Due to an untimely perturbation (I enjoy that word) of my schedule I was able to go on the Old Goat 50 miler today. Nice flat ride and with my Garmin set on stun, I figured I would smoke along, shattering all personal records, crushing souls, fingerbanging into the parking lot, and in general having a good time.
It didn't get off to a good start when I got to the parking lot just as the other riders were pushing off. Cranking up enough wattage to power a small city, I was able to catch up with everyone about five or six miles out. I was pretty tired, but I was careful not to get over-reved.
The heat index was over 100, the media warning people to stay indoors if they had an ounce of sense in them.
These warnings don't extend to cyclists, of course.
I felt just fine for the first 25 miles. At that point we stopped at a 5 Star for about a ten minute rest. I did not buy a Coke. I think that was a mistake.
At mile 32 or so, things went to pot in a big hurry. Even though I'd had over 50 ounces of electrolyte-enriched fluid plus two Nutrigrain bars, I just abruptly lost all will to live, became nauseated and a bit light-headed. Fortunately, I was sweating and had enough water, but I told my fellow riders that I was cooked, to go ahead and that I would be fine.
They believed me so I was able to finish the ride in peace.
I debated making the call of Shame, but I didn't want my wife to lecture me all the way back. She would also come up with some sort of rule about only being able to ride an hour at a time if it got over 80. No way.
The next ten miles were through a section of town where drug and gang killings are not unusual. Craving a Coke, I pulled into Eddie's Liquor store. They sold me a Coke and were kind, seeming to understand my in extremis condition.
I plodded on to the downtown Starbucks for a massive caffeine infusion, which really didn't help much.
I finally dragged into the parking lot, amazingly just behind a group of riders that had been even further back for awhile and must have passed me while I was hanging around Eddies.
As I sit in my den, I'm shivering a bit so I think I came way too close to a heat injury. Eating a quart of Boassen-Hagen-Daz ice cream probably didn't help the homeothermia, either.
If any of you hammerheads have read all this distance and can advise how to overcome this kind of thing, you'll have my attention. More time in saddle? LSD? Propofol? Intervals at 6 in the morning?
Addendum: my bike is worried to death that I'm on Craigslist right now, but I'll feel better about the whole thing in the morning, if I can sleep through the leg cramps.
I guess that's it.