Wednesday, July 09, 2003

I failed, today. And I feel like a failure.

My goal for today was : 55+ miles, 3500 feet of climbing. That would beat what I'd done on the same date a year ago, while preparing for the Climb to Kaiser bike ride. There are only a couple of weeks of training left before this year's ride.

I had hopes of starting my ride by pedaling about 12 miles from my home to the Los Angeles Zoo parking lot, in Griffith Park, where I would meet a group of Los Angeles Wheelmen. But the dog needed a walk, and I needed to change tires after yesterday's flat. So I ended up driving to the Zoo, and still missed the start of the weekly ride by almost 15 minutes.

But steady riding along city streets brought me about five miles to the restroom in a park next to Glendale community college, where I found the group at its traditional stopping point. I was fatigued after my brisk ride, so the brief stop was welcome. Soon enough we were heading up through a beautiful residential neighborhood, before finally reaching the little town of Montrose, at the base of the Tujunga in the San Gabriel mountains. We stopped at a local pastry shop and I had my favorite, a fresh fruit tart. It was about 11 a.m. and the tart was my first bit of food that day. It was a guilty pleasure. I've operated under the theory that if I don't eat breakfast, and ride 10-30 miles without food, my body will be forced to relay on fat reserves for energy.)

The ride back to the Zoo was a breeze. Instead of returning to my car, though, I headed up a thousand feet in the hot sun, to reach the Griffith Park Observatory (which is under renovation). Then I rode over the top of the park, along the road that is closed to auto traffic. In fact, I didn't see anyone, on foot or on a bike. Although I rode slowly, I found myself quite fatigued. Maybe I'd overdone it the previous day, with too many miles on a hot day, or maybe I should have had a big breakfast this morning - maybe my theory that I had more than enough fat to take up the slack for any missing carbs might need some rethinking.

I took a break after descending from the park's high country, and drove home. So far I'd done about 35 miles and 2000 feet of climbing. I need to run some errands, so it wasn't until late in the afternoon that I rode up into the Santa Monica mountains, adding another 1000 feet of climbing, before returning home via Sunset Blvd. and Fairfax.

Final totals: 45 miles and just over 3000 ft. So I'd failed to meet my goal. I'd run out of time and energy.

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