It rained this morning, which forced me to change my plans for the day. I had originally wanted to circumnavigate Prince William Forest, but by the time the weather cleared I would find myself on Route 1 in mid-afternoon on a Sunday. Bad idea. So after cutting my lawn, I opted for a 31 mile route to the northwest. I had previously completed this route with a 15.7 mph average and wanted to beat that mark. I thought the humidity which lingered after the morning rains would effect me and I was right. Boy, was I right.
When I’m on a stationary bike at the gym, it is not unusual for beads of sweat to come off my arms and collect in an ever-growing puddle on the floor. I have never experienced that on a bicycle until today. My shirt was completely drenched, my gloves were soaked and felt like wet sponges when I squeezed my grips. And I could see the sweat dripping off my hands as I rode along. It was pretty nasty, but my pace was good and I had a shot at a Personal Best Record (PBR).
Sweating as I was, I regretted not bringing my Camelbak on this ride. All I had was my water bottle, into which I poured a Hammer Gel packet before the ride. BIG MISTAKE. As much as I enjoyed the gel straight out of the packet, I could barely stomach it when diluted into water. The resulting concoction tasted like dirty water taken from a bucket in the back yard, with a dash of apples and cinnamon. Seeing as this was the only hydration I had available to me, I forced myself to suck the stuff down and dealt with the revolting aftertaste as best as I could.
In the end, I was only able to tie my PBR pace. I would like to give myself a one minute time bonus to reflect the fact I stopped to give directions to a lost motorist, but that would be sniveling and sniveling is not nice. I was completely drained by this ride and immediately sucked down as much Gatorade and water as I could. Still, I burned another 1,500 calories and avoided my Bike Shop. Another good day!