not excessively so, although the Far-flung might take issue with that fact as his spotty training regimen in the canyons of the Wasatch Mountains left him alone on the Chef Hwy going out and touring Eastover CC coming home.

Giro heading west on Chef - Oct. 25, 2014

Fortunately, I stayed comfortably with the group for the entire ride, which marks a sort of milestone for me:  the completion of a Giro in my 63rd year. So the pressure's off until next October 16th. I'm just not certain how much longer, even employing my rigorous cycling training of late of maybe one Tue/Thur ride a week and about half of the Sunday Giros, I will be able to ride with this group.

Proceed with Caution? Right.
A case in point is this morning's ride. Being constantly at or near the absolute limit of effort on Lakeshore Dr. in complete darkness is harrowing and there is a sort of balancing of that stress against the considerable pleasure of riding with a group and getting a great workout. I was at the edge of anaerobic oblivion the entire time along Lakeshore and began to wonder when the stress and pain might overwhelm any pleasure derived.  But I made it to West End and onto the path in Bucktown. Several riders were shed along the way never to be seen again, and the Bashful Artist was seen to be looking back toward the east and wondering aloud what had become of his protégé, Steve Tom.

My unease was exacerbated by my free hub squealing like a dying hog every time I free-wheeled while going faster than 25 mph. In bicycle years, my Ksyriums are older than even me but the free hub performed flawlessly for more than ten years, until this problem was encountered about six months ago when I (actually Big Rich) serviced it. Now the problem has apparently returned after only a short respite.

The pace didn't seem to slow in Jefferson Parish, and the group was strung out and accelerating coming off of the bridge across the first canal west of Causeway. There was way too much go-go in the yo-yo, and I killed myself as the back half of the line was racing to make up the gaps caused by the severe turns at the bridge. At Clearview I had something of an epiphany, suddenly realizing that I could just quit pedaling, sit up, begin again to intake sufficient oxygen to sustain life, and ride back to town alone at a comfortable pace. So that's what I did, stopping once to record that beautiful light of the approaching sunrise and observe about 80 or so dabbling ducks in the pond at the end of Lake Villa.

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