Saturday, January 9, 2010

Catch and Release

Had a great training day today! I've been inching toward riding all the way to the Mid-Valley Bicycle Club (Corvallis, OR) Saturday rides. First, I drove to the ride. Then, I drove to Monroe (about halfway). This week - Harrisburg - a 25-mile "commute" to the ride start. I left Harrisburg at 7AM - plenty of time to get a flat tire and still make the 9AM ride, if not the informal coffee-and-BS at 8:30.
As a bonus for starting in Harrisburg, I got to travel one of my all-time favorite cycling roads - Peoria Road. It follows the Willamette River, winding and mainly flat, with good pavement. It was still dark, so I was riding with lights, enjoying myself, minding my own business. Maybe the lack of visual stimulus made my nose keener, or maybe it's just that good: the Country Bakery. Damn. Or, rather, "Dang" - the Country Bakery is run by Mennonite women who don't take to rough language. The Carbent turned itself into the parking lot. Obediently, I went in and picked up a tray of sour cream twists. Just in case. (If I got two flats, for example, and I was late getting to the start, I'd not be in time for an Allan Bros. scone...). They were still warm, and it was hard to not dive in right away - but I resisted. After all, I'm in training.
Of course, with the added insurance, I got in to Corvallis in very good order - for the first time in MVBC history, I was the first one to show up! I picked up a scone and coffee, and it wasn't but a minute or two before more riders started dribbling in. We were headed to Bellfountain - a great ride that starts flat and gets a little hilly in the middle.
Lots of people were admiring the Carbent. I answered a lot of questions. When the hills took off in earnest, a couple of faster riders got away from the main group. Since recumbents can't climb, I gave them a solid 200m before I gave chase. I caught at the crest of the first hill, screamed down the other side, and regrouped at Inavale school. I had plenty of time to nosh one of the sour cream twists before the main group came through.
From that point on, I did variations on "catch-and-release" (let a rider go, reel them in, and let them catch me back) and "cat-and-mouse" (catch and pass a rider, let them almost get back on, then accelerate away) for most of the rest of the ride. Great training! HUGE motivation to put out good effort, and quality recovery. I got to take some time to catch up on current events with Joe and Maria, too, which was great. Hadn't seen them in quite some time.
After we got back to Corvallis, I found a restroom, refilled the water bottles, and slipped the second sour cream twist down. I decided that it wanted some company; rather than burn the third one right away (I only had four...) I stopped at a minimart and - in honor of Joe - got a corn dog. Ah...fat, salt, protein, mustard. That should balance out the sugar bomb!

Uneventful ride down to Harrisburg. Despite a threatening weather forecast, it didn't rain, which I certainly appreciated. Just over 100 miles, felt great the whole time, looking forward to more of the same tomorrow.
Did the last two twists make it all the way home? What do you think?
Expecting to make it all the way to Corvallis from Eugene next week; that will make a 130-140 mile ride. Hopefully I can get a few more weeks of quality riding in before the gang gets too fed up with my antics.


  1. Sandy,

    Best of luck with your RAAM adventure. I'll make a donation, as paltry as it may be but hope it helps.

    Looking forward to following your virtually across the US of A.

    Ride Long and Prosper

    Slo Joe Recumbo

  2. Too few cyclists appreciate the good qualities of a minimart corndog for long ride sustenance. A corndog, a selection from the Dolly Madison or Hostess shelf, and a pint of milk can keep you going for another 6 hours. I don't understand why my companions react with a gag reflex when I come out of the store with a sack full of this wonderful stuff.

    We should write a technical paper...


    David Holt

  3. David - that's good eats! Stick food best quizzical look came from this combo: a corndog, a Li'l Debbie brownie, and a cappucino Ultra SlimFast (basically slightly watered-down Ensure...). The poor clerk couldn't decide whether I was coming or going.