Flying Wheels (and that ain’t all that was flying…)
Today was my first time volunteering with the Cascade Bicycle Club as ride support staff.
I was a medical support rider.
My quandry was to figure out how to carry my medical gear. I don’t want to install a rack or trunk bag on Flash since she’s my triathlon bike, so I decided on a handlebar bag. When the store was out of the one I wanted, Michael F at the Tacoma REI store suggested the insulated lunch box which is what he uses.
It’s perfect, it’s very lightweight, has some structure, and the handle slides right over my areobars (I secured it with the rubber band from my areo bottle. I can easily grab things out of it, or flick the rubber band and bring the whole kit with me.
I’m not feeling 100% recovered from doing three triatlhons in 13 days, (and the last one was an Olympic distance) my back is not fully healed and the neighbor tried to kill us (and the rest of the neighborhood) by spraying Malathion on his apple trees next to our open windows last night. Organo phosphate poisoning is NOT COOL! Tom (and a few other neighbors) had a chat with him about it today.
I thought that 65 miles with 3,706 feet of elevation gain was plenty of a workout. I can do my 100 mile ride some time over the 4th of July weekend since the Trek Women’s Triathlon (thankfully) moved from that weekend to September.
*I waved at the McSidhe clan when I rode past their neighborhood.
I got a bit of a late start because I grossly underestimated what a parking lot 520 was going to be and then got stuck in the port-a-potty lines and didn’t hit the road until 8:45.
Luckily, I didn’t have to respond to any medical emergencies. I helped people with directions, answered questions, asked everyone I saw who was stopped if they were OK and needed help and tried to set a good (and badly needed) example by riding safely and courteously.
I ate and drank religiously (even though I was a bit queasy from the near poisoning the night before) and had no issues with hydration or energy.
The first hill came way too early and made a lot of riders walkers as usual.
The same for Inglewood Hill which is three miles of “Geeze this sucks” (actually it’s not that bad, it’s just relentless)
I noticed a huge increase in aggressive and angry drivers this year. Most of the people yelling nasty stuff didn’t yell at me because I was very conscientious about staying as far to the right as I could and only passing when it was safe. (that and I was wearing a big blue star of life on the back of my bright red jersey)
Conversely (which is no excuse for the aggressive driving and some of it was egregious and very dangerous) I noticed a large number of “hot shot” riders that thought “Car Back” meant “get out into the middle of the lane to piss off the car so that you can pass.”
Here’s a hint hammer heads. “Car Back” means “get your butt as far to the right as you can so that everyone is safe.” now and later when some innocent rider gets the rage you created taken out on them.
OK, that’s it for the riding lecture…
I never found Julie (even though we were only 5 cars apart on 520 and heading into the park) or Claire & David or Rick or most of my other friends that were riding this thing.
I did see plenty of other friends and made some new ones.
I pulled into Marymoor Park at 3:10 PM.
Now here’s where the story gets interesting…
*those who don’t like TMI can just stop here… move on… there’s nothing to see that won’t gross you out.
I need to ride and swim tomorrow, so I wanted to give my recovery a jump start.
I got back to my truck and slammed down one of my 3oz, 42 gram whey protein shots. I also drank 16oz of recoverite.
No problem, they mix fine and I feel wonderful the next day.
Then I got handed a carton of chocolate milk (3rd on my list of favorite recovery beverages) which I slugged down.
Oh, did I mention that it was hot? About 75 degrees. That may not sound hot to folks from other part of the country, but black asphalt can radiate 180 degrees of heat on a hot day.
I was hot, and thirsty and was waiting for friends so I went to the beer garden (Duh)
That (only one) Skinny Dip Summer Ale was refreshing while watching the track races in the sun (no shade available)
and then the beer hit the milk…
and the milk hit the recoverite…
and the recoverite hit the syrupy whey protein shot which was floating on the three bottles of electrolytes and water I drank throughout the ride.
All of this on top of heat and the after effects of the Malathion the night before.
I think you know where this is going.
Since it would be highly unprofessional to hunker over a trash can hurling copious amounts of colorful multi-textured fluid at a high rate of speed, while wearing a ride support jersey, I hauled butt towards the bathrooms (the real ones, no way was I bending over the “bowl” of a port-a-potty.)
That’s when I kept running into people I knew or who wanted to ask questions and had to at least make some polite small talk. (at this point, I was getting worried about barfing on someone’s bike shoes which is even less professional)
There was short line on one side, and a shorter line on the other.
I could hear the woman ahead of me fussing with the sink, hand dryer and other stuff. Then I could hear her fidgeting with the door. (for a brief moment, I was tempted to scream… get out, Get Out, GET OUT NOW!!!)
but I didn’t, I sashayed in there as delicately as I could.
Let it suffice to say that Wheels weren’t the only thing flying today.