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Author Topic: My pain, your gain (for newbies)  (Read 3871 times)

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Offline Kevin Bennett

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My pain, your gain (for newbies)
« on: July 11, 2007, 08:25:43 AM »
Everyone usually has an embarrassing story or two.  I hope mine might help somebody.  I went on my first club ride on Sunday at Boyette.  I was pretty sure that I was a B- rider skill level, but I was concerned about my fitness level.  Up to this point I had only ridden Alafia and usually only two trails then stop.  My longest ride has only been ~8 mi.  On Sunday, I was ready to go.  I had my 100 oz. Camebak full; I had eaten and hydrated well that morning, and brought a couple of Cliff bars.  So far, so good.  Got to Boyette, introduced myself, and asked which was the slowest group going to the Abyss.  My goal was to ride the Abyss, but not alone.  Sounds smart right?  The day was full of good intentions, and poor choices.  Everyone with SWAMP was GREAT!  Very nice and helpful.  Kenny led our group of 17 riders at a good pace, no problems…so far.  I had not ridden Boyette in at least five years, WOW what a difference!  We pretty much rode every trail that was between the parking lot and the Abyss.  By the time I got to North Abyss, I was feeling pretty beat.  I started that section and loved it.  I could feel my legs going quickly.  We stopped before starting the South Abyss.  Fatigue was setting in, but my whole point in coming, was to ride THIS trail.  We started the South section and less than half way through, I could tell my body was not up to the challenge.  I did the right thing and bailed out near the benches.  From there we rode more trails.  I passed on the harder route of a newer trail (Spider Berm I think).  Then we did the East Meadow and the Northeast palmetto trail.  I was having a problem at this point, but was trying to gut it out.  I was about middle of the pack and averaging about 10-11 mph when I couldn’t keep the pace with the lead group any more.  I lost sight of them through the palmettos and then took a wrong turn.  I popped out on the double track and knew I was not in the right place.  I checked my GPS and retraced my track back into the woods, found the trail and made sure I wasn’t going back the way I came.  By then the trailing group had passed me and I was alone.  I had never ridden that trail before and really had no idea how much further it was.  I kept trudging along until I got to the double track before the Northwest section.  Luckily, the group was waiting for me (thank you).  I tried to stay right behind the last rider with the sweeper behind me.  We got to the end and I asked for the quickest way back to the parking lot.  Barry took pity on me and led me back.  Having him ride with me really helped.  By now I was cramping, I had a headache and was feeling a little sick to my stomach.  I made it back, and Barry gave me a Gatorade (damn, it was good!).  Thanks again Barry.  Then the group got back and Kenny came and checked on me.  I was embarrassed, but appreciated the check.  What does all of this mean….well, I’ll tell you.  Do not freeze more than half of your Camelbak.  Despite it being almost a hundred degrees and high humidity, when I got home, my Camelbak was still almost half full with a block of ICE!  For three hours of riding I was only able to drink less than 50 ounces of water.  By not having enough water, I did not eat during our breaks.  Drinking beer and fueling up on Taco Bell the night before, was probably not a good idea.   Although my whole point in going was to ride Abyss with someone, I should have asked what our total mileage was going to be.  I think we did 17.5 miles.  That was more than double my longest ride and we rode at a faster pace than I usually ride on my own.  After the Abyss, I should have checked my Camelbak and probably bailed at that point.  On the ride back, several people offered up some water and at that point I was too embarrassed to accept.  I should have taken the offer.  When I realized I was having a problem, I should have moved to the back of the pack, told Dave (our sweeper), and ridden the rest of the ride with him.  I am sure there are other lessons to be learned from my mistakes, but hopefully someone will avoid the same problems.
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Offline Jimbo

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Re: My pain, your gain (for newbies)
« Reply #1 on: July 11, 2007, 08:48:19 AM »
Coach, good job toughing it out.  Good job to your guides too.  That's what they are there for.  Just ease into the whole thing because that heat will kick your *!  I was at that ride also.  Rode in the B- group.  I think you were with the B group.  We did about 14 miles and then Riskeverything and I were feeling froggy after the ride.  We decided we were gonna go ride the Abyss since our group didn't go to that part.  We did 9 extra miles in the middle of all that heat!  I made it through the North Abyss but when we got to the south section I had enough.  You should try and come to the Alafia ride this Sunday and maybe ride with the B- group.  Just don't freeze you Camelback. ;D
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Offline Marcel Aguirre

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Re: My pain, your gain (for newbies)
« Reply #2 on: July 11, 2007, 09:01:09 AM »
Thanks for sharing with us.  You make great points that we all need to follow.  Specially in the summer heat.  17 miles is the normal route a B- group takes.  Expect in Alafia where we do less.  Let me tell you though, that is not a reason to be embarrassed about.  Embarrassing is when you do a slow motion fall with when you are clipped in.  Or when you try to hold on to a tree to rest without unclipping only for the tree to brake.  Running out of water and not taking in enough fuel is not embarrassing.  From when you turned to the parking lot (Quadrants/Palmetto Cable) your group was on its way out.  I bet you weren't the only one that needed to go back by then.  

BTW, besides the cliff bars you may want to add something easier to digest and pop a few of those every half hour to an hour.  Cliff Bars are good but take longer to digest and for your body to use. I use them when I need a meal.  But while riding, I rather use gels, block shots, gummie bears, or sport beans.    If you don't like any of those, add a bit more to your water.  Gatoraid or other sport drink.

See you on the trails....

Offline Kevin Bennett

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Re: My pain, your gain (for newbies)
« Reply #3 on: July 11, 2007, 09:03:32 AM »
The other thing that got me is, at Alafia you are never that far from the parking lot.  Boyette is so spread out.  It was a long way back when you are feeling crappy.  I am hoping to go this weekend, but its not looking good.  The wife said something about "family time, blah, blah, blah,"  ;D
Sandpine, thanks for the advice.  I saw everyone using gels or sport beans.  I will add that to my pack.  Remember I started my post with "Everyone usually has an embarrassing story or TWO"  My other one is hilarious.  It was my first ride at Alafia with a group.  About ten guys, all better riders than me, a couple of them are "infamous".  Well we are all getting ready to ride and I am practicing getting in and out of my clipless pedals (new to me at that point).  I was riding up the little hill next to the parking lot, simulating riding up bridges and clipping out before stalling.  Needless to say I didn't make it.  I got to the top, and failed to unclip, but I didn't just fall.  I did a complete barrell roll while still clipped in.  If I was in the circus I probably could have stuck the landing, but I'm not and I didn't.
« Last Edit: July 11, 2007, 09:14:35 AM by Coach »
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Offline Jimbo

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Re: My pain, your gain (for newbies)
« Reply #4 on: July 11, 2007, 09:11:05 AM »
Family time.  Who needs that. ;D ;D
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Offline FACTORe

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Re: My pain, your gain (for newbies)
« Reply #5 on: July 11, 2007, 09:12:54 AM »
i love riding the abyss myself and i have the exact same problem - every time i go to boyette with a group they want to ride the abyss after they have already ridden 10 other trails - i want to go and ride the hard stuff while i am fresh - i have a nasty cut/bruise on my leg from the 4th of July where i wrecked on the abyss - i was already beat down tired by the time we rode it and i tend to lose co-ordination and concentration the more tired i get.

next time i go to boyette - i am B-lining toward the abyss

Offline Kevin Bennett

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Re: My pain, your gain (for newbies)
« Reply #6 on: July 11, 2007, 09:16:46 AM »
FactorE, that was exactly the problem for me.  I did atleast make the right decision to bail when I realized my legs were toast and my decision making was questionable.  I didn't want to be carried out.
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Offline Gregg

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Re: My pain, your gain (for newbies)
« Reply #7 on: July 11, 2007, 09:49:11 AM »
Taco Bell, while tasty, probably not the best choice for the night before your ride.  ;D

It does sound like you rode with the "middle b's"  Lots of times the slower groups will wait for you, if some of the group wants to do the more technical sections.

Sorry you had such a tough ride, but that will make the next one that much easier! See you Sunday at Alafia?? :)

Offline perchman

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Re: My pain, your gain (for newbies)
« Reply #8 on: July 11, 2007, 10:31:12 AM »
Coach, I have yet to make it to a group ride because of that "family time" thing.  Based on your story I now know I'm B- when I do go.  I can ride Abyss, but not if we hit everything else FIRST.  This is similar to my story from this past Saturday at Boyette where I did this to myself.  I've since researched proper hydration and I think, for me, water and Cliff bars are simply not enough.  I, ignorantly, have not been bringing gels like i used during the cooler months and it's simply lazy in not stopping to buy them during the week.  In addition to the water in the pack, I'm going to start bringing some drink with electrolytes for the bottle cage.  Good luck.

Offline treadlight

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Re: My pain, your gain (for newbies)
« Reply #9 on: July 11, 2007, 11:01:53 AM »
I think one way to start a group ride is tell everybody how many miles, trail to go and pace to set AND STICK TO THAT PLAN regardless if somebody still feels he can still hammerfest the whole trail system then do it after the group ride. I know easy for me to say when you have 15 to 25 riders in 1 group but that gives riders the idea on when he needs to exert the effort or take it slow and pace themeselves.

Offline Jimbo

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Re: My pain, your gain (for newbies)
« Reply #10 on: July 11, 2007, 11:11:58 AM »
I always put enough water in my pack until it's about to burst.  I think I'm gonna go to the LBS today and get a larger one.  Need all the water you can get.  I keep a water bottle in the cage with Clif Shot Electrolyte in it.  Works well and has a good taste.  And I keep plenty of gels and bars if anyone needs one besides me.
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Offline FACTORe

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Re: My pain, your gain (for newbies)
« Reply #11 on: July 11, 2007, 11:14:20 AM »
Dan - Benjibebad has the right idea - i rode with him and he had bought an extra bladder and had a tube come on the right and left out of his bag - one with sports drink and other with water.

Offline Stumpjumper

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Re: My pain, your gain (for newbies)
« Reply #12 on: July 11, 2007, 11:15:55 AM »
Hey Coach,

  Glad to hear that you are OK.  It was a B group, but with the heat I went at a slower pace.  The route that we took is almost the shortest to North Abyss with Upper Loch Ness and Gator Pit included.

  I like to take Gels and block shots during the ride when it is hot.  When I try to eat Clif Bars, I can not eat half of it.

  Like perchman mentioned, in addition to the water in the pack, I'm going to start bringing some drink with electrolytes for the bottle cage.  I have been getting killer headaches after the ride, even when I am hydradated.

  I usually fill my Camelbak about 1/3 to 1/2 full of ice from the icemaker, and then add water with the weather this hot.  Cooler weather I will add less ice, but still fill it up with water.  I do not want to run out of something to drink.  On Sunday, I forgot in the truck the bottle of Gator Aid that I carry in the cage.

Hope to see you at Alafia this Sunday.

Kenny
« Last Edit: July 11, 2007, 11:18:10 AM by Stumpjumper »
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Offline benjibbad

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Re: My pain, your gain (for newbies)
« Reply #13 on: July 11, 2007, 11:37:33 AM »
LIke FactorE said, I use 2 bladders.  I have a camelback Mule and I use the 100oz for water, and I bought an additional 32oz (about 15 dollars) and fill that with the sports drink of my choice.  Lately it has been accellerade, BUt I think I am going to switch to E-Load after my supply runns out. It has a much lighter taste no color and is formulated for better absorbtion in the heat.  I tried a few samples and they worked great!!  I also like the ENDUROX R4 recovery drink for after the ride.  That I freeze and then leave in the car, by the time I am done riding I have a cold, recovery drink waiting for me.  Coach don't be afraid to ask for water from some of your co-riders.  Most of us carry more than enough water for a ride.
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Offline Kevin Bennett

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Re: My pain, your gain (for newbies)
« Reply #14 on: July 11, 2007, 11:44:54 AM »
I would like to reiterate how nice and helpful everyone was.  Kenny and Dave did a great job leading the ride.  It was obviously very hot and several times Kenny openly discussed the ride options with the group.  This incident was all on my shoulders and that's why I want others to hopefully learn.  Especially those thinking of going on a club ride.  Do it, but be realistic about your limits.  I knew skill wise, I was OK, but I thought I could "gut" it out. Your endurance is paramount, especially this time of year.
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