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Andrew Pollock


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Saturday, 24 June 2006

Biggest. Ride. Ever.

Yesterday I cycled from Mountain View to Santa Cruz. 50 miles (80 kilometres).

Why? Google had its annual Engineering off-site, and there were a bunch of people riding. One ride was a "no rider left behind" one, so I figured I'd give it a go.

We left Mountain View at about 6:50am, and 5 and a half hours later we finally arrived at the Santa Cruz Boardwalk.

Man it was tough. I now have a much greater appreciation for the ride to Kosciusko that Sarah did, that one time, at band camp.

I was really grateful for the use of Sarah's 2 litre Camelbak, and even then I was amazed at how fast I ran out water. And steam.

Did I mention it was a tough ride?

One of the highlights of the ride was the fact that Alan Eustace came on it. Here you've got one of the Senior Vice Presidents of the company coming along with the mere mortals. Early on in the ride, one of the riders got a flat tyre, and he changed it for her. He changes a mean tyre. When we reached the summit of whatever mountain it was we were toiling to cross, we came upon a store, and had a breather. He shouted everyone whatever they needed from the store to keep going. That was really nice.

I was also really grateful to Richard, who saw me struggling at one point, and gave me a Power Bar to help keep me going. I really appreciated that. Just goes to show that eating only a banana for breakfast before embarking on a ride like this isn't such a good idea.

The other highlight was the downhill coast once we got over the mountain. That was pretty sweet. Made me glad I was taking the bus back again, and not having to cycle back up it.

Other than a lack of water and a lack of breakfast, I pulled up pretty well. I think I sat around for about an hour after arriving at Santa Cruz feeling pretty stuffed, but I didn't get any cramps or anything, and I cycled to work as usual the next day. I've got some funky sunburn on the backs of my hands where there's a hole in my cycling gloves.

Would I do it again next year? Dunno. Maybe if I've improved my fitness some more, and maybe if it's on a road bike rather than a mountain bike.

[00:41] [life/mtb] [permalink]

Thursday, 29 December 2005

Second stack

I had another cleat-related incident on the way home tonight. I thought I'd unclicked my left foot when I came to cross the road, but apparently hadn't, and I'd already rocked towards the left and was well and truly leaning that way before it became evident that my leg was still anchored to the pedal.

I fell pretty heavily on my left wrist, and it made a nasty crunching sound. Doesn't appear to be broken though, just sprained I guess.

On inspection of my left shoe when I made it home, it would seem that one of the bolts that holds the cleat to the shoe has come loose and disappeared. So when I turned my foot sideways, the cleat rotated on the other bolt, and didn't release properly, whereas I thought it had released by virtue of the fact that my foot moved sideways.

Just as well it's forecast to rain tomorrow. Don't feel much like riding at the moment.

[23:21] [life/mtb] [permalink]