Yes, I am foolish at times.
“Let’s ride bikes this weekend,” he said. “In the Adirondack Mountains. It will be fun,” he said.
I did not think about how tough riding bicycles in upstate New York would be. You’d think that the word “Mountains” would have clued me in.
Our plan for Saturday evening was to do an easy ride from Glens Falls to Lake George. It is about twelve miles each way.
We rode only about six or seven miles when I found myself worn out, shaking and weak. I had “Bonked”.
The miserable condition you suffer if you don’t eat and drink enough on a ride. Symptoms include a pins-and-needles feeling in the arms and legs, light-headedness, disorientation and nausea. It can lead to loss of control and crashing. Prevent it by always carrying food and water and eating and drinking before you’re hungry and thirsty.
I wasn’t in quite as bad a shape as this definition describes; I was simply weak and shaky. However, I knew if we kept going I would experience a full-out Bonk. I might not make it back to the car without help. As in Ron leaving me in a shady spot to get the car and drive to pick me up.
I ride 25-30 miles a few times per week, so I found this very frustrating. And I did not understand it. I had hydrated and eaten properly. It was warm but not too hot.
I was riding a different bike, but that should not have made such a big difference. I checked the brakes to be sure they weren’t rubbing. We had adjusted my seat to the proper height before starting. The bike wasn’t the issue.
Ron tried to encourage me to keep going. I just couldn’t. I had nothing left. We had to rest and then turn around. We were not going to finish the ride to Lake George.
We turned around to go back to the way we had ridden when I started picking up speed. Lots of speed. I went very fast for a little over mile. Without pedaling! Yep. We had just ridden UP what some cyclists refer to as a False Flat.
1. A surprisingly difficult section of road that looks flat but is actually slightly uphill. Usually, no matter how hard you pedal you go way slower than you think you should be going. 2. A stretch on a long hill that looks flat and tricks you into thinking you’ve reached the top when there’s still more climbing to come.
I had never heard that term before. Now I had experienced it! We had been going uphill when we thought we were on a fairly flat trail. The trees, shadows and curves in the trail disguised the incline.
And the false flat right before I bonked was one of many that went on for about a half mile to a mile each. The trail was one incline after another as we discovered going down the trail. No wonder I was worn out!
We rode back the way we came and then rode around the very level town of Glens Falls making our total distance around sixteen miles.
We had dinner at a lovely family-owned diner. The East End Eatery in Glens Falls, NY. The Tuscana Pizza was amazing! The service was great. I highly recommend this place if you are ever in the area.
After dinner we went back to our hotel for a soak in the hot tub and and a good night’s rest.
Sunday afternoon we tried again.
And made it!
I rode my bicycle through the mountains from Glens Falls to Lake George. Up and over the false flats and down the other side. We parked up the trail a little farther than we had the night before, cutting a few miles of mostly flat trail off our ride. We rode the inclines more slowly and took a few rest breaks. I made it to the top this time!
Downhill into Lake George was great fun!
We ate lunch at a restaurant in Lake George. (Service was terrible. Food was okay. So I won’t mention the name.) We rode around town for a bit then headed back up and over the mountains. Total distance ridden was just over twenty miles on Sunday. A short but very hard ride.
Along the trail were signs like the one:
I was completely worn out by the time we got back to the car. We did it! We rode our bikes through the Adirondack Mountains!
Even though there is a bike trail across the street from our hotel, I think I’ll spend my free time getting a pedicure today.