46 Miles Baby!

I got my bike last Tuesday. I had decided I wanted to start riding to get some exercise so I did some research and ordered one online. I got it all set up and took it for a 10 mile ride on Thursday. I was pretty stoked about that so the next day I was talking to my co-worker T.J., who is really into riding, and he invited me to come ride with him today. 15 or so miles he said. Awesome, I’m in!

So I talk to him last night and he tells me that we’re going to do a different route that’s a little longer than originally planned. The new route was about 30 miles. Wow, 30 miles? On my second ride ever? That’s a lot but I can’t wuss out now. I’m still in!

So today we get on the road and get halfway through the ride and stop for refreshments. T.J. asked me how I felt and honestly I was feeling really good! So he asks me if I want to add a loop to our ride. It would add about 15 miles onto the trip and have some steeper hills but nothing I couldn’t handle. Well, I felt pretty good, so I said yeah, I’m in!

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Holy crap. The last time I felt such pain was when I hiked to half dome and back in a day. In the middle of this loop is a hill called Wildcat and it’s a 13% grade for several miles. I thought I was going to die. We got 2/3rds of the way up and I swear my thighs were on FIRE and I felt like I was going to puke. I had to stop. So we stopped. I felt bad about it, but I was flat out of energy. After a few minutes rest we continued on up to the top.

Once we got there we found a super nice group of ladies sitting there with a full spread of hi-carb food. They were the support truck for a bike team who was training on that hill. They invited us to partake, and so we did! It felt so good to get some energy back into my body. I swear they were angels in disguise. It was then that I found out T.J. had not told me the whole story about Wildcat. It’s an advanced hill that newbies should be nowhere near! Looking on the internet later, I discovered that on a difficulty scale of 1 to 6, WildCat is a 5. Yeah, and I climbed this freaking hill on my first real ride.

I suppose I should thank T.J. for not telling me that it was an advanced hill. I think not knowing made me work harder not to fail in front of my friend. Otherwise I would have probably never agreed to do it in the first place! But I did, and I feel pretty darn good about it.

So we finished our ride and headed back to the cars. Our total for the day: 46 miles round trip. I’m so beat it’s not funny. The first thing I did was hit the store to grab a few Boddington’s Pub Ale. It never tasted so good.

So the day was a success. I got to hang with one of the nicest guys I think I’ve ever met. I got an incredible workout. And I completed a very strenuous ride that I’m very proud of. It’s been a great day.