I have to keep adding more extreme bike rides in order ot keep myself motivated. There's so many cool spots to reach via bike and if I keep my eye on the next cool spot that's just a little bit farther than I could reach before, I'll be motivated to keep trying.
I'm also fairly stubborn. This means that I'll plod on for miles and miles and miles, carrying spare parts in my trunk bag, and going as slow as I have to if I want to still make it.
On Saturday, I decided to try riding all the way out to the ocean and then back.
Now, for those of you who are used to the TV version of reality, where every window has a view of the Golden Gate Bridge and both the ocean and Nuklear Wessels are but a quick scene change away from each other, this might be nothing. But, see, there's these giant hills between me and the beach. And I can avoid them by biking all the way to San Francisco, but that's an even longer ride.
So I climed Old La Honda first. That I've done before. I got a hot cocoa and watched the Webcor builders team in their green jerseys take a breather and then I crossed the road and descended the ocean side of the CA 84. That's pretty much the gut check. Every mile of descending meant a corresponding mile of climbing if I wanted to get home. And I had already warned the wife that if I had bitten off more than I could chew, I might have to call her and have her pick me up. But that would really suck.
It was foggy and kind of nasty and I was glad I had my full suite of cold-weather gear packed because I totally needed it. I descended on the 84 until I reached La Honda and stopped at Sullivan's Restaurant, complete with two jugs of ice water on the patio and had some tea. They clearly understand their population, given that they had V-8 sitting in the chiller next to the pastries.
I took a detour, which is actually the part that kicked my rear the most, on Pescadero road through the county park. That was hard because I didn't know what the terrain would be like.
When I hit the ocean, it was an awesome feeling. See, the usual route is to take Stage Road, but that just didn't feel nearly as fun as going all the way out to the ocean and eating the sandwich I'd packed.
I had intended to climb Tunitas, but I decided I was already running fairly late so I might as well just take 84 back up, which was a good move because I was about spent by the time I got home. I stopped in San Gregario at the general store there, which was good for a recharge.
End mileage was 75 miles. And an absurd amount of climbing.
Also, another one of those "Gee, look what biking did to me" moments.... See, the second I got home, I really wanted a recovery drink. Because, as far as present science can tell, when you ride for hours and hours and hours, your body will start unraveling all sorts of proteins and burning them for fuel. So afterwards, you want to get a whole bunch of protein ingested, both to counter that and also so that when the body says "Hey, I should lay down some more muscle in the legs so next time, Old La Honda won't be so hard" it's got some ready building materials to work with. They aren't kidding, although calling it a "recovery drink" just makes you sound like a tool. Now, if I were an athlete, I'd probably mix up a protein shake with whey protein or soy protein or other nasty stuff. But it turns out that, in terms of everything actually important, milk will work just as well, if not better. Sometimes mother nature is smarter than we are, no?
So I was cold and wanted some hot cocoa. Now, I've been making a peculiar recipe of hot cocoa for years now by combining a few readily available powdered hot cocoa and hot chocolate mixes with hot milk. But I've never actually had it because of my blood sugar problems. Which, I might add, have gone away. So I was able to actually have this magical concoction that I've known only by proportion all these years because I was pretty much bound for the floor no matter how much caffeine I had.
And damn, it was good. I can totally see why the wife has been demanding it all these years.
So, um, let this be a lesson to all of you. If you find something that's actually *fun* to do for exercise and keep doing it, there are great rewards to be had. Even if you start out overweight and can't do it very well. It's been awesome for me.