Inspired by Dana's "Eating Crow" story, I have written a personal
account of today's Adventure Ride in Petaluma. I say eating crow
because I was bragging on the e-mail thread that those who got dropped
on the ride today should make sure to charge their cell phone and
"bring their Maybelline kit" to hitch a ride home because we were not
going to wait for them.
Well, I got dropped. Numerous times. And I bailed out at mile 50. I
did not put on lipstick however. But if had to in order to get home, I
would have in a Sonoma County minute. Fortunately, Campbell agreed to
pick my sorry ass up after the ride. That gave me four hours waiting
time in Calistoga to partake in food and drink while the others
suffered. Perhaps Campbell will have a ride report forthcoming with
gory details, including the rider who threw up.
I felt fine at the beginning of the ride. I think it was only 85°
then. But by the time we hit the first major climb, the heat kicked in
and I went backwards. I wasn't able to enjoy the beautiful climb up
the one-laned ascent to the 2000 foot peak. The descent, on the hand,
was loads of fun. After a group of tricked-out Datsun 510s flew by us
(one with its gas cap off with gasoline leaking all over the road),
Campbell led us down the series of decreasing radius turns.
The wooded descent cooled me off a bit, and I had new hope for
finishing the ride. Things were going well until right before
Calistoga when the heat of the day really kicked in. Must have been
over 100°. While cruising along in a nice pace line, we got hit with
little waves of hot air, akin to opening up an oven door. At this
point my lips were sticking together, and I felt like taking a nap.
Not a good sign. When we got into Calistoga, I dumped a bottle of
water over my head and slammed a Mexican Coke. No effect. This was
bad, I thought. Normally a Mexican Coke allows me to do almost
Ascending out of Calistoga, I knew I was in trouble. I felt heat
stroke coming on, and wisely turned around to head back to town. I
don't race anymore, but today was about the worst I have felt after an
effort in a long time.
The good news is my post ride meal at The Calistoga Inn. Grilled
prawns over arugula with fresh basil and chunks of watermelon and
cucumber. Washed down with 2 pints of cold IPA. After that, fresh
oysters and a mint julep. By this time I wasn't feeling so bad, so I
sauntered over to the Calistoga Bike Shop and hung out in the
air-conditioning until Mike Campbell picked me up. If you see me
leading him out for the walking man sign for the next three years,
it's because I owe him my life.
Stay cool everybody. Loquaciously yours,