Grapevine Trails

32.1 mi, 4:32:51
Breakfast was 4-5oz of link sausage, plus 3-4oz of corn flakes, and almost 2 cups of almond milk. My pack had 2L of ice, 14 teabags of brew water, and some electrolyte mix. Mix of sunny and cloudy. Took about 40 mins to get to the trails, and the park was not open.

I didn’t have cash, so I looped back and took a dirt road across a hay field to a well-used trail entrance that dropped me off at W4. I rode out to W1, with a 180cal protein bar around W2. I refilled my pack with tap water, and had a second protein bar at the MADD pavillion.

The protein bars didn’t really help as much as I’d liked, and about 2h and 45m in I was well into the wall. E1 was WAY more difficult than all of W1-4 combined. I had my first wipeout… and it was stupid: Gentle curve, light sand… I looked back to see if it was a cyclist coming, and that, plus the sand, was just enough to send me slightly off the edge into some rough, dried-track mud. Rear wheel slid out. Bike seat frogged me in the perineum, which was very uncomfortable for the next half mile.

I got to something in E3, and was pretty much spent. The “something” looked like a vertical wall with rock steps, but later I saw someone else ride up it.

WTF? FTS. I walked up, and on the other side was a beautiful section of lake. I couldn’t continue… I kept looking at it for about 5 minutes, and then Seth, a single-serving trail buddy jogged up. We hit the water for about 20 mins, which was great. Lots of talking about running and cycling, and just enjoying cooling off in the water.

After, I had a litre of warm water, and no food to carry me the rest of the way out, but it turned out to only be another half mile or so to the W4 marker that lead to my exit.

I cut back through the neighborhoods and got back to 3040 and 2499. There, Chick Fill-A was kind enough to provide a grilled chicken sandwich, a few waffle fries, and a couple of litres of iced tea.

As if by magic, my energy levels returned, and the ride home was awesome. Some sunshine, but lots of shade, then a little overcast. I rode in a lot higher gear than I thought I could, and made it home from there in about 35 minutes.

This is by far my longest ride, and my best ride. The trails were challenging, and even with several walk-downs and walk-ups, I had a blast. Now, we’ll see if I can walk tomorrow.

I’m still sooo far away from having nutrition worked out for my rides. I can tell you though that at 1.5 hours, energy levels begin falling, no matter what I had for breakfast. If I eat 200 calories in an energy bar, that’s good for less than 30 mins, but a chicken sandwich is good for another hour or two. I’ll probably end up lugging real food with me, or planning food stops along the route. Though, not Waffle house.


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