Yesterday, while some of the rest of the Church of the Spoken Wheel was recovering from Riverwest 24 and the rest of them were sleeping in, Michael and I ventured into southeastern Dane county.
It was the best of times…
Most of it looked like this, more or less.
The obligatory Church Road shot, complete with corn and red barn:
There were more old, red barns than one could count.
We swung through Cooksville, looking for supplies at the General Store. Alas, it is no more.
And we took in the new Leedle Mill bridge.
A bit sterile, don’t you think? We prefer the old one.
And it was the worst of times…
Once we were through Stebbinsville and heading toward Brooklyn, it was pretty clear that we were going to feel the lack of fresh supplies that we’d hoped for in Cooksville. At that point, we’d both consumed most of our water and nearly all of the food we had with us.
It became more and more apparent that the man with the hammer was waiting for both of us. So, we decided to truncate the route slightly and head directly to Oregon instead of stopping in Brooklyn.
This would later turn out to be one in a series of bad decisions. We rolled into Oregon running on fumes — or the hint of fumes, or the vague memory of fumes — and settled into the cafe on the corner for as much water as we cared to drink and a big breakfast-for-lunch. While waiting for our food to arrive, there was hardly any conversation. That should have been alarming enough.
When our food arrived, I got up to hit the restroom before eating — and that’s when the man with the hammer hit me square over the head. As I walked through the front door of the cafe — we were sitting outside, because…you know, it wasn’t that warm — I got dizzy and fainted momentarily. I went down hard on my right gluteus — it’s reminding me of that as I write — and also knocked over a display of dry goods on the way down.
A couple of the wait staff helped me sit up, and then to a table near the front door, where I continued to be a bit disoriented. They fetched Michael from outside and while I recovered my equilibrium, they also brought in our food and gear. After a few minutes of gathering myself, I was able to slowly eat my breakfast-for-lunch, after which I felt fine, if a little ragged around the edges.
After I called for a ride, we relocated to Firefly for comfortable chairs and better drinks, where we waited until the wives fetched us home. By the time they arrived, we were both sufficiently fueled up to ride back, but took the ride anyway. We might be dumb, but we’re not stupid.
What went wrong?
I’ve spent the intervening time, when I’m not feeling rather ashamed of myself, mulling things over and figuring out what went wrong. I’ve come to the conclusion that it was the compounded effect of a whole series of bad decisions.
- Neither one of us felt strong at the beginning of the ride, but we still kept the pace up as if we did. After all, we didn’t feel bad — and often one can ride that sluggish feeling away. And we were riding beautiful roads on a lovely day.
- We didn’t pay enough attention to hydration — to the point of foregoing a stop in Rockdale after a less-than-satifactory fill-up at Cam-Rock 3.
- We didn’t pay much attention at all to the heat. After all, it was only in the high 70s and low 80s and we’ve been riding in temperatures 10-20 degrees warmer than that a lot lately.
- We depended on a food and water stop in Cooksville, but the store was closed. Next time, we’ll call ahead to see if stores are still open. And take more food.
- We depended on the Dane County bike map, when we should have taken the relevant Wisconsin State Bike Map. It turns out that Rock County is not on the Dane County map. Go figure.
- When we re-routed ourselves past Brooklyn, we neglected to consider whether we were adding or subtracting miles before the next stop. It turns out that we ended up riding an extra 3 miles before we could stop. The overall ride would have been longer, but we might not have bonked so hard.
- Michael had two gels, but we both passed on eating them during the final run into Oregon — in my case, because I didn’t feel like I was bonking that badly.
- I got up to go to the restroom, when I should have just sat quietly and eaten something first.
- It’s also possible that I drank too much ice-cold water while we were waiting for our food, which threw things off even further.
In the end, I clocked 61 miles in 3:50 — but only drank about 60 ounces of water and ate 3 ounces of almond butter/honey mixture and a Larabar (not including breakfast) beforehand. Definitely not enough of either.
For my troubles, I got a great half a ride, a rough half a ride, my first-ever fainting spell, and a somewhat tender buttock.
Still rode to work today though.