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Kamal2

13 hours out, about 8 hours in the saddle. Mountain climb.

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I had to get out at 5 40 on coffee and 3 bananas. I knew it's not enough so I stopped for 2 bowls of thick chicken rice soup.

 

Had to meet 2 other groups and the meeting did not happen immediately, so we went a ahead riding slowly, then they caught up and we went over a few hills. Mostly older guys and a few big boys, a 70 yo man and ave age maybe 50. I was mid pack and holding on the hills, and I thought ok, I'm going ok, not getting dropped.

 

Hmm, they did not stop yet so we stop for a Filipino breakfast at around 9. Noodle soup.

 

By 9 30 we go off the highway but there's confusion over the route. It's a 29 km off road intermittent climb with descents into the valley. But the lead guy has to stop 3-4 times checking his GPS readings, so far I'm ok.

 

Then we start climbing and it's so sudden, I miss the first gear change. Had to walk that bit, but a few waited and still ok. Now we start a series of climbs more straight up and down, short but steep. And mud as we descend. I'm still good getting a good line, a good lead out through the mud. Then a river or creek running over the road, 6 inches of water but we come through it. 29 km is a long way in this situation and the first hour passed. Didn't check the numbers, but there are signs indicating we have a long way to go. Had a walk now across 3 climbs and now only the lead guy and 2 others still waiting for me, nice, but I hate it also.

 

We descend again and then it's thick mud with a 6 inch line through and not more than 30 metres long. Any novice would get through it, but I made a small lean to the left and had to put my foot down in deep mud. Foot goes deep and gets stuck, so now I have to put the other foot down and nowhere to put it. I'm in 4 inches of mud still straddled the bike and can't move. Had lean the bike over before getting the left foot out and walking the bike through. And hampered the guy behind me who was trying to escort me.

 

Got going again and my recovery is good, but got told there are 3 major climbs before 8 km flat. My technique improved and I think I only walked one, can't recall exactly but I was off the bike about 5-6 time over the duration.

 

It was more than 29 km and it took 3 hours. Until we took a break in a park. But leader says we will ride 12 km to lunch venue.

 

That was on a highway familiar to me, flat to undulating. By 1 30 we got to the venue. But no appetite me, I drank water and Mountain Dew. We are about 45 km from home, but the sun is out and quite hot, so the leader says we have an additional break. I don't want to get dropped again, so I told him I will ride ahead. Which I did until they caught me. I as going ok, but 4 riders inc the 70 yo formed an escort. Retired college professor and by his form a very good rider. And they said he's a good climber.

 

We go on now. But I'm conscious of getting dropped. So I give my reason to stop, I'm going for lunch at around 3 30. In the Filipino way food breaks are frequent, so by now it suits me. I left the group as they had further to ride than me.

 

I was able to go into another joint I knew and got the socks off and washed the mud off the shoes. More noodle soup and small pizza. Iced tea and iced water and I got it free from the manageress, but that's another story. She is insisting for me to take a bus home, and it's now 4 30 PM. It will be dark at 5 50 exactly and that's sure.

 

Back to the highway and feel refreshed. No bus around so I figure to ride TT style ave over 25, but there are 4 roadworks which will slow me down. I feel great now, some indication of my fitness and lower weight, so keeping an eye on the sun, I ride hard, mostly flat with undulations, but 3 towns will slow me down. 3km from the last town and going over the last hill, darkness is falling. But I get street lighting riding on the cement shoulder (I did not carry a light except for CP light). Then I got to the last bridge which is a temporary bridge, but I walk over the pedestrian footbridge, now it's the last town and darkness has fallen except for the street lights, but 7 km from home on back roads.

 

I stopped for a coke and now **Gina is calling. She's out looking for me on the motor bike, so we will now meet there at City Hall where it's lighted. I might get a lecture, but I also need her help. She took a look at me and said "sit down you look tired." Then I recount my story, why I'm late, she is initially horrified, but as I tell the whole story I see the smile at the corner of her mouth. She's always great, so I'm in the clear. She escorted me home on the bike and started feeding me drinks.

 

Got home at 7 PM, but felt reasonable. And today feel ok, no leg pain which is a usual issue.

 

**She recently had a new Sim Card and I did not yet have her number.

 

Great day, but too hard for my level. But what can I do? After 3 months of base building everyone is out doing hills, And the racing season will start end of November, or if not racing a few tours of 2-3 days duration. I am doing 1000 km a month and sure my fitness is good. But I don't feel my performance is improving at least not significantly. Riding 2.2's on the highway vs 2.0's before, does that make a difference?

Edited by Kamal2

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