Monday, August 21, 2006

How not to train for a century

Yesterday was bike day.

I have this habit of drinking a bottle of water on my ride over to the local bike shop and once there I buy a large Gatorade, refill the bottle and drink the rest to make sure I am hydrated well enough. Last week I didn't do this and suffered so I made sure I left my place in plenty of time this week.

It is a good thing I did, too, because I ended up doing 45 miles total on Sunday. I only wish I had brought some crackers or some kind of snack, also. Next time.

Back to the ride. There were only 4 of us this week - one guy from the store and 3 "participants." The good thing about it being a small group is that we were able to stay together and everyone was pretty much at the same level.

My computer said we averaged 15.5 mph, but considering all the stop lights, stop signs and other obstacles we had to slow down for, this was expected. When we were able to get up to a consistent speed we went anywhere from 17 to 21 mph, which was good.

One of the guys riding is planning on doing the Hotter 'N Hell Hundred so the guy from the store decided to make the route a little longer than usual. No biggy. I was up for a few extra miles.

Once we got started I asked the guy doing the HHH how long he had been training. His response - a couple weeks. So I am thinking the ride is sometime in October.

About half way through the ride we make a stop at the Picnic Loop in Memorial because there is a bike demo going on. I check out some of the bikes and wander around for a bit then notice the guy who is going to be doing the HHH trying to pump up his tires. He is not getting it, asks for some help, and then when we do get the thing hooked up right his pressure is around 70 psi in the front and 80 psi in the back.

I am thinking we are going to have to change some tubes.

But no, he just hasn't checked his pressure in the past couple weeks. Didn't realize that he needs to check his tires and make sure they are at the proper pressure before EVERY RIDE!! Doesn't know what the proper pressure is!!! Doesn't know that if you use CO2 your tubes will deflate even faster!!

So I proceeded to tell the guy the max pressure for a road bike tire (120 psi) and told him what I ride at (115 psi), but said he should adjust to his level of comfort (110 psi is a common number). I then recommended that if he does get a flat during the HHH and uses a CO2 cartridge it might be a good idea to have the tube refilled with air at the next service stop. That is what I would do, especially if I changed the flat at mile 10 of a 100 mile course. But to each there own.

We eventually left the park and made our way back to the store. As we were getting closer the guy starts questioning the others about what he should eat before next weeks ride, hydration and nutrition during the ride, etc. I am thinking "what ride next week? This ride?"

So I ask.

The ride he is referring to is the Hotter 'N Hell Hundred!!!

Next Saturday!!

This guy is attempting a century ride with about a months worth of training. He knows nothing about basic bike maintenance or anything about nutrition or hydration.


He thinks because he lifts weights and does kickboxing and some other forms of exercise he should be okay.

But then who am I to judge. Maybe he is completely capable of riding in the Texas heat for 6 plus hours with little training. You never know!!


bunnygirl said...

The HHH can be brutal. I've never done it, but some of my friends have. Your ride partner is insane.

BTW, I responded to your post on my blog, to the effect that if we were to go by our blog profile pics, there'd surely be no way we'd ever recognize each other out there! LOL!

Cagey said...

Part of me wants to laugh at that poor guy and part of me wants to grab him by the collar, shake him, and ask him "What the h3ll do you think you are doing?" I hope he gets real smart real quick and decides to pursue a less ambitius goal.

Vic said...

Holy cow, I learned a lot just from your post. I know nothing about cycling and would never, ever consider a ride like that even if I was Charles Atlas. Hope the guy doesn't end up in the hospital. More so, I hope he doesn't inconvenience any other riders or aid workers because of his stupidity.

TX Runner Girl said...

I am in the same boat as Vic, I learned a lot from your post because I know nothing about cycling. However, I do want to learn, so I'll keep reading!

Bolder said...

did you see 'American Flyers'?

um, he'll be fine.

no problem.