Monday, June 15, 2009

riverrun past Charlie Lilley's...

The summer after my senior year of high school I received an email from Pete Giese, the freshman rowing coach. He told me that in order to "hit the ground running" in the fall I should do 60-90 minutes a day of cardio with my heart rate in the 120-150 range. That very day I laced up my running shoes, headed out the door, and proceeded to run for 65 minutes. The next morning, upon rolling out of bed, I nearly collapsed from the searing pain in my quads. Still I got out on the road and ran for another 60 minutes, albeit much slower. Each step felt like knives were being thrust into my legs, but I stuck it out and over the course of the summer worked my way up to a solid 13 mile run.

It was with this, um, fond memory in mind that fell asleep last night. The last time I rode my bike before yesterday was May 24, ages ago! I feared I would awake with leg cramps, hobble over to my bike, ride for 65 miles, and arrive in Carmichael around midnight.

Fortunately, my legs felt great. Perhaps that is an exaggeration, but another 65 miles was certainly doable. After the best breakfast I've had in a while (2 pancakes, scrambled eggs, potatoes, and a steak) the team waved goodbye to Barbara and hit the road. The first part of our trek was smooth sailing. Dave and I weaved in and out of the California golden hills, practically alone on the country roads.

We stopped in Davis, a good 35 miles from Fairfield, and met up with Lauren for snacks from the van. After about an hour Dave and I jumped back on the bikes and headed towards Carmichael by way of Sacramento. The bike path we took ran us parallel to the I-80 and the headwind from the oncoming traffic created greatly slowed our process. The after-lunch sleepiness started to kick in and I was delighted when Sacramento finally came into view.

After crossing the American River, we picked up a bike path that goes all the way out to Folsom. The path follows the river and makes for a beautiful, car-free ride. Around 4 PM we rolled into Carmichael to the house of Charlie Lilley. Charlie is our good friend, teammate, and as of yesterday a Stanford graduate! We enjoyed a wonderful evening of food, stories, and laughs with his parents and sister, Laura, and have just sat down to relax before heading to bed.

Tomorrow is a big day in the Ride Against AIDS. The road since Palo Alto has been relatively flat but 15 miles into our ride tomorrow we hit elevation. The road rises and falls (but mostly rises) all the way up to Carson Pass which is over 8,500 feet above sea level. Tomorrow we will take try to take out between 5,000 and 7,000 of those feet. It will be, most likely, the hardest day of the summer because we haven't totally adjusted to riding yet and because it will be the most elevation we will encounter in a day.

The story with which I opened this entry was actually incomplete. As hard as the 2nd day was, the 3rd day was worse and still ranks as #3 on my list of worst physical experiences of my life (racing up Half Dome and the Petite Finals of the IRAs this year are #1 and #2, respectively). I can only hope that the 3rd day of the ride is not as bad as the 3rd day of running.

In closing, today marks the beginning of the "Ride Against AIDS Trivia Game"! I'll include various questions with point values throughout the blog. The first to answer the question correctly received the points and the overall winner at the end of the summer gets a Face AIDS DVD and a kiss from Dave. (Note: you do not have to receive the kiss if you do not want. It's totally mandatory). Daily winners will receive a Face AIDS pin. Anyways, here is the first question:

What is the title of this blog entry a reference to? (10 points) Anyone named Matt Keeley is not eligible to answer this question.


  1. Good luck with the climb today, guys! We will re-joyce in your success.

  2. Wait only your brother can answer? Thats not fair, I wanna win the totally-mandatory-yet-still-somehow-optional kiss from Dave!
    The wind picked up when I was coaching today and there were lots of wake-s. Damn, I'm not as clever as RKBC

  3. I think he meant anyone BUT Matt could answer!

  4. I must apologize for the mistakes in the blog. I was very tired and made some mistakes. Here are the corrections:

    1. Matt Keeley was NOT eligible to answer the question. Everyone else was.
    2. The Dave kiss is optional. I must have meant "not mandatory" but slipped up. Sorry. Hope this clears up all misunderstandings. I'll try to be less sloppy in the future :-)