Monday, July 26, 2010

First 30 Mile Ride - OMFG!!

Well, I survived my first ‘real’ ride; but it wasn’t all pretty!!

I met up with Rob the training ride coordinator and another rider Patty. Patty is a self-described “stay-at-home mom with three kids” and she (like me) decided one day to start riding and went into a store and bought a bike. Of course, she is an experienced rider these days and her promise to “show us guys how to ride” certainly rang true for me – OMG!!! She was amazing, and her level of endurance and stamina certainly put mine to shame.

I had never been up in the Andover, NJ area and it really is a beautiful part of the garden state for sure. We met at the Aeroflex Andover Airport/Lake Aeroflex boat launch at 265 Limecrest in Andover, NJ and started off the ride well enough at a brisk but manageable pace.

Then a few miles into the ride, we hit the first of a few hills – and they were hills, nothing major – and that is where the men were separated from the boys. Well, in my case, where I was separated from seasoned, conditioned, experienced riders!! I was huffing a bit but was feeling ok and then we hit a major hill where my stubborn streak and the hill did battle.

Unfortunately for me, the hill won and shortly after the steep bit of exertion; the combination of the heat, the effort, my lack of conditioning and experience all culminated in one really ugly bout of a vasovagal response.

For those of you who don’t know what a vasovagal response is; it is a combination of sensations and responses such as lightheadedness, nausea, sweating, ringing in the ears, uncomfortable feeling in the heart, weakness and visual disturbances such as lights seeming too bright, black spots, fuzzy or tunnel vision – in short it feels like your body is short-circuiting and you’re going to throw up, soil yourself and pass out all at the same time – accompanied by an instantly appearing layer of sweat all over your body and feeling like you are about 150 degrees inside and out…not a pleasant experience and one of the few times in my life where I pray for a fast, quick end to my misery.

When I felt the wave of nausea coming on, I got off my bike and found Rob and Patty instantly at my side. We stopped and talked a bit – they more assessing my condition than anything – and as the wave ebbed and flowed; I felt slightly better and got back on my bike. We rode a short bit and then pulled off into a parking lot to rest for a couple minutes and then the wave of nausea hit and the full vasovagal response washed over me.
I think I can count on one hand the number of times I have had the pleasure of experiencing this phenomenon and every episode was always exercise induced and extremely unpleasant. However, even through the fog of nausea and all the other stuff going on; I knew that it would pass as long as I could lie down for about 5 minutes or so… Hell for me, would be to be trapped in that state for eternity…!!!

I had some of my HEED sports drink ( , rested about 10 minutes and I felt pretty normal, so off we went and the rest of the ride went fine.

It really was a beautiful day and I loved riding through the countryside, really awesome!

I did get some great tips from both Rob and Patty on riding form and training – and I also learned the importance of clip-in pedals.

They both were surprised that I made it, I think – and through it all, they were very encouraging and supportive. I am happy that I was able to go the distance and finish the training ride.

Thanks Patty!! Thanks Rob!!

The next training ride is after new rider orientation in Asbury Park on August 8th so I have to ride, ride, ride until then!!

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