Thursday, April 19, 2007

Race Report: Taxing Metric

It was a cold and blustery day...

(hmm...or maybe)

The day was as cold and windy as it was long...

(or possibly)

Good grief it's cold out here and you want to WHAT???

Yeah...that's the best title.

Okay, now that we've landed on just the right title, let me tell you a little about the Taxing Metric. It was a ride organized by the Brandywine Bicycle Club here in Chester County. And if you've ever ridden in Chester County, then you's a stunning place to ride. Stun. Ning. The course was through the back roads of Warwick Park and French Creek Park that were quiet and peaceful, and devoid of angry drivers and major potholes.

(Not, by the way, angry dogs. Um, thanks to the rider behind me who yelled loud enough to scare the bejezes out of that angry looking dog running straight for my front tire. THANK YOU! You diverted a messy, messy fall.)

You know what it wasn't devoid of? Yeah...that would be hills. Nope. Don't worry. There were lots and LOTS of hills! Long ones, short ones, and those sneaky ones that appear right after a dangerous turn or around a blind corner. Yeah...THOSE.

Now, this was my first time on a bike. No...okay, it really wasn't, but I really felt like it was! I've clocked something like 700 miles on Banana (my lovely road bike plus yucky aerobars) this year on the trainer. In the basement. Watching the endless DVDs of Nip Tuck, Season One. But this was the first time she came off the trainer and hit the open road.

[Now, just a quick shout out to my ever-reliable Sherpa, Mighty M. Cause, you see, right about 7:30 the night before the metric, M happens to mention my tires. Or, to be accurate, my lack of tires. Tread, that is. See, those 700 miles on the trainer? Let's just say the tires were shiny and, er, not safe for out on the road. A quick call to my local bike store and another big charge on the debit and I was set up with safe and tready tires for the ride. WHEW!]

So, anyway, I am blessed with being able to sleep in a little since the ride was right around the corner from our abode (yeah!) and, after being a bit lost on all those back roads, I finally made it to the show. And, by the way, don't you just LOVE pulling into a race parking lot? Everybody gearing up and checking their bikes and filling up bottles. I just love it!! It's all so exciting!

I pulled Fancy (my car, if you remember, has a name and yes you can just shut up if you think that's stupid) up into a row and started unloading. Got checked in and looked around for Cheaper Than Therapy and her hubby, Speedy. I did see them...pulling away! Bummer, but I'd catch up with them later.


It was time to take Banana out on the road. With the newly raised seat post. And the new pedals. And the relatively new LG shoes. And what felt like a million pounds of fluid in bottles. And me, dressed in sixteen shirts and with tools and powders and whatnot in pockets.

Let's just say...a little wobbly?

It took me a little time to get my confidence back on Banana. I'm still not completely at ease with the setup (for instance, it feels very top heavy and my forward positioned seat takes some getting used to), but I think that I'll be fine with a few more hours under my belt.

But the ride itself was just beautiful. I didn't take it too fast. Instead I approached the day with the intent of getting used to being back in the saddle and having a good Zone 2 ride.

Well, at least that was the first set of intentions.

By the 10th mile I realized I would need to amend that idea a little. And add in the goal of just-freaking-getting-to-the-top-of-this-next-hill. And that stuck as the repeated mantra for the remainder of the day.

This course was hilly, people. Hill. Ly. I'll post up the Garmin results as soon as we solve some technical issues at home. (Technical issues being dragging upstairs the old PC that seems to be the only computer in my universe that actually can sinc with the Garmin software. Again...seriously, Garmin, get compatible with the Mac already, will ya!!) But let's just say that I may have burned off my break pads trying to slow down on the descents...including those 12% grade, gravelly and kinda scary descents!

At the end, I was pleased with my effort at the half metric (about 34 miles) and all the hills in between, so I was calling it a day. Just as I swung myself off the bike, I ran into Cheaper Than Therapy and Speedy on their way back from getting hot soup and trail mix. CTT is another member of Team StayPut* and just an all around cool chick. I poached this picture from CTT, but I'll post another later. And please forgive the chubby sausage look from the day...can you tell that I have six layers of clothing on? Yes, it was cold!

Next up: Lessons Learned.

And this time there are a TON of them!

Be well, train safe!

* Oh, that's don't know about TSP yet! Ah...keep an eye out for fun info about the team, the Girls on the Run program, and my box of sixteen thousand Goody products!! Their website just went live, so I'm looking forward to posting all about the Team, my fellow 'mates, and GOTR soon.


Bolder said...

ha! great post. at first i thought you were going to do a race report on filing your taxes, which, would have been hilarious, and, i may do NEXT year.

Stayput, know about it, my peep Jessi in Seattle is on it too!

great team kit! you know i love da wimmins in team kit!

TriShannon said...

Must have been cold with all those layers!! Glad you made it over all the hills and way to get back out on the road!!

Thanks for reminding me that I really need to check my tires, well at least the back one from all the trianer hours.

Tri-Dummy said...

Nice ride...and I love the tri shoes...really cool!

Do you sing to Fancy?
"Here's your one chance Fancy don't let me down!" *Tri-Dummy is currently playing spoons on his knee and "yee hawin'" is booty off*

Mallie said...

Way to duke it out, despite the cold. I find it really hard to pedal when I'm bundled up and bulky like the Michelin Man! Here's hoping warmer temps greet you on your future rides.

Steve S. said...

Nice job!! Can't wait to see the Garmin post!!

Jessi said...

Go Team StayPut! :)

John said...

Hello IM ABLE,
Thanks for stopping by. I'll definitely stay out of the pool till it's clean don't worry :-)
If you didn't notice I already had you linked on my blog. I think I started reading yours around your "Swimface" post and I guess I haven't got around to say hello yet. Hello. Keep up the good work on your Tri training. I don't wear googles yet so no swimface for me.
I think I will have to go the watch route,too.

the Dread Pirate Rackham said...

yeah, it's a rare woman who doesn't look like a fruity sausage after a long ride...

Yay on the outdoor ride! Yaaay!

mishele k said...

Congrats on Team Stayput! That's awesome (and feel free to send me anything you don't use... I love their stuff and am a shameless mooch)!