So yesterday was Day 1 of an 8-day biking binge. From 8/31 through 9/7, the plan is to ride 16.5 hours, which will most likely turn into 17-18, only because I almost never do exactly what the plan says--usually more. That is a whole lot of biking, yes? The week after that, the plan calls for a running binge, where I hope to run about 50-55 miles (with not much biking--see how this works?).
I'd agreed to meet Blane at Fermilab and show him how to ride in there and he wanted to pick my brain on a number of topics, most notably nutrition (you can call me the Nutrition Nazi--that is how passionate I am about endurance folks, especially long course, getting their nutrition right). Blane is "not training" for a long NothingMan (5K/200K/50K) to be done on 9/29. I don't recall having met him in person before yesterday, but I think he believes we met on some ride somewhere.
Blane lives near Fermilab, so he just rode there, and I drove there, so I could have cold fluids and bring some extra water for Blane. I checked the weather forecast before I left, and it said, "party cloudy." Well bullshit keep reading. But it was dry when I left and got there, and good thing Blane was dressed fashionably enough to ride with me.
|He is thinking WTF???|
We immediately began talking, and that pretty much didn't stop for the entire ride. We talked nutrition, stories from our past, hopes and dreams for the future, how our lives are going right now, and he shared his NothingMan plan with me. I hope to join him perhaps for part of his ride, and then I want to help him out on the run by riding on Death Machine and carrying extra fluids and generally being a pain in the ass and dispensing HTFU (although I don't think he needs too much HTFU, but one can always use more).
I have taken other people riding with me in Fermilab, and many don't like it because of the riding in circles. But when you have good company, I think it's a hoot, and we got "lucky" in the weather department which made things really interesting. Also, I typically let a guy I am riding with go nuts on A-1 road, which is where a lot of people TT because it's flat, perfect pavement and sometimes you can get a nice south tailwind. I showed Blane another little offshoot "road" that he named Secret Mad Scientist Road. I am not sure it's an actual road, however, it does have an "Authorized Personnel Only" sign posted, but it's a cool little stretch of road because it does have a bit of a climb (for Fermilab, anyway), and it was just newly paved this summer so it is awesome! When we first did SMS, it was dry and there were a lot of sticks/branches on the road from the recent storms. I commented to Blane on one later pass that he'd moved the sticks, so I had to be careful where I rode! Well it turns out that other people have ridden on SMS, according to Strava. So apparently, we aren't the only renegades.
I don't remember how soon in it began raining, but it rained, and a lot. We got a good first soak, and continued on. Then it rained again. Then the sky looked like it was going to dump out a tornado:
|In person, it looked much worse than this shows|
So we stopped at one of the "buildings" on a "road" so we could take cover until the storm passed. Blane showed me the radar while we were there, and it was going to blow through in maybe 15 minutes or so. Meanwhile...
|Giant Mutant Radioactive Corn|
We looked at the signage on the building and inside windows where we could see in. It was marked radioactive on the outside (and no doubt smooth and creamy on the inside), and there were vials of who knows what in boxes probably waiting to be disposed of. On the side of the building there was a sign that said DECON, and I asked Blane what the hell is that. Decontamination! Yay! In case of radiation, we were in the right place! I asked Blane to take a pic of me in front of the corn growing right alongside this building, which no doubt was occasionally watered and/or fed from some of those vials...
Later on, when it was actually NOT RAINING, I asked Blane if he wanted to go and see the Giant Magnet. It's just off A-1 road, and I thought he should get a pic of himself with his bike near it. First we did this one:
|Don't worry he was authorized by me|
|Notice we are about to get dumped on AGAIN. He's standing on a 3-foot block of concrete. The magnet is trying to ascend into the clouds--someone was calling it|
Then I wanted to go into the unauthorized area, and there were these huge iron beams holding up the magnet (or maybe they are part of it I don't really know), and I thought I'd get some more exercise by doing a few hanging leg raises:
That was fun, we finished riding A-1 road and made another pass along Wilson Road and did SMS again, and then we got dumped on again. We kept going, and I had to pee, and I was really close to deflowering Skull Kingdom, but then I decided against it, so we rode down to the basement of Wilson Hall to use the bathroom in a huge downpour. There were some "regular" people in the vestibule, and I figured the one guy must work there. So I asked, and he said he works in "communications." Uh-huh. OK. Most people who work in there really can't tell you what they do, so we accepted that, while he and 3 women were looking at us dripping wet with huge smiles on our faces. I decided as long as we were wet that it would be fun to have a pic of Blane and I in the actual rain, so I asked the "communications" dude if he would oblige. Blane and I walked outside into the downpour (cuz at this point we couldn't give a fuck), and the dude was at first going to try and take the shot through the glass door, but then he got a clue and walked outside (under an overhang so he wasn't going to get wet), and here we are not giving a fuck it's raining cats and dogs:
|Of course behind us it is sunny|
Then we went back in and I asked communications dude if he'd seen the magnet. He said he was going to take these women to see it, and I said we rode right up to it and took pics, do you want to see? I told Blane to show him the pics, and the look on his face was priceless when he said "OH NO!" I think that was when he saw Blane behind the AUTHORIZED PERSONNEL ONLY sign but then he looked at me dangling from the fucking magnet and rolled his eyes and turned beet red! We had a good laugh, and then Blane and I carried on, wondering if the black helicopters were going to come after us (they did NOT).
Somehow it sort of stopped raining when it was time for me to stop, and we went back to my car, I asked Blane if he needed anything else from the cooler before I took off. I made him try Cheaterade (what I call the Lime Cucumber Gatorade), so now he's been contaminated with Crackhead cooties. He drank his Red Bull and proceeded on, and I began the drive home.
I stopped at the McDonald's right out the East Gate of Fermilab, and got a Bacon Habanero Quarter Pounder meal, but I declined the drink, since I was drinking Endurox. Actually I thought I'd just ordered the burger, but for $7 it did end up including fries, and I put it in the car and took off and began inhaling the fries. They are SO GOOD after a long ride (I rode 4:13, 74 miles). I was all like nom nom nom then I opened the burger box, and it was cool they had put like a wrap around half of it so you could hold all the fillings in there while chowing down! First bite, and I was in HEAVEN! I love hot, spicy food, and they really did a good job on this, plus BACON!
When it was time for me to get on I88 off of 59, I was wondering why the traffic buildup. Well it turned out one of the passing storms must have knocked out power to the stoplights, so of course it was a mess. But people were taking turns stopping until it was my turn to turn left onto I88, and here comes some asshole just blowing through the intersection cutting me off! I got riled up and shouted FUCK YOU and double finger saluted him out the window, got on the interstate and drove with traffic home.
Since I'd eaten lunch on the way home, I cracked a beer immediately, and it was great. I thought I'd head right to the grocery store, but decided I needed to chill a bit, then I went and got waxed (which didn't hurt one iota since I'd been soaking in rain all day), then I went grocery shopping, then I began eating everything in sight.
It was a good day! I was really happy to meet a kindred spirit in Blane, and if he's still game, I do intend to join him for part of his NothingMan run, and hopefully the pizza and beer after. That was my first ride in rain this year, and we ran into other riders who said the same. One dude, Jason, is from Australia, and I bet he laughed when I told him my name is Sheila. But he and his buddy were very nice (we were stopped by a freight train going back to my car). I made good on my promise to bring one of the security guards a bag of Paydays, but still he wouldn't let us ride on the Ring Road. Maybe another time.
Today is just a 2 hour ride, a :45 run and maybe :20 swimming, so easy day, then tomorrow is 1+ hour swim, 2 hour ride and a :20 run. So I guess I am doing 2 NothingMan's in a row! Seems like fun! Off to ride before it rains again!