I was thrilled to have scored a sitter for this past Thursday. Who knew it would be the hottest fuggin' day of the year, EVER. Missouri now has a new record for June 28th, it was 108 degrees. I know now what it feels like to cook from the inside, similar to being in a microwave. As I stood in Lost Valley's parking lot, I admitted to myself that this ride was wrong on so many levels. Even so, today was going to be my first day O'dirt with my new Kona Big Unit. I had him geared at 32x19, my favorite set up for this trail.
He is not "blinged out" as I would prefer, it's nothing that a can of white spray paint won't fix. I would like some white bars, white saddle, white cranks, and a white seat post. So, drop me an email if you have any of that laying around and want to part with it. Sorry, I digress.
One minute into my ride, I had sweat rolling like a river down my back. Riding today was NOT a good idea. ( Now in a whining voice say) " But, I wanna ride my bike today". Most of the stars were in alignment, and I have been a good girl. I was not going to let a little heat take away the good dirt lovin' time I was about to have. I have been waiting for this all week.
I was not being greedy. I just wanted to get in a couple hours, a couple laps. I have been on my cross bike too long. I wanted to play in the rocky areas, rip around a bit, and regain some confidence. Speaking of rocks, WHOA there is a lot of rocks out there. My Velocity Blunt SL's, tubeless baby, rolled right over, barely touching them. As a single speeder, it is imperative for me to keep my momentum. Those Velocity wheels are so amazing I barely have to pedal.
By the time I was standing at the top of the downhill in, I reluctantly conceded that I would never be able to complete my goal of two laps. I toyed with heading back to the car, head home, and hop on my fantastic trainer and be pissy the rest of the day. OR... I could just pedal until I couldn't pedal any more. After all, I did have my helmet on in case I passed out and fell over.
First thing I noticed, a 32x20 would have been a better gear selection. I had a 60oz. camelbak filled with ice and water on my back and a 24oz insulated bottle filled with ice and Gatorade. That would be plenty of fluids, right? Wow it's scorching, Crazy hot! I tell myself that I will be content to complete one lap. Today's weather felt like the DK should have.
When temps reach this high, it takes a lot of energy for your body to just cool itself. That means your pedaling will suffer, greatly. I don't mind the sweating, as long as it stays out of my eyes. The Halo works very well, and I had a Buff on to keep my head cool. Breathing in hot, dusty air ( which has me coughing as I write this ) is not how I like to roll. I start taking small sips of water every few minutes and indulge in the Gatorade when I stopped for breaks. By mile five, I texted my hubby to let him know I was slowly dying out there, but would make it out alive. This was harder than I thought. Other than that, I was having fun getting to know my Big Unit.
Anyway, I hop on Face Book to report that it's incredibly hot, and that " It may be safe to ride naked in the woods. I am the only one here". Of course, I was the only one there. Who else would be that foolishly insane? What the hell was I doing out there? I lay blame on being Irish/German and very stubborn. Immediately after hitting send, I laid my bike against a tree and removed my helmet.
I was soaked. Clearly I was experiencing some form of heatstroke because I was actually toying with the idea of peeling off my clothes and continuing my ride. I took off my jersey first. AAAAHHHHH. Much better. I will ride sans jersey. Out of nowhere, a little devil hopped on my left shoulder and said " gone on, take 'em all off ". Mind you, there is no one out here. If by chance there is, I will deny everything and quickly ride away. I took off my bike shorts and my sport bra. I am really gonna do this. Yay me. I am glad there was not an audience, I have led a sheltered life and never ridden a bike naked.
|Bike is sweating|
After securing my drenched kit on the bars, I replaced my helmet and was off. I know, what a sight. A perfectly sane 43 year old wife and mother riding her birthday present in her birthday suit. It felt so incredible to be free and not really give a crap what anyone would think. I quickly ascertained that a sweaty rear slides right off the saddle. So, I had to put my shorts back on. Boo, hiss. No biggie, it was still cool to be " free- boobin' " down the trail. I will caution those chica's who want to experience this first hand.... be prepared to see your boobs do some amazing tricks. It's quite hysterical. They truly have a mind of their own. If you are large breasted, you may want to re-think this. Trust me... you WILL get hit in the face.
Suzanne R. said it best, " How liberating". Yeah, it was all that and more. There was no one to stop me. Would I have listened? Probably not. I mean, why the heck not? We only live once. If you do it correctly, you will die a happy person. I plan on dying a happy person. No regrets.
The trail was, as expected, blisteringly dry, seriously loose, wicked dusty, etc.... By the grace of God, I finally reached the bottom of the climb out. That left a mile or so to the car. I so got this. I put on my bra and jersey, they were bone dry. Extremely hot, but dry. I hopped upon the Big Unit and started the climb. Under normal circumstances, I would not have struggled. Less than half way, I decided " screw this " and walked the remainder. I reached the top and headed to the lot. I was exhausted and less than satisfied with the mileage. Notwithstanding, I rode my bike naked. Check that off my To Do list. Within a couple minutes, I pass a lone ranger, outfitted entirely in black headed for the trail. If he had been ten minutes earlier, he would have had a helluva story to tell his buddies. Would they have believed him?
The morale of this story is to seize the moment. Live your life. Ride a bike naked, you won't regret it. And everything is going to be OK.