On Sunday (21st April) mio padre and I set off for a bike ride. His work started the tradition 25 years ago, and he impressively rode in that pioneer event, and I think have tried to make it happen every 5 or so years since then. I'm a little hairy on the deets so just bear with me. Bottom line is that my daddy asked me to take part in a community bike ride event thingo and I happily complied, although lured under false pretences as I thought it was a BIG event and I would be rewarded for my efforts with a fancy medal come the finish line, but alas no.
The ride covered 37.5km, with Dad and I tacking on an extra 5 or so km to get to the train station/starting point. I'll update this post again once I have all the nitty gritty deets from dad's Garmin, which was tracking our speed-demon prowess the whole ride, but qualitatively (oooh shmancy word) from what I could tell it was very up and down pacing and momentum. Overall we were pretty gung ho, a few "Eek we've bitten off more than we can chew"s, but pretty much just kept chuggin' along. Our fastest pace from memory was 2:07/km and we slowed right down to a 2:45/km at a few doozey points. My legs (and lady undercarriage, ouch!) were pretty sore come the half way point but with no choice but to keep going, you just have to deal with it.
Initially we adopted a 5km drifting rule. I'd lead for 5km to break the wind and give dad a rest and then we would swap over. That lasted 12.5km. I think because my darling dad is so slim he a) wasn't providing much wind resistance for me (hehe) but b) still had to struggle against it, I didn't mind taking the lead for the remainder of the way. At about 19km there was a sudden downpour and poor dad and I were soaked. And freezing. And slippery. And whingey (cue dad!).
After approximately 42.5km we found ourselves in the heart of Mandurah and freakishly synchronously timed with the other people from dad's work, who had travelled an additional 30km as they ventured from the Northern suburbs of Perth. There was such a fantastic atmosphere at the foreshore as, over time, more and more people rolled in after finishing their rides, all knackered but all smiling! I chowed down a banana and chugged 600ml of coconut water post ride and it turned out to be the best thing ever! As I had a 3hr drive back home ahead of me, immediately after the ride ended, I knew that I had to be careful with recovery. Coconut water is absolutely boomin' with naturally occurring electrolytes which are so important in rehydration. My 'nana gave me an energy boost, provided manganese and potassium to assist with muscle recovery and reduce cramping, and it tasted like heaven in a peel.
It was so special to be able to do something like this with my dad, who 1 year ago was in a completely different place physically and health wise. We decided that we'll make this our catch up thing and, when in Perth for the weekend, we will go for a long ride somewhere and grab a coffee, bless. I also loved the morning for the confidence it instilled in me. After not being on a bike for close to 9 months (I came off mine training last year and have only been on stationary gym bikes since) and realistically not doing endurance training sessions exceeding 1 hour for about 5 months, this was a huge hi 5 as I realised I could do it. I felt awesome after the ride, a little stiff and achy but overall fantastic. Not shattered, not dying, not cursing myself for being unfit. I actually finished it with a sense of self pride and respect that I haven't really felt in a while (in regards to my fitness). I was also bursting with pride over my father who, at 53 years old, with a blocked heart valve, skinny little legs and determination the size of Texas, was right by my side (well technically drifting comfortably behind me) for the whole distance. Go Dad, kicking coronary artery disease's ass!!
I will finish this impromptu and wishy washy workout Wedsnesday post with this - I freakin' LOVE riding. So watch out - I'm coming for ya on two wheels baby.