Saturday, July 03, 2010

Death Ride Count Down

The Death Ride, out of remote Markleeville, California, is about six days away. I've not trained hard enough – nor ridden far enough nor high enough – to believe I can finish riding 130 miles and 15,000 feet of elevation gain in one day. I know this because I can look back over my climbing log at the last time I attempted a comparable ride, in 2002, and see what it took to successfully complete that ride..

So I need a few more good days. Today, for example: I rode to the beach and back, 20 miles, under cool, overcast skies early this morning. This afternoon, after driving with my family to Palm Springs, I put in another 20 miles, in 100 degree temperatures under a bright sun in a cloudless sky.

The real issue, though, is if my body gives out before my spirit. This is because I've suffered some back pain for the past few months, and it's only gotten worse the more I ride. This morning, I experienced pain ever ytime I turned the cranks, every time I rolled over a bump in the road.

Oddly enough, by the end of my ride in Palm Springs, I felt almost normal; was it the heat? Now I'm home, about to go to bed, and my back hurts again.

I don't have to worry about finishing in the Death Ride; I only have to worry about finishing well for the next few days.

Updates to follow.

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