All posts by Mike

Eric on fire!

Does Kings Mtn have its own Bridge of Death? Only if you head up through Greer and Huddart Park. Kings isn't really steep enough to earn a "Bridge of Death", unless you ride it hard enough.
Does Kings Mtn have its own Bridge of Death? Only if you head up through Greer and Huddart Park. Kings isn’t really steep enough to earn a “Bridge of Death”, unless you ride it hard enough.

A bit unusual this morning, as Eric, who’s usually riding “casual” on the climbs (because he gets up super-early and has already been riding for over an hour before he meets us), was highly animated today! Fun to watch, while I could.

Kevin, Kevin, Karl, Karen, Eric & Marcus on the ride this morning, no fog, dry roads, a good day to be on a bike. Kevin (my son, not the pilot) had a rough time on Kings right at the half-way point, getting a pretty good seizure and causing some concern from a passing motorist. He’d been pushing hard to stay with Marcus, maybe too hard. After he came out of the seizure, you’d think he’d ride at a civil pace but no, he went on a tear while everyone else rode semi-casual. More evidence of the “reset” phenomenon I pointed out a post or two ago.

But it was Eric consistently going to the front, pushing the pace in quite a few sections. Nice to see him come alive like that!

Can you ride with just 3 hours sleep? Of course you can!

helmet_check
JR and Pilot aka Old Man Kevin doing the mandatory pre-ride helmet check, making sure they hadn’t forgotten them

Last night had been rough, for both myself and Kevin. Kevin was a bit rattled by a paper he’d written for school that came back with a few more suggestions for change than he’d hoped for and was still having trouble falling asleep around midnight (he usually gets to bed around 10:30 or so when he’s got to get up early for the Tuesday/Thursday-morning ride). Me? I don’t know what happened. Just couldn’t get to sleep, got into that mode of increased-anxiety because I have to get to sleep so I can ride, try and find a position to sleep in where you don’t feel your heart pounding, and then finally, sometime past 3am, consciousness slips away. Of course, in the meantime you’re convincing yourself it’s not so bad, what’s the difference between actually sleeping and “resting?”

The alarm goes off at 6:55am and I get up, wondering if Kevin’s going to give me that “Dad, no” bit. Before he could get too far on that, I explained that, whatever sleep he’d gotten, I’d gotten a lot less and I needed somebody to make sure I stayed upright! He went for it. Don’t know why.

And in that life imitating life bit, looking out the window things looked very much like I felt. Dark and foggy! This was not a morning to skip coffee. Surprisingly, I didn’t feel like a zombie out there, and neither did Kevin. It wasn’t a particularly fast ride, but it wasn’t particularly slow either. The only indication that my body was trying to rebel came in my heart rate, which simply refused to climb above 152 or so.

Besides the two of us we also had Pilot/Old Man Kevin, Marcus, JR and Eric. All in a civil mood, nobody trying to take advantage of my less-than-bright-eyed state. And the rest of the day? I remained zombie-free. Had I not ridden, I seriously doubt that would have been the case. Not sure how that works, just another indication that cycling is good for me.