Monday, September 20, 2010

Arrive Alive.....

So someone (okay me) had this brilliant  idea to do a long ride in the heat, serious heat, Kona training...So the plan was to ride the Stagecoach Century route which starts 80 miles East of San Diego.  I have done this before in January (yes, well I know why they hold the century in Jan and not September) 
Tati ready to roll...nice scenery behind her. 

So, John, Tati and I roll at 5:30 and start the road trip. It is foggy and 59 degrees when we leave our house. Tati and me are so happy we are going to be riding in the heat....famous last words.  As we head East we see the temp drop to 49 and we wonder, will is really be hot?  We exit in the Metropolis  ghost town of Ocotillo and pull into the only Gas Station and frankly only sign of life.  7:30 and it is 88 degrees, oh boy.

We stock up in the food mart and Jackie (John and he are now on 1st name basis) asks what we are up to and once we share the plan he says..."oh, your parents must have been at Woodstock"  As we are getting on our bikes a car full of Chinese Tourists (why the hell they are in Ocotillo I cannot say) pulls up and are chatting away and staring in utter amazement as we ride away.

So the ride out was as expected- hot but manageable, few climbs a long steady ascent (much the ride to Havi in Kona) with a whipping head wind (again very Kona like)  The temp is climbing, our drinks are hot but we are cruising. There are 2 places to stop in 50 miles- the "airport" or the Butterfield RV Resort.   At 40 miles we stop at the Butterfiield, but 10 lbs of ice and refill and chillax in the shade where it is only 95.   We are hot but doing well.  The last 10 miles were a strong head wind and it was not fun.  The good part is we are aero the whole time- no place to stop or slow down.  We make U turn and head is not well over 100 and getting tough. The tail wind was not as we hoped but we had more downhill than up. 

at 40 miles we are still enjoying the adventure. 

Around 4 hours I roll up to the "airport" and we had talked about stopped there for some ice- I slow as I miss the turn and then decide to circle back.  Well as I am circling I am in gravel and next thing I know I am down on the blazing hot asphalt and gravel.  From what I can recall it my shin grazed the asphalt, my thigh slammed down and then my shoulder and hard thud with my head.  Holy Crap.....lot of pain, disorientation and confusion.  I get up and asses that nothing is broken- just sore, bloody and well hot.  Tat rolls up and I am hunched over my bike, dizzy as can be and we spin to the store.  More ice and we regroup and I asses I am okay.  3 Advil, big ice chunk on my thigh which is rapidly swelling and we are off.  The last 90 minutes were a bear....well over 100, sore from the fall, tailwind dissipated and we are not having fun.  We have our heads down, iPods playing and fully immersed in the suffer fest.  John had gone by when we were at the store and when we passed him he nearly went down because we scared the hell out of him. This is a desolate highway   Pretty much all we saw all day.....

We are working our way back, water is tepid, but we are getting the job done.  I begin to wonder what we would do if we run out of water....we are not far but well delirious and then I see these

 okay this is when if gets bad if we have to use the water in trash cans that are placed in the desert for the illegals who are sneaking over the border.  No wonder so many is well hot as hell out there.   Luck for us, we soon went through a border check point ( I kept Tati close to me) and they had luscious cold water....chugged it and slogged home the last 8 miles.  

I roll up and take a shower with the 3 gallons of water in the car, peel off my bloody and torn clothes and put on dry clothes. I am feeling somewhat normal, despite the grapefruit size hematoma on my thigh and I venture in the store for some ice, only to find Tati sitting on the floor, in front of the fan having a buffet of snacks from the snack wish I had a photo, but I was worrying about my molting skin.  3 ice bags later for my thigh, shoulder and head and we are good.  John rolls in looking like he just crossed the desert, well he did actually and we head home...... 

Bad idea- yes, totally depleted us, risky and dangerous but makes a heck of a story for Ironman Training. I tell you this was the 180 degree opposite of hell when I got snowed in on my bike.  

Thank goodness I did  my long run on Saturday- best run ever!!! 18 miles in the bank and felt awesome.  Recovery is in order today....banged up body, bruises and muscles are sore! 


  1. We went to the Big Island last weekend. The ride was very similar. Everyone ran out of water. Good thing they have aid stations every 10 miles or so in the race.

  2. That is an awful story but a great one.Rreading it made me wish I was there.