Last Brick Before Cleveland Steelman
The training schedule had me down for a 45/10 brick this morning, so last night I was early to bed and raring to go when the alarm went off at just after six.
My ride earlier in the week had left me a little sore in the . . . um . . . undercarriage region. I’d been wearing a pair of Aldi’s very inexpensive bib shorts. On first glance they’re pretty damned fine shorts, and only £8 a pair (so I’d bought two). But the chamois seat pad, while being CoolMax, is badly designed - it’s just too big for starters, which makes it like riding wearing a nappy (that’s a diaper to you over there). Worse still, the padding is in an array of individually pocketed bumps:
I’m about to give you just Too Much Information, so if discussion of parts of the human body offends you, now’s the time to look away.
The problem is that to squeeze that massive pad between your legs, something’s gotta give. What happens is it folds along the thin parts, and the thicker bits of the padding come together, pinching whatever’s between them pretty damned hard.
In my case (and I guess every guy’s case - after all, I’m just a regular guy, right?) what they pinch is the back of my scrotum (now you know why I told you to look away). For the first five or ten minutes, bearing in mind that I’m also covered with the Assos menthol chamois cream and so feeling all tingly down there, it’s not such an unpleasant sensation. But after 20 or 30 miles tucked down and aero, leaning my bodyweight onto that part of my body? Well saying that it smarts, or stings, wouldn’t quite be doing it justice. And not that I could actually see back there, but it felt like it was also bright red to the point of actually glowing.
The point of this is to put across that I was a little nervous of this morning’s ride - my undercarriage just wouldn’t take that sort of punishment again. Fortunately I managed to find a pair of shorts I got last year in Decathlon in France. These have a chamois that’s so silky smooth and well padded that when I die, I want to be buried in them - they’ll be just perfect for that long ride in the sky chased by the Devil’s peleton.
So how was the ride?
Not bad. I did a series of arcs around Newcastle and Gateshead, finishing up with a circuit of the Hebburn triathlon’s bike route and home through the Tyne tunnel. On the plus side, I did a good job of fuelling, taking in a gel (90 cals or so) and a mini Mars bar (200-ish cals) for every hour in the saddle. I tried a mini Snickers bar out too, and although it was good fuel for today, I found the peanutty texture a little too hard going for race day.
On the down side, I messed up my hydration. Yet a-fecking-gain. There were two mistakes - I forgot to put any salts into my drinks, so I messed up my electolytes. Worse still, I just didn’t drink enough - only about a litre of fluids (5:1 watered down grapefruit juice) for 150 minutes of cycling. I was sipping every ten minutes, but just not getting enough down my neck - I should have got through at least 1.5 litres, and ideally a full 2 litres. As it was, I drank only about 900ml. This was a mistake that I’d pay for later, and just cannot afford to repeat on race day in just 14 day’s time. Doh!
- Type: Cycle
- Date: 06/21/2008
- Time: 17:32:42
- Total Time: 2:29:00.00
- Distance: 43 miles
- Average Speed: 17.32 mph