Finally Blazin!




No, it's not what you think.  I'm not smoking pot - get your mind out of the gutter!

This weekend I finally got in a training ride with a local group that I've chatted a lot with on Facebook - the South Bay Blaze.  It just seemed like things always conspired to keep me from riding with them.  Chris' Distance Training rides are always a priority on the Saturdays that they occur, so anything that took me out of town had to happen on the off Saturdays.  One thing or another meant that it wasn't until the end of the season that I got in a good ride with this very social and fun training group.

A lot of this ride covered the area from my Sunday ride last weekend.  We headed south along Blossom Hill until it turned into Santa Theresa - going in the opposite direction of the Slog.  Yay!  And we stayed on Santa Theresa until it turned into Hale and kept going until it dead ended on Main Street in Morgan Hill.  Morgan Hill, it so happens, is where the headquarters of Specialized is.  So my bike was "going home" so to speak.

We climbed up to Anderson Dam - a short but steep climb.  It was at this time I started to hear a "ticking" noise.  I figured out my wheel was flexing enough under the power I was putting out to cause the magnet from the speed sensor to hit the sensor arm.  That got fixed.  (And I have new stiff wheels on order anyway.) Lunch came after the dam - and after a couple of wrong turns.  The route sheet was a bit...imprecise.  

After a seafood wrap at Quiznos it was back to the same Coyote Creek Trail from last week.  Something about that trail doesn't agree with me.  We kept going to the Hellyer Velodrome where I diagnosed a bit of a toe problem as being a sock issue.  However, I've also been getting numbness in my big toe on my right foot that I need to figure out.  After the velodrome and some great cookies we came home through Campbell and had a nice stop at a Starbucks exactly 10 miles from home.  Something about the dryness and the wind was really making me tired.  The last 10 miles were fine and I was glad to see the familiar corner of Fremont and Mary.  I really enjoyed the ride and the group - there was a lot less pressure than the groups I've usually ridden with.  It is something for me to keep in mind when I plan training for next year.

When I got home I figured out that perhaps using DuoDerm for saddle sores while riding isn't a great idea.  It had disintegrated into a sticky mess that I'm hoping comes out of my chamois in the wash. :(

As far as Sunday I had two options - an epic ride along the coast with the Awesome Ahead group - 85 miles and 5500+ feet of climbing.  While I'm all for back-to-back riding (and including a quick ride on Friday this would be my third day in a row) I wasn't up for that.  So I showed up for what I thought was a renegade ride, but actually was an official training ride at only about 36 miles.  A quick Portola Loop with some of my new friends from the Blaze.  It was great and I really pushed on the way back to get my speed average up.  14.1mph over 36 miles is not bad at all.  At our rest stop (Robert's Market, natch) I happened run in to Chris, the leader of the Distance Training series.  Hearing that this really hardcore guy also didn't need to punish himself with the mega-climbing ride that I ducked out of made me feel like I had made the right decision.

This week I am meeting with Vanessa again to try and sort out some butt and foot issues.  Hopefully those will get solved before Saturday, when I'm supposed to ride the 113 miles to Gilroy and back.