Day’s Verse:
They followed a daily discipline of worship in the Temple followed by meals at home, every meal a celebration, exuberant and joyful, as they praised God.
Acts 2:46

Let’s see, what can I say about today’s bike ride that makes it stand out? Clearly I’m going to be writing a lot of blogs about bike rides over the next four months, so I think I need a new angle on this. I’m hoping to get a point-and-shoot camera to bring with me on rides so I can start posting some pictures.

Today, for example, I’d love to post a picture of some of the views of the Snohomish Valley. Even though clouds obscured most of the Cascades, we still got some lovely views. Snohomish Valley is one of the prettiest areas around, and there are really a lot of pretty areas around here.

I’d also like to post a picture of the Sammamish Slough as I saw it on my ride north (into the wind, by the way, by myself, for the last 10 miles of the 76-mile ride). The slough was rippling a bit with the wind, but still reflecting the big, puffy cumulus clouds. Trees are just budding and grass is very green; lots of lovely contrasting colors. So idyllic.

And I’d probably post a picture of the Snohomish Pie Company, where we stopped mid-ride. I didn’t have any pie — the idea of carrying a piece of pie in my stomach for another 40 miles sounded awful — but I’ll definitely be going back there to sample their wares next time I’m in Snohomish.

I wouldn’t post a picture of this, but the other thing that stood out on this ride for me was I tried to follow Dan‘s suggestions about eating and drinking as best I could. As a result, I drank about 3.5 water bottles and ate 3 Clif bars over 76 miles, which especially fluid-wise is way more than I usually consume. It felt like every time I turned around it was time to drink, and then it was time to eat again. Every 45 minutes doesn’t feel like any time at all on a bike ride. I cadged a serving of Cytomax from Dad and put that in one of my water bottles rather than the plain water I’ve always consumed.

My initial reaction: Cytomax is the most vile fluid I’ve had the misfortune to consume since Mom forced me to take liquid children’s medicine when I was 6 years old. However, I continued to drink it frequently on the ride, and I will say that my legs didn’t ever come close to the level of burning and suffering I’ve grown accustomed to on these rides. I’m used to basically feeling wrung out and exhausted, with nothing left in my legs, by 25 miles into most rides with Earthdreams. The rest of the ride I get through on sheer determination. Today my legs felt rested and strong almost until the very end. Coincidence? I doubt it. I probably won’t go rushing out to buy Cytomax, but I will hunt down the stuff Dan recommended (PowerBar Endurance Powder, lemon-lime flavor) and give it a try.

So overall, I had a good bike ride today. I felt rested and strong, although perhaps a bit sore starting out thanks to yesterday’s Tiger Mountain hike. The group was doing a “recovery ride” from an apparently extremely challenging ride on Saturday, and as a result I “only” averaged 17.1 mph over 76 miles with 4100 – 4200 feet of climbing. Other people definitely averaged higher than that, but I’m happy with it. My job was to ride 75 miles fairly flat while eating and drinking right, and I think I achieved that.

One comment about nutrition these days. While I’m doing these more intense rides, eating and drinking become fueling and hydrating. In many ways it takes the enjoyment out of food and drink for me, and that makes me sad. A Clif bar, although the best option for energy bars, still doesn’t feel like real food to me. Similarly, water with some nasty, high-calorie, high-enzyme, scientifically-formulated powder in it just isn’t an enjoyable drink. Chocolate milk, now, there’s the ideal recovery drink. Delicious and meeting all those nutritional needs. But generally I end up having to spend a fair bit of time forcing myself to consume food and drink that I don’t really want in order to provide my body with enough fuel to either prepare for, finish, or recover from a ride. I’m having to act like my body is a machine to keep tuned and fueled. Meh.

2 thoughts on “April 17 Ride Report

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