Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Fun in the Sun

Distance: 77.4km
Duration: 4:10:22
Calories: 3575
Terrain: Hilly but mostly on tarmac, did about 1000m of climbing in total
June Mileage: 316.6km

My work had a Fun Day as their annual day for the workers in the factory. My first idea popped into my head that it would be fun to spend the whole day on the bike but somehow I still had to make an appearance. The next best thing would be to commute and this I did. I ended up with quite a few kilometer's under the belt for the day including the climb over the Carmel Mountains, twice. I really wanted to put in some big kilometers and am trying to work up to doing 100km at lest once a week, normally it will fall on a Friday or a Saturday. My base is a point I really need to work on if I want to compete in the Expert level so before the races kick off again, there's a lull now becasue the heat is stifling at this time of year, I want to get as many kilometers on the dirt so that I get into the groove of being in the saddle for so long. The ride though showed me I have some way to go because by the 60km mark it felt as if I was sitting on a piece of PVC!
The ride itself was pleasant to say the least but my idea's of arriving by dirt were laid to rest at the first turn where I wandered down a track that ended in a dead end. Knowing full well I'd have a full day of riding plus the added activities from the actual Fun Day I decided on a route I was more familiar with, a knarly technical uphill I had climbed and so did it in reverse to get down to the coastal plain. From there a followed the trail next to the train track, which was flat and took me to my destination.
The day involved building rafts to race against the various departments. We luckily had someone who knew his knots and had a raft of titanic qualities within minutes. I was selected to be one of the rowers and we made our way to the buoy's to retrieve the bottle that would ensure victory. Well that was how it was supposed to happen. We got about 3/4 of the way when my manager jumped off the front to get the bottle by swimming, blatant cheating but as I was everyone had the same idea. I jumped in the water to turn the skiff around only to forget that they had attached a rope to the raft already to pull us back in. Needless to say they pulled faster than I could swim and I found myself with a bit of a paddle back to the shore, the bottle still not on the boat. We then decided that throwing the bottle would be the best bet so played relay to get it to shore. The rest of the day was spent wallowing in the shade, beer flowing freely and food on the way. I stayed clear of the beer as I still had a ride back and didn't want to be wobbling around the road.
My return journey was less adventurous as I left at 13:00 with the sun beating down. I must have drank close on three liters of water and about as much thrown over my pip to keep my temperature down. Note to self: Do not ride in mid-day-mid-summer heat!! The climb was less hectic than the morning as the gradient was not as steep but it was longer. I enjoyed the day and and thinking about building a set of road wheel for my mountain bike. I reckon I could commute to work that way and it'll come to about 100km but on the road the round trip will take four hours.
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