I almost forgot to write about my ride last Saturday. I remembered that I hadn't posted about it last night before going to bed, and almost wanted to get back up and write this before getting some sleep.
Anyway, on to the ride. Saturday's ride was the eighth in the Guinea Pig series and would take us from Sunnyvale to Redwood City for a total of 48 miles. There were a lot of hills planned for this ride, with Jefferson being the biggest one of the day. It was a long, exhausting day.
I got to the meet-up point early again. With an almost 2 hour drive from home to Sunnyvale, I've been making sure to leave around 7am (which means I've been getting up at 6:15am, and I am NOT a morning person). This is probably the only time I will enjoy the drive, because at 8am, SF is not so busy, which makes driving down 19th Ave to get to 280 not so bad.
As I was just hanging out, getting my stuff gathered up and geared up for the ride, I saw my friend riding in. He did the majority of the ride earlier (he started his ride at 6:15am). While we were standing there chatting, he took a look at my bike and noticed that my tires were looking a little shabby. He suggested that I get this stuff called Shoe-Goo that could help extend the life of my tires by filling in any little holes or gashes in the surface of the tires. I told him how I have gotten two flat tires in the month that I've been riding up in Sonoma County and how I have never gotten a flat in the South Bay. Well, lets just say I totally jinxed myself with that one.
The ride time approached and we all rolled out. About five miles into the route and POP, WOOOOSH! Great! Flat tire! Like I mentioned earlier, I jinxed myself. Two other riders stopped with me to help/keep me company. The good thing is that I've been getting a lot of practice recently, so changing the tire was pretty simple. This time, it was the rear tire, which is the more annoying one to change, but I was glad because I had just changed the front tire two days before. Obviously I've got a problem; either it is under/over inflated tubes or the tires are worn out. Or it is just dumb luck, who knows.
I made it to lunch without any more tire issues. We had lunch at this little place called Prima Deli. I got there right around lunch time and it was pretty busy. I figured that was a good sign that they must have good food. The downside to them being busy is that it took a while to get our food. Oh well, I enjoyed the break from riding, especially since the biggest hill of the day was yet to come.
After lunch was the big climb up Jefferson Ave. I had to stop several times, but I made it up without cross training once. Its on roads like these I realize how much I hate climbing. Little did I know that this climb wouldn't actually be the worst one of the day. The worst road ended up being Westridge Road. The bad thing with Westridge was that is was up and down. Just as you would get a nice little downhill, the climbing would start back up. By this point we had already done about 35 miles and some 2000 feet of climbing. Needless to say, I was exhausted and so done with this ride. The whole time I was thinking I should have just stayed on Alpine. At least I know what that road had in store and could more easily handle it. Oh well, the only way to get stronger is to keep with it and not cut yourself short. No Pain, No Gain!!
The remainder of the route wasn't as bad, it just was so hard to keep pushing yourself to get to the end. I just wanted to go home (which unfortunately meant, get to my car and then drive for 2 hours). The final stretch on Foothill and Fremont were so exhausting. When I get really frustrated or really tired/exhausted I usually want to cry. I had this feeling so many times while doing the Tour de Cure. Well this feeling came over me on the final stretch, but my body was so exhausted that it couldn't even expense the energy needed to cry. That is how tired I was. Well, I made it to my car finally and was cheered in by some fellow Blazers. I love how there is almost always an SBB teammate cheering or ringing the cowbells to remind you that you have just finished an amazing ride. It is surprising how much that can wipe out all the pain, struggles and tears from a strenuous ride.
On my way home I made a pit stop at the Sports Basement in Presidio. I needed to get my brakes looked out because they have been sticking a little causing them to rub on my rim after breaking. I kept having to adjust them during the ride. This is most likely because I changed my brake pad myself, but we're not going to get into that. The bike tech took a look and added some lubricant to the brake lines. With some minor adjustments he made sure that the brake levers worked more smoothly and the brakes won't stick. He didn't charge me anything for labor. I just have to say that the guys at Sports Basement are awesome! He did mention that it might be time for some new tires... so I guess that will be my next purchase.