2004- Ride #7: 30.4 miles, 179.7 total.

During which Steve learns a few uncomfortable lessons.

It was supposed to be a wet day today, so I wasn’t careful. I filled up on orange juice and Trader Joe’s Spiced Tortilla Chips, then decided it was nice enough for a ride. It didn’t help that I blew off a perfectly good day on Monday. Guilt played a part.

So there I am, in the first mile, with my poor stomach’s contents heaving and sloshing. My stomach wasn’t completely full, it was only full enough to intensify the discomfort. It’s like shaking a completely full, airless bottle compared to shaking one that’s 4/5 full. The full bottle has no room for the liquid to splash around, so nothing moves around much. The less-than-full bottle has plenty of space for liquid to mix with air, and for the whole foamy mess to toss about with nauseating consequences.

Lesson #1: Never assume a ride is out of the question.

It wasn’t long before I discovered that a nearly full stomach is a highly sensitive accelerometer. To put it another way, my discomfort was least when my body moved smoothly through space, and worst when the ride was more jerky or bumpy. And guess what? My usual pedaling motion made my stomach worse! Low-tech biofeedback! I found that I instinctively smoothed out my spinning to avoid voiding my stomach. It required no thought. And my legs felt better, too.

Lesson #2: When life hands you lemons, try not to puke.

All of which made me wonder: was it a Good Thing that I had tanked up just before the ride? Unpleasant as it was, I did get some valuable pedaling training I’d have no other way of getting. Knowing what I know now, would I do it again?

Lesson #3: When in doubt, see Lesson #1.

I should really try some completely different routes. I’m in a route rut right now. Next time out, I’ll mix it up. In general, I felt good–much better than last time. The Twin Towers weren’t too bad, and I didn’t use great-granny gear.

I had a hat trick of Stoopid Stuff Stuck In My Head During The Ride. First I was riding the strains of ELO’s version of Roll Over, Beethoven, specifically the line “When You’ve Got A Dime / The Music Will Never Die.” Over and over. Then, The Presidents of the United States‘ Cleveland Rocks. And finally, Randy Newman’s There’s A Party At My House Tonight. While I don’t get to choose the songs, I have to say it was all good pedaling music. As always, iTunes (Macintosh or Windows) is required for the previous links.

Download iTunes

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