I spent most of last week being sick with sinus and allergy problems. So much so that I missed almost two full days from work and spent a lot of time in bed on meds. Because of that I didn’t get any time on the bike during the week. About Thursday I started to feel human again and was looking forward to getting a Saturday ride in. Saturday morning finally rolled around and I did get a ride in. The conditions weren’t ideal (see pic below), I was still a little weak from being sick, but I couldn’t resist the urge any longer. Out the door I went.
Surprise, Surprise, it was Windy
Looking at the weather report on Friday I knew I would face some wind no matter what time I rode. I’ve gotten used to it after being here in Dallas for just over a year now but it still makes me shake my head when I see weather reports like the one below. Maybe you can see the problem (it’s spelled WINDY):
The wind would actually get worse later in the evening and I saw one report of gusts up to 41 mph. Ridiculous. It was probably gusting to 20 mph when I rode. The problem though is that even though I’m riding a loop down at White Rock Lake, the wind swirls due to surrounding hills and you end up facing a headwind on most of the ride. So much fun.
Almost Bought the Farm
I was only about a half-mile from the house and came to a four-way stop intersection. As always I slowed to do a brief trackstand stop but saw a car rapidly approaching from my right. The guy driving was going VERY fast and I knew there was no way he could stop in time. Almost falling over I managed to get a foot unclipped and stood there as the guy almost ran down a cat and blew through the stop sign without even looking. He was oblivious to the fact he had run a stop sign. I yelled at him but knew he didn’t hear me. In retrospect, I should have gotten is tag number and sent it to the police.
The ride around White Rock Lake was pretty good. There weren’t too many people out but there were several groups of cyclists out riding in small groups. I really need to find out who some of these groups are and see if I can’t meet up with them at some point to ride.
The new bike is riding great and I’m enjoying it. It glides, accelerates, and stops so much better than my old one. I can easily cruise along several mph faster than on my old one and found myself going at 20 mph plus with no effort on a couple of sections of the loop. It was probably wind aided but it felt great. The only thing holding me back right now is my pathetic fitness level.
The Three Sisters
Because I can now ride to and from White Rock Lake directly from where I live, I have to ride up three hills on the way back to the house. I’ve dubbed them ‘The Three Sisters’. Why that you ask? Because back when I was driving ships in the Navy there were three buoys in the channel approach to Norfolk Naval base that marked a danger bearing and meant that the ship was heading into hazardous (shallow) water if you were on the wrong side of those three buoys. Those buoys were called The Three Sisters and with three hills marking my way back home I thought it was a good name.
The first hill is up Flagpole Hill which you’ve heard me talk about here before. The other two are about a half-mile later and come in rapid succession. The three times I’ve ridden them previously have given me some trouble. During this ride I went up Flagpole Hill pretty good but faded quickly at the top. I had a guy pass me like I was standing still. He was just flying up the hill and wasn’t even out of the saddle. I hope to get to that kind of form someday. Sister #2 just about murdered me. It’s not quite as steep as Flagpole Hill but seems to go on forever. At the top of it I was totally spent. After getting down the backside of Sister #2, Sister #3 pitches up quickly. Thankfully it’s a short hill and doesn’t give me much trouble. I think I need to re-start my Hump Day Hill Repeats to get back into hill climbing shape.
Overall I think I had a good ride even though I was still tired from being sick. I really paid for it later in the afternoon as my sinuses really started to bother me. I think it was worth it though.
Reviews, Reviews, Reviews
I’m in the midst of several reviews right now including clothing, electrolyte and recovery drinks, and chamois cream. I rode in a new set of bibs yesterday that I thought were awesome. They’re actually just like an old set I have except the chamois has been updated. I’m going to ride in them a couple more times before I post a review. I’ve ridden in the chamois cream I’m currently using several times now and really like it too. A review on it will be coming soon. The electrolyte and recovery drink review is a ways off as I’m trying several different brands and will compare them all in one big review.
Cycling After Being Sick
Like I said, I had been sick for several days this past week and I do feel like it impacted my ride yesterday. I still felt tired and lethargic from being run down and believe that directly impacted my performance. My ride was OK but when you throw in the wind as well I think I suffered and that was really evident at the top of Sister #2 and during the afternoon. I had initially wanted to do two loops of White Rock Lake but knew after about 8 miles that it wasn’t going to be possible. It was probably better for me to not push it and risk getting sick again.
What about you guys/gals? Do you ride when your sick or do you hold off for a while? When you do eventually ride again how to you ease back into it?
Feature image courtesy of effekt!.