34-mile Epic

So yesterday I set out to do a 4-hour ride. It was supposed to be a 50-mile road loop with 25 miles of pretty intense climbing, going through Golden Gate Canyon and Coal Creek Canyon. I felt pretty sluggish getting going, my legs were sore and tired but I was excited to get out on my bike on a beautiful day with amazing scenery.
Well, it turned into an epic ride. I only made it 34 miles. Oh, and it still took 4 hours. Yeah, that’s right, a whopping 8-mph average speed. Things started looking badly when I took my first side loop – up Crawford Gulch road. There were two hefty climbs. Then, that road turns into gravel, and normally I love gravel. Not a big fan of mile-long steep gravel climbs though. Then I flatted and it took me while to get my tire changed since I was alone.
Then the real fun began. I came into the state park via the “back way” and started feeling off. Then I bonked. So I stopped and ate some food in addition to the Hammer Gel I had already downed. I got to the visitor center and decided to head for home. I figured I was about halfway done with the ride, so it should be all down hill. WRONG. I started climbing out of the park and got sidelined by stomach cramps so bad I couldn’t move. Not once, but 5 times on my way up the first hill. It took me 30 minutes to go one mile! Then there was a second steep, switchbacking climb where I just sat down until they passed. Blech. I tried to get in touch with Wes, but it’s a very remote area, so no luck there.
An agonizing hour later, I got back into Golden. Flatted, bonked, sick – not too much more could have happened. At least I didn’t crash! A hot shower and nap made me feel much better, though. I took a look in my water bottles. I was out 4 hours and took 20 oz. water and 20 oz. Gatorade, with plans to refill at the visitor’s center. Guess how much I actually drank? 16 oz. of water over 4 hours. That’s 1/2 cup of water per hour for a tough ride. Um, duh. Now I know why I got sick (and that I didn’t really “bonk” – just didn’t drink enough!). Lesson learned: put an annoying “time to drink” alarm on the Forerunner.


3 responses to “34-mile Epic

  1. Whoa, that’s when you star calling every number on your cell phone. Little lady, please keep yourself safe. Scary!

  2. Laura! I’m happy you looked at your water bottles and figured it out. What are you doing now to make sure your drinking regularly?

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