Tough day in the saddle, and out, today. Got up to meet Jesse and Tim, got in my bike gear, packed up all my stuff, got a few feet out of the driveway and my back tire was flat. The Lieberman curse had bitten me from long distance! I always get flats when I ride with Tim. So I had to drop everything and throw a new tire on. I quickly called Jesse on his cell phone and left a few messages...
"Jesse, I've got a flat!"
"Jesse, I'm fixing my flat, don't leave!"
"Jesse, I just finished fixing the flat, I'm on my way."
"Jesse, I'm on the bridge, I think you guys left."
Damn, I missed them. Like being isolated on a mountain stage in the Tour. I've had more flats this year already than I had all of last year. I'm not sure what the deal is. It's getting in my head, though. I keep looking down when I ride whenever I feel the slightest vibration through the frame.
It was a grey day out, so I took my rain jacket. Decided to do the Lake Washington Loop (I really need to learn some new rides). Started off great. Around to the top of the lake and then up the big hill, I was feeling strong. I went up the hill spinning at about 75 rpm, a lot faster than I've taken it before. A good sign. Ran into Sam Wheeler driving his kid around in Kirkland. Then, just into the South Lake Washington Loop, I flatted again. It broke my rhythm completely and just pissed me off. Had to change the tire again. What's worse, I was stuck by some swarm of mosquitoes, and they ate me alive. They were swarming me like gnats. I had to put on my rain cape just to prevent from losing too much blood.
I started up again, but I was still upset and couldn't find any rhythm on the bike. My heart rate was up, and I was paranoid about the rear tire. It took me until the other side of the lake to get into a rhythm again.
I wore the yellow jersey out today and everyone I passed would shout "Go Lance!" I don't think I'll wear it again. I'm not worthy. I can't decide if it's a tribute to him or just pompous, but I'm leaning towards leaving it in the closet.
Then onto Mercer Island, and on my way back around, my front tire flatted. @#*&$%!!
Then, about 10 miles or so from home, another big problem. Out of water, out of food, and I knew I was in trouble. Blood sugar was dropping. Maybe, just maybe, I could hold on until home.
I bonked.
For those who don't know what bonking is but have heard the term in Powerbar commercials, bonking is what happens, primarily to endurance athletes, when they burn through all the glycogen in their muscles, or something like that. Basically, you use up all your muscles energy stores because you haven't eaten enough. I had eaten three Clif bars, 3 Clif shots, and a few sports drinks and that was it.
Bonking is a horrible feeling. It's not a sharp pain. You just feel like you have no strength, and you start becoming light-headed. At first your stomach feels empty, and then it just falls asleep, like the rest of your body. Across I-90 I felt my left leg cramping up. I crawled up the last hill to my house in the penultimate gear (I always save the granny gear these days--one must maintain some source of pride).
Then I ate like a horse and lay on my sofa like a corpse for a few hours.
At night, I rallied for Lynn's birthday party out in Belltown, but devoid of food, a few large margarita's left me reeling and the oppressive heat in some dance club (Down Under?) drained me of my energy. It had been a while, but the night did conclude with a foggy cab ride home.