Sunday, March 9, 2014

The Tricksy Triplets: Kennedy, Shannon, and Pierce

Yesterday's training ride was officially named the SBB Training Ride #8 Almaden Valley Ride. However, a fellow teammate renamed it the Trisksy Triplets and I think that is quite an appropriate name! The ride was 53.6 miles with almost 3,000 feet of climbing. I know that the screenshot of my ride below only shows 52.5 miles, but that's because the first 1.1 miles didn't get recorded on the same route because I was trying to get my pre-loaded route up and running. Unfortunately, I wasn't successful, so I had to go old school and rely on my route sheet for today's ride.

For Saturday's ride we wore our brand spanking new team kits. It was such an awesome feeling to be wearing the kit and everyone looked AMAZING! I felt like the kit made me even more a part of the team than I was before. I know that is kind of silly, but it is how I felt. We had an awesome turnout as well. Just check out the team gathered up for announcements/route review/safety speech:

Beside the fact that I wasn't able to get my Garmin to cooperate, the first 15 miles of the ride went really well. I got to ride with a friend that I haven't seen in quite some time. It was good to catch up and see her out on the road.

We had our first rest stop at the Los Gatos Coffee Roasting Company. We quickly took over the sidewalks and even the restroom inside the Roasting Company. After a short pit stop, I headed back out to the road and on to the first of the Tricksy Triplets... Kennedy.

Heading up Kennedy went pretty well. I pulled over for a little breather and took some photos of my teammates climbing up the hill. I have been trying to remember to stop and take some photos while I'm on my rides. Sometimes its hard to do this because I just want to keep moving, or finish my ride. Sometimes I just forget because I'm enjoying my ride so much. Either way, I really want to make sure that I take a ton of photos when I'm going ALC, so I'm trying to get in the habit now. After several of my teammates passed me, I got back on my bike and headed to the top of Kennedy. I made sure to stop and get a photo when I got to the Top of the Hill. My friend Gino is the one who pointed out this road and I'm glad he did. It made for a fun photo today.

Gino also took this photo of me right before the descent on Kennedy. I'm very thankful he took this shot. I have very few good shots of my on my bike. And what makes this even better is that I'm in my awesome team kit.

On the descent down Kennedy, I had turned a bend and noticed a rock the size of a fist on the road. I was able to get around it without hitting it, but I didn't want anyone else to come around the bend and not expect it and hit it causing them to go down. I managed to pull over and walk up the hill and kick the rock off to the side. That was my good deed for the day.

The next seven miles were pretty uneventful. I got to our next rest stop and actually passed it up at first. I didn't really feel like I wanted to stop so I just kept going on the path. However, I soon realized that I wasn't supposed to keep going on the path when I passed the park area. I go to a bend, where I could see the intersection that I was supposed to be making a left turn at, however, I was stuck behind the fence on the path. So I turned around and headed back to the park. This wasn't a big detour, just added a fraction of a mile. No worries.

When I got back to the park some of my other teammates had arrived so I took a little breather after all. There was a guy there with his parrot which was rather interesting. He was telling someone that he likes to take the bird out pretty often to get it out of its cage. He was explaining that the parrot was named Max and it loves dogs, little kids and then mothers and grandmothers (in that order). All I can say is that there are some very interesting people out there.

Right after I left the park I came up to a light and there was a family on their bikes. There was a little boy riding one of those adult-kid tandem bikes (not sure what they are really called). Anyway, the little boy had on a cute helmet that was decorated to look like a shark. The helmet even had a little fin on it. I told him that he had an awesome helmet as I passed them safely on the left. I love seeing families get their kids out on bikes. It always reminds me of the time my dad took my sister and I to the local park to ride our bikes.

From the second rest stop we have one large climb before lunch... Shannon. I was starting to feel tired and could tell that my blood sugar level was starting to drop. I knew that lunch was close, but Shannon stood in my way. Let me tell you, man she was a B*TCH!!!! I struggled up the hill and had to stop multiple times. I even walked my bike up the hill a little as well just so that I would keep moving and not stand still. By this point my legs were really exhausted and my blood sugar level was really affecting my stamina. I slowly made my was up and over Shannon and got to our lunch stop.

I pulled into the Togo's parking lot and got off my bike without falling over. I felt so shaky! Not a good feeling, and of course I forgot to grab my glucose tablets from my car that morning. I got a wrap, Gatorade and chocolate chip cookie and fueled up. It was nice to get off my bike and sit on a bench. After the food started to settle I felt a lot better.

There were a little less than 20 miles left after lunch, but there was one more big climb to go. I headed out and up Saratoga Los Gatos road and turned onto Big Basin Way. I dreaded going up Pierce towards Mountain Winery. I had never gone up Pierce this way so I wasn't exactly sure what to expect. When I got to Pierce I started to head up but quickly pulled over to rest. I sat down on the curb because I wasn't feeling so great. I could tell my blood sugar levels were not completely back to normal and my legs were running out of juice. The thought of calling for the SAG car to get be ran through my mind. But I was determined not to give up. I knew there was no reason to voluntarily be SAG'ed back to my car. This was a huge accomplishment for me because I have struggled with the feeling of giving up on numerous rides before. So I got up, got back on my bike and slowly continued up the hill. I eventually made it and was so thankful for the downhill. I had to stop once, but only because I wanted to capture the beautiful view.

There were a couple small climbs left before the ride was over. There was an easy out that I could have taken to bypass those climbs, but I was determined to finish the route, the way it was planned. I made it back at 4:15pm. Man that was a LONG day on the bike!!! 4 hours of riding time, but a little over 6 hours for the entire trip.

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