Rain, Tour de Carnage and Mixed Signals

The end result of crazed French motorist vs Johnny Hoogerland in the Tour de France

Ah Florida, how I love you. As soon as I adjust my schedule to increase my mileage, you decide to flex your cumulonimbus muscles and pour rain on us. I know we need it, and I am grateful for that, but please start those rains a little later in the day as you usually do. I was able to beat you out the door today for my 30 miler, but that return headwind while racing those menacing dark clouds back home was not fun.

Speaking of not fun, the Tour de France has turned into the Tour de Carnage. I do not recall seeing so many serious crashes before the first rest day. Twenty riders have exited so far (only one due to being outside of the time limit) including some big names like Vinokourov (broken leg), Willems (damaged shoulder), Zabriskie (broken wrist), Brajkovic (head lacerations and concussion) and Wiggins (broken collar bone). Crashes and injuries can and do occur in the Tour, but it is unforgivable when a TV technician car plows into two riders of a breakaway group.

For those that missed it, during Sundays stage, a TV crew support car attempted to pass two riders (Fletcha and Hoogerland) in the breakaway group and slammed into them while swerving to avoid a tree, knocking Fletch to the pavement and sending Hooggerland cartwheeling off the road into a barbed wire fence. Hoogerland ended up with 33 stitches on his legs while Fletcha ended up with a severely banged up elbow, and a knee, yet both riders remounted their bikes and finished the race with Hoogerland earning the King of the Mountains shirt and recognition for being the most aggressive rider of the day. These boys are tough as nails, but they are not indestructible. It’s time to reduce the number of vehicles in the race, particularly vehicles not supporting the riders and teams.

Changing the topic a bit, I experienced an odd sensation while riding today which can only be described as mixed signals between my body and brain. My legs just wanted to turn up the speed and power, while my brain was telling me that I should be tired, which I was not, as I was easily maintaining an average speed of over 19 MPH in a very stiff headwind. No matter how hard I tried to back off, I’d just increase my cadence and build up more speed, but as soon as my brain registered this, it would “hit the kill switch” to stop me from pedaling. It was a very odd sensation. I could not explain why I mentally wanted to slow down and recuperate a bit, when I did not need to at all. Perhaps it was the sense of urgency to beat the storm back home, or perhaps my mind just wasn’t in the ride, but needless to say, it was a very strange sensation to want to hold back when I physically did not need to.

Today’s race against the rain was my favorite 30 mile jaunt down Treeline, which I won by approximately 5 min. Hopefully Mother Nature cooperates a bit and delays those rains a bit this week.

Route: Treeline
Ride Time: 1:57:57
Stopped Time: 29:34
Distance: 30.80 miles
Average: 15.67 miles/h
Fastest Speed: 21.04 miles/h
Ascent: 173 feet
Descent: 129 feet
Calories: 1797

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