So. Something happened to my son Sean when he turned 50 in late May. He woke up! — started yoga classes and is turning into a serious bike rider. So glad! In his biking, he echoes his younger brother Colin, but with a different intent, and a very different bike.
I asked Sean to send me a picture of him on his new, ultralight bike but he didn’t have any and didn’t want to stage one. He did allow me to post his emails to me and Colin about the event, however, in case his journey might encourage others.
Notice his meticulous preparations! And especially, the nearly clinical view of his own process. In this he takes after his mom . . .
October 6, 2014
Hi Mom, [cc to Colin]
I did my first “century” yesterday (an organized ride that’s 100 miles) … the Major Taylor Century in Uxbridge MA.
I started my day by eating two bowls of oatmeal, a bagel with cream cheese, 3 bananas and plenty of water. Having never done a century before my main concern was that I didn’t want to “bonk” and find myself with no energy and leg cramps during the last hour or so of the ride. This meant that I had to pace myself appropriately. I figured that using a pace that’s a mile or two slower than my normal hourly pace for semi-long rides should do the trick.
At about mile two I met another rider, Steve, at a stop light and got to talking to him. He told me that he’s done many centuries, so I asked what pace normally rides at. He told me he normally averages 13 or 14 MPH, which is a little slower than I was hoping to average for the ride, but I asked if he wanted to draft me during some of the ride. He ended up drafting me the whole ride and we finished with at an average pace of 16.3 MPH. It was good to ride with him as we got to know each other a little and it made the ride more enjoyable.
There were three “refueling stops” that were about equally spaced out. At each one I drank some Gatorade and ate a P&J sandwich or two, another banana and some fig newtons. Fortunately, my legs never felt like they were going to cramp up. I think this is probably due to all that I was eating/drinking as well as the fact that I was probably a little overly cautious about making sure to not go too fast. At the end there was a cookout. It felt a little wierd to eat all that food during the refueling stops and then eat even more at the cookout, but my bike computer told me that I had used up over 6K calories, so I didn’t feel too guilty ;-).
All in all, it was a great experience and I look forward to my next century (probably in the Spring). Next time I’ll know a little more about how to appropriately pace myself. I’m also hoping my next century will involve enough riders that I can find a group where people take turns drafting each other.
PS: My legs told me not to go to yoga this morning so I’ll be going tonight instead. Hopefully I won’t end up with “delayed cramps” ;-). [ My thighs feel a little tight, but not too bad. ]
PPS: Here’s the route … we covered three states, it was very pretty with all the fall folliage (the colors seem more prominent down there for some reason) …
[From a later email to me, same day]:
I did my yoga session a couple of hours ago and my legs feel nearly normal now.
Another thing that I suspect yoga has helped me with is plantar fasciitis in my right foot. Ever since early Spring the heal of my right foot has been bothering me. My first steps of the day were often quite painful for that foot but in the last couple weeks the pain has totally gone away.
My reply, same day:
to Sean, Colin
Sean, would you mind if I blogged this email, “My first century ride” and map? It will encourage others. Please let me know. Colin’s in the loop with me on exopermaculture. So is Kiera. I’ve published her paper on her horse Reno’s runaway. I hope you are in the loop with me too. I’ve blogged on you before without your permission, trying to be sensitive. Though I did not hide what I was doing from you and you tolerated it. I’d love to have a picture of you and your bike, of course, if possible.
In my work on this blog, I’m guided to be deeply and intimately connected into my inner life, and the life of my family and community while roaming the internet and the ethers for webs of possible significance. The first three, self, family and community, keep my grounded while I fly off to the heavens.
In any case, what you did was very exciting. Who would have thought, back before late May, 2014, that in early October of the same year you would be doing your first century and remedy tension with yoga!
BTW: Colin would love to have our Christmas present [another kind of bike computer] — I showed him the email.
I’ll send you a check for $100 and you order it.
So great, your accomplishment, and LOVE the details of the story. You don’t often hear the nitty gritty of this kind of activity.
Speaking of nitty gritty, watch “All is Lost,” with Robert Redford. Got himself in quite a pickle while out alone on the ocean and seemingly no way out. No words. Just actions, blocked emotions roiling him . . . I told Colin about it, too.
Much love and congrats!