The Ins and Outs of an Ordinary Life

Monday, January 07, 2008

DNF and Other Outdoor Adventures

On Saturday, I went on a club ride called “Dirt-Road-Dirt.” The 25 mile ride travels mostly dirt packed backroads, with a few paved roads here and there. The ride is not suitable for road bikes, so I pumped up the tires on my hybrid (haven't ridden it in about a year and a half) and threw it into the back of the Subaru. The weather people promised me temps into the 40s, so I dressed for temps in the 40s. However, when we set out at 9:30 am, the temp was only 27. I. Was. Cold. Soon after we set out on our little journey, I realized that riding a heavier bike, with fatter tires, on dirt roads, up many a hill on a cold day was really hard work. Much harder than riding a road bike on a paved road. MUCH Harder. My bike has a triple and my knees were wishing I had a quadruple! In fact, when we made a big loop and I realized we were only 2 miles from where we had started, I bailed. That’s right. I Did Not Finish. I quit with 12 miles on my little computer. I felt like a weeny, but a smart and considerate weeny. I probably could have dragged myself through the next 12 or 13 miles, but it probably wasn’t going to be fun. And while I know I need to push myself to become a better athlete, it’s still supposed to be mostly fun. I also thought about the other riders who were obviously going to have to choose between leaving me to eat their dust or slowing down to wait for me (so they could see me eat their dust). I may try again (he does this ride or some variation thereof) every Saturday morning. Knowing what to expect, and wearing warmer accessories might make enough of a difference that I could do it. Or maybe I’ll just keep doing the weeny version and bailing at the halfway point (makes sense, it felt about twice as hard). Or maybe I’ll wait until the roads are clear and stay with my skinny wheels.

Sunday’s outdoor adventure was hiking. This time the weather people promised me temps into the 50s! But I wasn’t falling for that again, so I wore 2 pairs of socks and brought an extra pair of gloves. The temp was only in the low 30s when we hit the trail, so I was dressed right. But did I mention that the leaves that covered the trails were covered with a layer of crunchy snow and that the light rain that had fallen overnight covered the crunchy snow and the rocks with a fine layer of ice. Oh, and that it was foggy and still drizzling. But I had no intention of being a weeny two days in a row, and neither did anyone else in our little group of hearty hikers. I managed to stay upright for 98% of the hike, and except for slipping and totally immersing my right foot in an icy cold stream (waterproof boots, you TOTALLY ROCK), it was uneventful. Although the conditions made it challenging, it was actually a really nice hike. I got home just in time for the kickoff, watched the Giants dominate the Buccaneers with family and some friends, and stuffed my face with totally bad-for-you foods. I never said I was perfect, just not a two-day-in-a-row weeny.

No comments: