viernes, 27 de agosto de 2021

SB Asturica Augusta 2021 (1200km Audax)

  Flat, but a proper ride (

A list of things that went well and others that didn’t go that well.

Letting drop your TSS from 112 in mid July to 85 before this ride was not the best tapering strategy.

Fracturing a rib on Friday wasn’t ideal either.

With this in mind my plan for this route was I don’t have a plan. Let's start pedalling and we shall see.

A fractured rib means breathing heavily was painful. The good news was that it incentivized me to ride within myself, which is always good in these types of rides. If I’m honest I’d have to admit a fractured rib was more an advantage than a disadvantage. 

Riding in the front group through the first night was great. The terrain was benign and the group was strong. 

Riding with part of that group the second day was not that good. It was brilliant for the most part, but twice I followed the group decision against my instincts. First one was deciding to eat in Segovia. I wanted to eat, the group wanted to carry on. I followed the group. Those kilometres until we stopped for lunch were probably the hardest of the whole ride for me. 

The second one was after lunch. I wanted to sleep a big siesta. My reasoning was that sleeping at those hours when the temperatures were at its highest would allow us to be fresher to ride through the night, when temperatures are more bearable. I followed the group and didn’t sleep. Only to find out a few hours later that I was so sleepy that I could cause a crash in the group. I told the group I was dropping.

That was a good decision. 

I booked a hotel room in Soria and had four hours and a half sleep. Had breakfast at the hotel and hitted the road at 8:30. That went very well.

Much better than forgetting to carry chamois cream. As the kilometres piled in, all ridden in sunny, high temperatures, sweaty weather I paid a high price for this rookie mistake. That certainly didn’t go very well.

What went a bit better was that I had sent chamois cream to the control at Salas de los Infantes. The damage was already done, but at least it helped to alleviate the pain.

What didn’t go that well was to forget the chamois cream a couple of controls later. You couldn’t make this up. 

In my defense I’d argue that in the control in Astudillo, at 7pm there wasn’t anywhere to eat. In the next control, Ampurias, there was only one place open and they didn’t have any food. I asked for a raw egg, a litre of milk and half of a cake. Mixed everything and that was my dinner. Not ideal if you plan to ride through the night.

At that place I put my head down on the table and had a good hour of sleep. I woke up half zombie and that is the moment where I forgot the chamois cream.

That area is flat and exposed to the wind. Of course the wind was head wind. But I had my aero bars. First super brevet using them. That went very well. Flat and straight road without traffic. Sat in an aero position, tried not to change position as that was painful (I can confirm that butt pain triumphs rib’s pain), and set for a sustainable pace riding in the middle of the road. Plenty of time to think in other things

That was the tone for the rest of the night. Head wind, empty roads, mostly flat, aero position, not moving around to avoid the pain.

Breakfast in Leon was great. Sitting outside, early sun in my face. I ate two breakfasts. 

Tackled the last climb at a steady pace and as soon as I got to the last control I realised that I could finish just before midday, that would mean less than 66 hours for the whole ride. It wasn’t going to be easy but it sounded doable.

And like that I found myself pushing the pace. The terrain was favourable and I wasn’t pushing it too hard (I couldn’t) but that kept me entertained for the last couple of hours.

I was on track to finish before midday but what didn’t go that well was that I took the wrong turn at the top of the last climb. Suddenly I found myself at the bottom of the climb, but on the wrong side, heading to a motorway. The extra kilometres meant 11 minutes on top of the 66 hours. That didn’t go well.

But what went very well was the overall feeling with the ride. At the finish I was told I was third back home (remember, this is Audax, this is not a race) and about a third of the field were DNF. I had my set of challenges but I managed to adapt and enjoy the ride. After all, most of the secret was to sit on the saddle and not move around. 

The ride in Strava:

Take care

Javier Arias González

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