Sunday, January 06, 2008

Stormwatch 2008

As is typical here in Southern California when we get a little rain, we're on "Stormwatch"...which basically's raining. ;) Ahhh...we're so fortunate here to have nice weather 90% of the time!

So, I was supposed to do the San Diego Brevet series 200K Brevet on Saturday but decided to opt out so that I didn't have to use precious childcare time. George was going to do the brevet anyway, and my plan was to drive down to La Jolla with him and ride back up to Huntington Beach. It would still give me some good mileage for the day and would get me back before the kids would be home.

Being one who doesn't check the weather often, I was caught off guard when the "Stormwatch" talk started at work. I checked it myself and sure enough...looked like rain all weekend. I confirmed that George was still planning to do the retrospect I shouldn't even have questioned it! I decided that if left to my own devices at home, I would probably skip training on Saturday if it was raining, so I went ahead with my plan to drive down to La Jolla and ride home. Training by force!

It was raining the entire drive down from Orange County. We arrived at Doyle Community Park in La Jolla around 6:40 a.m. and started getting ready. Actually, I had to go to the bathroom so I ran across the park and when I came back my bike was out of the trunk and ready to go. Thank you honey! Some last minute prep and a quick goodbye to George and he was off on the 200K. I rolled out a couple of minutes later with Claire, a Bike Forums member who was visiting from France. We rode together for just a bit until I had to go off in the other direction.

The first part of my ride was great. Once you're wet that's can't get much wetter. I was actually enjoying the rain, even when the hard drops were pelting my face. I made it to Encinitas and stopped by Nytro to say hello to Walt, then was quickly on my way again. I debated whether or not to take the 5 freeway, or to go through Camp Pendelton, and ultimately went with the 5. People are always surprised that I choose to ride this, particularly when I'm alone, but they don't realize what a wide shoulder there is. I honestly feel less nervous on that stretch of the 5 than I do on many sections of Pacific Coast Highway. At the rest stop on the 5 (where bicycles are required to exit and then re-enter the freeway) I stopped to use the restroom and realized that though sections of my wool jersey and base layer were wet, I was really warm. My Descente gloves were soaked (had to wring them out) but my hands were warm. Go figure. Back on the road!

The next section was San Onofre, which takes you through the campground. After a short downpour it stopped raining and all of a sudden, I was freezing. This was also the point where I saw the first cyclists of the day...very unusual for the coast! By the time that I reached San Clemente my legs were aching and cold and I could barely muster 11 mph at one point. I managed to pick up some speed but was still slightly sluggish until I reached Laguna. I realized at that time that I had done almost the whole ride on just two bottles of Accelerade and that's it. I wasn't fueling properly, when it's that cold, I just forget to drink. I downed a gel and felt better within minutes and was able to finish the ride. I arrived home in decent time, ready to get out of my wet clothes and into a hot shower. Good training day!

80 miles
5 hours 20 minutes total time

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