Saturday, June 11, 2011

All Bake and No Shake

When I first rode with Chip and Richard last year I had just seen the movie Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby.  In the movie, Ricky’s sidekick Cal Naughton, Jr. would say “Shake and Bake” to motivate fellow stock car driver Ricky Bobby on the race track.  I was feeling spunky on that ride and was Shakin’ and Bakin’ a lot.

Now, fast forward to the afternoon of Thursday, June 10th when four co-workers and I rode 34 miles from Harps Crossing Baptist Church south of Fayetteville, Georgia.  It was my first ride in about 2 weeks.  The temperature was in the mid-90’s.  It was HOT!  I had already drunk a bottle of Gatorade during the drive to Fayetteville.  I also brought with me 2 large insulated CamelBak Podium water bottles to drink during our ride and a bottle of water for afterwards.
Three of the conspirators (Chad, Richard, and Chip) as they plot my demise before the ride
Richard was getting ready when I arrived at Harps church.  Chip and Chad followed soon after.  A minute or so later Jeff showed up.  I hadn’t ridden with Chad or Jeff before so this was going to be interesting.  Chad is doing Ironman Florida too.  I had heard from Chip that Jeff was an avid cyclist.  The two newcomers both had road bikes.  Chad rides an AeroCat and Jeff rides a Giant.  I knew I was in trouble when Jeff showed up wearing a Hammer Endurance Nutrition kit and immediately gave out sample packets of Hammer Endurolytes capsules to the rest of us.  Did he have a sixth sense that told him that I would need all the help I could get?  Did I look out of shape?  I washed down 2 capsules, just in case he did and I did.

We left the parking lot at 2:30 pm heading south toward Brooks, Georgia.  Chad took the lead with Jeff, Chip, Richard and I following behind.  This would be the first of many long pulls for Chad before our ride was over.  I was saving myself for the second half of our ride.  That would be the point where I limped back to Harps church.  At around the half way point my heart rate was so high I had to stop to catch my breath.

On the ride back Chip and Richard spent a good bit of time looking over their shoulders to see if I was still behind them.  I let Chip know that my wife expected him to recover my body should the need arise.  She must have a sixth sense too.  I had several excuses for my poor performance which I shared with Chip and Richard.  Chad and Jeff were too far ahead to hear my moaning.

It’s clear that I need to improve my cycling and install another bottle cage on my bike ASAP.  Richard and I both ran out of water about 5 miles before the end of our ride.  The Hospitality Highway Century is only a month away on July 10th.  I'd like to finish that ride without a trip to the medical tent.

My 20-week Ironman Florida training officially starts on June 19th.  Only a few more days of "relaxation" to go!

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