Bike Ride Adventure(Nightmare) – Folks, You Can’t Make This Stuff Up!

Here is the documented story of my should have been 3-3.5 hour ride that ended up lasting 5.5 hours. This is something that just can’t be made up.

Prequel: 6B46 Run

Woke up at 4:30 am to get ready to run at 5. I chose to keep it at 6 miles today as I had a big ride scheduled for today. Met up with Chad, Ants, and Phil to get the run done. It was nice and cool out and it was a nice relaxed run and I felt pretty good. My right ankle has felt like I sprained it or something, but running today helped to bring it back to feeling normal.

I came home and refueled for my bike ride. Around 9 am I started up.

Introduction

I ziptied a bottle cage to the underside of my seat to add two more places for water bottles. Working on my nutrition I know that I am a heavy sweater and therefore need to take in more fluids. I added a water bottle to the back along with my big aero bottle up front and a bottle of Sustained Energy on the downtube. I put down some coconut water, Endurolytes, and water before leaving. I had tired legs, but I was finally ready. I have not rode outside since Racine so it has been a while since I have been out in the sunshine. For some reason I don’t quite enjoy riding outdoors as much as riding on my trainer. The events that unfolded today will probably send me back to my trainer.

All set to go I headed out of my driveway to only crash right away. The water bottle under my seat popped out and locked up my chain. Right away I crashed right there in the street in front of a lady walking her dog. This was a sign of things to come. Needless to say I was not happy. I sliced the bottom of my water bottle so I had to go without that one. I drank some more water and started again. My pride was hindered without any additional injuries.

Chapter 1: Miles 1 – 45

My legs were tired. It took about 10 miles to get them loose and going. Around this time I rode in Scott County Park. I rode all over the place getting in around 3-4 miles just cruising. The hills in this park do work my legs in a good way, but probably not smart with 60 more miles to go. I headed out to some familiar roads, but at one point I decided to go a new route thinking I could make one huge loop back home. I made my way to Grand Mound and things really started to go well for me. The heat started to pick up and the sun was hot. At mile 35 I stopped at a gas station to grab a Snickers, Dr. Pepper, and a bottle of water. I also looked at Google Maps on my phone to find a course. I had it all laid out perfectly according to Google Maps. I filled my bottles up. The pop tasted so good, but I did not get much to drink from it because when I took off I did not realize I did not screw my bottle lid on. So, I hit a bump and I was soaked along with my bike and gears. I took a swig and tossed the rest out. I was not going to ride back the 5 miles I covered to find it so I just kept on. I felt great after the short rest and was thinking that things were all downhill and I would finish strong. Then I hit mile 45 and was left with a decision to make….

Chapter 2: A Gravel(Terrible) Decision Using Google Maps(How I Hate You Google Maps)

Google Maps lead me astray. I had to stop to cross 30 which is not an ideal road for bikes. I was not about to ride on that road with cars and semis flying by at 65 mph. Google Maps showed me that I could just cross 30 and I would be good to go. I quickly crossed and to my surprise the road was not paved, but gravel. I stopped and Google Maps told me to just go straight and a paved road was ahead.

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There was not paved road. It was just an endless gravel nightmare. After walking about 1.3 miles I decided to just ride it out. I was cooking out in the sun and out of water. I won’t even mention the number of times my chain kept popping off during the gravel nightmare.

IMG_3436
If you find yourself here, scream and have someone pick you up.

This part does not include all my riding. But I took off riding about 2-3 miles. I was getting quite mad because the gravel was not ideal for my bike. Google Maps was completely wrong it was beyond ridicolous. I kept trying to have faith as I was on roads that nobody even knows exist. After about 3 miles of riding I stopped to check my phone for a map and text Amanda when I realized my phone was missing. My phone popped out of the sleeve and now I had to go back and find my phone. So I backtracked my ride another 3 miles. Of course it was all the way back to where I started riding. Of course I watched a car run my phone over. Of course my ride bike my helmet visor that blocks the sun flies off. Of course my anger was at an all time high and I just wanted to quit and be done. The problem is that nobody would ever find me. I found my phone(not ruined surprisingly) and turned around and rode on. Even though I logged 6 miles I know I logged much more because I did not record it all. After spending about an hour or more on gravel I finally found a paved road. I checked my tires to make sure I did not have a flat and started my ride back towards Bettendorf. I was so far away. I was mentally and physically done at this point. I had gone too long without nutrition or water and at this point I should have already been home and done with this ride.

Chapter 3: To McCausland and Almost Home

After about 5 miles of riding I made it to McCausland and thankfully I had some money left. I grabbed a Gatorade, another Dr. Pepper(since it tasted so good the first time and I lost it), and two big Laffy Taffy’s. I killed the food and during the process dropped the Dr. Pepper and only had a bit left. I took off and knew I had the monster hill in front of me. This hill killed me.

I was hot and I knew at this point I was beyond dehyrdrated. I kept waiting for a sugar kick, but it never happened. I kept on riding knowing I was getting closer and closer to home. My legs started to go as you can see my times drop. I was also to the point where I started to cramp. I had nothing left. It was flat out hot and the wind was going against me. I felt like I had all odds against me during this ride.

With about 5 miles left my body was done. I tried to stand to stretch my legs and I could not do it. They cramped instantly. I just had to sit and ride. I had some hills and riding while only sitting made it tougher. I was in rough shape and knew what was coming my way after Racine. I just prayed I never had to stop. I did stop at Crow Creek Park where I only had two miles left to get home, but I knew my body needed water in the worse way. The last two miles were brutal. I was cramping and cramping hard. I knew I had to get home. I was so close…

Chapter 4: Do I Dare Say I Feel Like Racine All Over Again?

Waiting to get across the street to the final section of Crow Creek where I had .5 mile I had to stop with traffic. With my step down I cramped like never before from my hip/groin down to my shin and calf. I had to hobble off the road as I could ride and cars were behind. I tried to stretch it out and then I started getting very nauseous and dizzy. I just had to get home. With severe cramping I made myself get on my bike and just coast it home. I had one hill left and finally got home. My legs were done. I did make it home and just laid on the floor. I was cramping bad so I took some Endurolytes and water and just laid down and did not move.

Epilogue

Things happen for a reason. I don’t know why this happened, but my whole day was consumed with this ride. I should have been home by 12:30 at the latest and did not get home until 2:40. The sun was brutal and I was stripped of all I had. I weighed 211.6 lbs before the ride and afterwards was at 203.2. 8lbs is not good at all, but the heat got me. I drank and consumed a ton today, but it was not enough.

Pre – coconut water, Endurolytes, water
Sustained Energy every 15 minutes the first two hours. I also had a 30 ounces of water with me on the bike.
Mile 14 – Honey Stinger
Mile 35 – little Dr. Pepper, bottle of water refill, Snickers, Endurolytes
Mile 45-50 – water
Mile 50 – Dr. Pepper, Gatorade, Laffy Taffy
Mile 50 – end – Dr. Pepper

Some things I learned
1. I hate Google Maps
2. I don’t have nutrition figured out as much as I think(I think I would have been ready had I been out for only 3.5 hours)
3. The sun just tears this body up.
4. I am tough for sticking it out and not giving up.
5. My body will take some time to recover.
6. I hope I ready to race in two weeks. This ride really brought into question some things about myself.

I will reflect more when I am back on track. My brain is out of it and has been all afternoon and evening. Man, what a day. Like I said you cannot make this stuff up.

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2 thoughts on “Bike Ride Adventure(Nightmare) – Folks, You Can’t Make This Stuff Up!

  1. Aaron,

    We are leaving at 6:00 am on Sunday to ride 100. You are welcome to come along. We had a good one last weekend at a pace you’d have no problem riding. We’ll stop at a couple gas stations at needed to refuel. I can show you some new roads and I promise there will be no gravel. I’m still laughing at this post…

  2. Glad you finally had an experience like that, now you’re an endurance cyclist 🙂 Welcome to the club!

    Some points:
    1. Gravel roads can be awesome, no cars, quite and time to think!
    2. TOOOOOO MUCH SIMPLE SUGARS (Pop, Gatorade)
    NEED MORE WATER!!!!
    3. You are tough, congrats man!

    4. First ride since Racine outside, OUCH! You need to do more to be ready for races. Trainers don’t mimic at all!

    That is all! Cheers man!