Friday, March 5, 2010

Curacao, March 5, 2010

Today's swim practice was optional due to the longer bike ride leaving on the bus at 9:30. I opted out of swim practice to do the bike ride... that was my first mistake!

Ten of us bussed out to the Flamingo Farm to start the ride. (Ever see a sign like the one below? Like the "deer crossing"signs in Michigan but a lot more fun). We unloaded there and rode out past Knip beach to another beautiful beach. As soon as we started riding I felt like I was riding on a flat tire. I was dragging up the rolling hills--having trouble on the same hills that I rode easily a couple of days ago...

At one corner I saw a car coming from the side street, but we had the right of way, and I thought the driver saw me. That was my second mistake! I had a very close call. The driver did not see me, Jonathan (who was right behind me) yelled and the car came to a screeching halt as I was taking evasive action.... too close for comfort; and I made sure to have eye contact with drivers the rest of the ride.

At the ten mile point there was some shade (under a poisonous tree, pictured above) so I stopped to drink and cool off (my bike computer said it was 100 degrees). It was in this shade that I discovered that both my front and rear brakes were dragging on the wheels. No wonder I felt like I was riding on flat tires! Jonathan (who is a bike coach) adjusted them for me and told me that they went out of alignment because my quick releases were not tightened up enough. (I had indeed checked wheels and brakes before the ride, as always).

I finished the ride, but the damage was already done. What a bonk! I am seriously considering not bringing a bike next time. Is the hot weather training really going to help the upcoming bike and tri season enough to make up for the bonk, the sweat, the trouble of having my bike here? Ask me after April 25.Last Photo shows downtown Willemstaad, taken from the bus window on the bridge--the umbrellas in the foreground are at Iguana Cafe, where we ate lunch the first day.

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