Saturday, May 16, 2009

Riding at Altitude



Saturday, Rick and I got in a great mountain bike ride. It was also our first experience with any major altitude riding since last summer due to the fact that we were riding between 7500 and 8000 ft. It as pretty chilly when we got to the trailhead, so I had on tights and a jacket, that I knew I would discard sometime within the first few miles, but I felt were a necessity at the start of the ride. We started the three mile climb up the trailhead and I felt great. My legs have been feeling very strong, especially on the climbs, and today was no exception, they felt awesome and I was able to keep up with Rick without too much effort. We steadily and slowly climbed the single track and enjoyed the breathtaking views and the smell of the pines. Yes, it smelled like summer. After the first mile, I started to feel unusually tired, like my limbs were made of lead and a very sleepy feeling fell over me like a thin shroud. Dizziness and a slight feeling of nausea took over my senses with every pump of my legs. Rick asked me how I was doing and I replied that I was not doing so well. He stopped. I pulled up alongside him.
“I think that the smell of Dt. Pepsi is going to make me vomit”. I told him.
He looked at me quizzically and replied “You’re not drinking diet Pepsi, how was it going to make you vomit?”
“I’m not drinking it, but I can still smell it”.
“You can SMELL it? I ways knew that you were a bit of a loony bin” he said.
“I think it is just my body’s way of trying to make me be sick, so I will feel better”. I reasoned with him. “I think it’s the altitude. I’m so tired; can’t you tell that it’s affecting you too?”
“No, I feel fine; we’ll just take it slow, I think that we are almost to the top”.
I should have known better then to ask. The altitude never affects him. NEVER. He continued up the last bit of the climb like the damn mountain goat that he is and I tucked in behind him and tried to stay awake. Finally, FINALLY, we reached the summit and we careened freely down the hill on the twisty roller coaster hills. There were a few other climbs and a few other fun down hills, but we finally cut the ride short due to my horrible headache. It was good to get out there and start to get used to riding at altitude though. The Copper ride is mostly above 10,000 feet in elevation, so I’m going to have to get used to it at some point.

The rest of the day was spent cleaning the house. We have friends coming into town next weekend to visit, so I thought that I would get a jump on the house cleaning. I’m sure that it will be dirty again by the time they get here, but maybe I can just get in a light pickup before then. We did manage to relax a little bit outside while we grilled dinner.

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