So, we headed out, the small group, on the 50-mile ride for AIDS. It involves a 25-mile out-and-back, with a climb up Tramway towards the turnaround.
As I usually find on "rides", most of the participants hauled ass, zooming away. I soon fell behind and settled into a nice, relaxing pace. I was doing about 16-17 mph on the fist part of the ride, which was mostly flat.
The climb up Tramway is substantial. Leaving the valley and going up into the foothills involves a 1000-foot (308 m.) gain in altitude over about 6 or 7 miles. On our weekly commute, the climb after work is a bear. I've been deliberately doing it on my heaviest bike, both because it's set up for commuting with various things that hold my stuff and a triple chain ring, and also because that will make riding my Danger Kitty that much more awesome in a race. The climb is a bear. I know it will make me stronger, but for some reason I continue to be much weaker than I was last year, with respect to cycling.
It might, just MIGHT, have something to do with the fact that I hate it so much. Bad things always happen to me while cycling. I fall over. I can't keep up with the group and get left behind. I have an end-over. I have a horrible flat that can't be fixed, or it can be fixed but I've got my tubulars and it sucks up most of my training time for that day. I'm harassed by drivers. It just sucks, sucks, sucks, and I resent the hell out of the fact that few multisport events don't include it.
And every time I get back on the bike, I lift my chin and say, "this will be different. I will have a nice ride today.)
So. Yesterday. As I reached the top of the climb, it started raining. Oh, YAY. Why not add RAIN to make the day complete? As I headed out from the turnaround, it started raining harder.
I called SW Tri Gal, who lives close by. No answer.
CRAP I hate cycling. It's such an encumbrance. I mean, in situations like this, if you're running, most of the time you can do something to keep yourself warm. But on a bike, you have this constant air flow going by you, cooling you off. Because, when you're 6000 feet above sea level, and it's raining, what you really want is to be is cooled off. And, you can't just find a local store or eatery to go hang out in to wait it out, because you have this giant 2-wheeled encumbrance that you don't have your lock for.
POS, I muttered. I hate cycling.
Soon enough, DP and her beloved zoomed up alongside me. I could see out over the city, and it appeared that the rainiest areas were concentrated down in the valley. I announced at that point, let's see, I think it was something like, 'f*ck this shi*t', I'm going home. I just couldn't get excited about zooming down a 6-mile hill in the rain, when I was already soaked and shivering. I figured that in the end, I'd have about 30 miles in, including a substantial climb. Time to call it a day.
DP immediately started telling me why I should go back down the hill. Her beloved said in his wonderful Scottish accents, "Yep, it's going to be a soaker." I decided he was my authority for this situation, both because he was saying something I already believed and because, I mean, he's Scottish. Scotts knows them some rain.
So then I turned around and went back about 5 miles, and of course, the aid station was gone. So, I just continued on rain dripping from my helmet, shivering, until I got home, where a hot shower and fuzzy pink robe awaited. Ahhhh. Later, I rewarded myself for the unpleasantness with dark chocolate, friends, and wine.
I hate cycling.