Monday, August 11, 2008

A lovely day out

Yesterday I went on a ride that was pretty much perfect.

I slept very late, and between that and lazing around watching the Olympics we had tivo'd the night before, I didn't get out until nearly noontime. It was pretty warm out by then but I figured a bit of heat acclimation would be Good For Me.

I took my usual route from home along the Alameda Creek Trail out to Niles Canyon Rd and up Palomares Rd. On account of the heat, I took it really easy on that climb, spending lots of quality time in my small chainring. Turns out I took 36 minutes, not great, but then again only a minute more than this past Thursday when I was pushing it some and ran out of gas at the steeper one-lane section. And this time I spun and felt fine all the way up. So there.

When I reached the other side of Palomares I was still feeling very good so I continued along the DMD route up Crow Canyon & Norris Canyon. I stopped at the mini-mart on Crow Cyn for some cold water & a Red Bull (say what you will about Red Bull, but I find nothing more refreshing on a hot hilly ride). The climb up Norris Cyn had little shade so again, no speed records were endangered. I doused my head & neck a bit with water at the top of Norris so the descent into San Ramon was delightfully almost cool.

I stopped for a bit at Livermore Cyclery on Dublin Blvd - OMG the air conditioning felt soooo good! - to buy some more cold water and a packet of Cytomax and use their rest room. I'm still not keen about the tropical fruit Cytomax flavor - I'll stay with orange. I then headed along Foothill into Sunol and along Niles Canyon back home. The AC Trail Wind Tunnel had kicked up by then but the wind off the bay felt very refreshing. All told about 64 miles and 2400 ft of climbing.

Throughout the ride I was downing lots Cytomax, Clif Shot Blocks (egad! fake food!!), a bit of Hammer Gel, and lots of water. That worked very well for me, I felt remarkably good despite the heat which normally bowls me over. That and the fact that I didn't push hard at all on the climbs. I'm really pleased with how this ride went - no aches, no pains, no energy lows, and I enjoyed every moment.

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