After reading about personal record setting rides over at 331 Miles I had high hopes of a great ride today. Sadly, it didn’t work out that way.

I arrived at the Tennis Center just north of White Rock Lake to park and get ready to ride. I had no plan today but decided on doing some hill repeats for a change. While getting ready I noticed that I had forgotten my computer. A couple of rides ago it was my water bottles and this ride it’s my computer. Not a good way to start.

I roll out and immediately start hearing the weird noise again. When I get back from Jacksonville I’m going to have to take my whole bike in and have the shop listen to it. My rear spokes seem a little loose which makes me think that’s the sound I’m hearing but I just had the rim trued two weeks ago.

As I’m rolling down the trail heading to Flagpole Hill I ride through a large swam of gnats. I had’em in my eyes, nose, mouth, everywhere. That’s when I realized I forgot my sunglasses. I left them in the car. Dang! That’s two things I’ve forgotten and I’m starting to get upset.

I cycle up hills, me
Image by orangebrompton via Flickr

I made it to the bottom of flagpole hill where there’s a four-way stop intersection. I wait for a couple of cars to go and a car pulls up behind me. I push down with my left foot (which is clipped in) to take off and instead of rolling forward my bike comes to a complete stop and my weight is totally on my left side. In about two seconds I fall over right in front of the car. Unbelievable. I was so pissed. The guy in the car is looking at me like I’m an idiot (which may be true) and it takes everything to not toss my bike into the ditch. That would have been bad though so I didn’t. It’s the only bike I’ve got.

I re-start and head up Flagpole Hill. I never saw a flagpole so I have no idea why it’s called that. For someone of my pitiful abilities I thought it was a pretty good hill. It left me gasping pretty good by the time I got to the top. I took some side streets back down to the bottom to give myself a chance to recover.

Second time up I’m about half-way to the top and my right foot comes flying out of the clip. It totally kills my momentum and I struggle all the way to the top. I ride around and try it again.

Third time up an idiot in a truck thinks it’s cool to pull up next to me and gun his truck as he flies past me up the hill. I don’t know what the speed limit is but he was way over it.

Fourth time up my right shoe pops out again. That’s it. I’m buying new clips the day I get back from Jacksonville.

Fifth time up and I basically have to crawl to the top. I’m spent.

As you can see, today’s ride pretty much sucked. I’m glad I did it though because I need the time in the saddle and need work on the hills. At some point I’ll actually keep track of the time to get to the top and see if I can start setting some PRs. I’m guessing that for folks that are in shape the climb to the top shouldn’t take more than a couple of minutes.