Tuesday, July 3, 2012

The Four Hour Bike Ride

There are few things I like in this world more than the four hour bike ride. Most of the things I place in front of the four hour ride are obvious loves of mine; Jamie, insulin, new socks, excel (yes, the spreadsheet program). But why the four hour ride? Let me explain. 

Four hour ride recovery after cramp. 

  1. Unless you're a pro cyclist/triathlete (a la Lance Armstrong, Chrissie Wellington or Alex Bowden), it's a special day off work when you can ride that long. You can't ride that long before work or after. Making it more special like Christmas or the Easter Bunny. It isn't around all the time and when it is you're a happier person. 
  2. It's a long enough workout that you go through at least one dark point but short enough that you aren't going to come home with a saddle sore or go totally nuts while on said ride. Is four hours a long time? Yes. However, four hours is short enough that you can be home for lunch and still make the "I'm now an adult run" to Home Depot (or Menard's if you live in Eau Claire, WI) for new shower curtains
  3. But four hours is sooooo long. Exactly! It's long enough that we have left behind anyone not considered a workout freak. You have to love riding to sit on a bike that long. The "I workout three times a week" person does not join the group on the four hour ride. They will be in the back of the two hour ride, most likely with a bright green jacket and review mirror on their helmet. 
  4. The four hour ride is long enough that you can vary the distance. Do we want to take the flat route where we go 80 miles or the monster hilly route where we end up only going 50? The options are endless!
  5. The route is short enough to convince someone to ride with you. If you say to someone "let's do a century ride", you've now gone into the "o yeah about that" category. To go 100, you need to find someone who is either (1) training for the same thing as you or (2) just as nuts on that given day off work with no Home Depot run needed in their life. 
  6. It's a long enough workout for a great thrashing! You will still be able to walk the next day but long enough that you need a great recovery meal and can possibly cramp really bad while on said ride if dehydrated from the prior week (just like I did yesterday when I needed kids Petalyte afterward). 
  7. Spoiler Alert: Totally Diabetes Related! The four hour ride is THE perfect blood sugar monitor. Honestly, I want to ride four hours every Saturday from now until death because of this one thing. I literally can not screw up my blood sugars for two total days following the four hour ride (and sometimes three). The diabetes instantly becomes more forgiving following the four hour ride. You want that cake? Sure do, I'll take two units of insulin for that, three hours later I still have perfect blood sugars no matter what!
  8. Murphy's Law back up of insulin.

    The best place ever for a four hour ride. Elfin Forest.
  9. Speaking of diabetes, Murphy's Law is less present on the four hour ride. What is Murphy's Law you ask? It's the tube I keep in my cycling kit with a spare syringe filled with five units of insulin for any ride that may take me more than an hour away from home (and during races lasting more than three hours). If my pump should break during the four hour ride there would still be debate whether I need to open Murphy's Law or not. The same incident on a century ride (5-6 hour ride) would become that much more complicated.   
The one dark point in the last four hour ride.

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