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Had my first DNF today

Old 12-15-18, 02:40 PM
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pennpaul
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Had my first DNF today

The first time in my life I could not finish a ride. It was supposed to be a 43 mile ride but had a lot of climbing. My main goal was climbing up to see the Challenger Memorial which I did--that's the little monument icon at the 26 mile mark. The climb was long and probably the toughest I've done but it was made miserable by a strong head wind coming down the mountain.

I was OK after the climb but what killed me was running out of water. The nice part of riding on Shabbat is the low traffic but the bad part is nothing is open. I was almost desperate enough to drink from all the discarded water bottles along the roadside. I carried 2 20oz bottles but it wasn't nearly enough. I had planned on stopping at a coffee shop I heard about but couldn't find it. My quads started cramping on the last climb and then my right hamstring cramped which never happens but in the most serious cases. I stopped at the 35 mile mark and had to call my wife for a lift. I'm glad she was gracious about it, though.

I'm going to attempt this ride again in the spring. I'm not letting it beat me.




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Old 12-15-18, 09:39 PM
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It happens... staying hydrated is crucial, especially if you're prone to cramps (like i am). You might consider a camelbak type backpack if you're going to be out and about when no services are available.

Say, why is there a challenger memorial in Israel? Christa McAuliffe went to my high school in Framingham MA, so we were all in the lunch room watching it on TV when the shuttle exploded.
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Old 12-15-18, 10:11 PM
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Originally Posted by TrojanHorse View Post
You might consider a camelbak type backpack if you're going to be out and about when no services are available.

Say, why is there a challenger memorial in Israel? Christa McAuliffe went to my high school in Framingham MA, so we were all in the lunch room watching it on TV when the shuttle exploded.
I can carry 3 bottles on my bike but didn't think to grab that last one before heading out. Stupid. The Camelback is a good idea. I'm planning a trip from here to the southern tip of Israel which will take me through the Negev Desert so I'll need as much as I can carry. It was cool yesterday so I wasn't losing it through perspiration but I was breathing mouth agape on those hills so it must have been through respiration

The memorial is ~20 miles west of Jerusalem in what is designated as "USA Park". Sadly there are at least a couple other memorials commemorating American tragedies. There is the JFK Memorial which I think is beautiful and is situated on an awesome hilltop at the edge of Jerusalem. It's a popular riding destination here and I make the trip a couple times a month. It actually has a bathroom and water fountain. The other one I've ridden to is the 9/11 Memorial which is on the hillside opposite the valley from Jerusalem. Looking out you can see the city as well as Jerusalem's largest cemetery.

I remember the Challenger tragedy as well. We were sitting in Mr. King's class when he came in and switched on the class radio for us to hear.

Thanks
Paul

Last edited by pennpaul; 12-15-18 at 10:17 PM.
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Old 12-23-18, 03:20 AM
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Well, you got a good ride in, anyway. It looks like a great place to ride, too. All you can do is analyze what went wrong and make corrections to implement on future rides. Your resolve to complete the ride at a future date is the first step.
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Old 12-31-18, 05:48 PM
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Dnfy

Call it dnfy - did not finish yet. It’s not a dnf until you quit trying.















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Old 12-31-18, 05:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Mmassey338 View Post
Call it dnfy - did not finish yet. It’s not a dnf until you quit trying.
















I like the way you think
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Old 12-31-18, 08:39 PM
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Originally Posted by TrojanHorse View Post
Say, why is there a challenger memorial in Israel? Christa McAuliffe went to my high school in Framingham MA, so we were all in the lunch room watching it on TV when the shuttle exploded.
Judith Resnik was the first Jewish woman to go to space. Her list of accomplishments is very impressive.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Judith_Resnik
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Old 01-07-19, 11:19 AM
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Congratulations on your DNF! You've located one edge of your envelope (lots of climbing without enough water). Keep pushing -- you may find another edge of what's possible for you to complete, but more likely you'll find there's a lot more you can do that you might have doubted you could finish.
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Old 01-07-19, 11:45 AM
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Looks like an awesome ride. Did Not Finish Yet. I like that!


-Matt
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Old 01-07-19, 12:40 PM
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I've completed lots of rides, but had my fair share of DNF's, too, for varied reasons. If you finish in good health and the bike's not wrecked, no problem, though.
Planning ahead- consider a Camelback + bottles, or possibly stashing water at some intermediate point before the turnaround.
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Old 01-09-19, 09:07 AM
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Originally Posted by StephenH View Post
I've completed lots of rides, but had my fair share of DNF's, too, for varied reasons. If you finish in good health and the bike's not wrecked, no problem, though.
Finishing...or even DNFing...in poor health and/or a wrecked bike may not be all bad. Scars are just tattoos with better stories

That said, not finishing a ride isn't the worst thing that can happen. Perhaps the worst is the DNS...did not start. I've had my fair share of those due to any number of reasons...broken bikes, forgotten helmets, forgotten shoes, car breakdowns, etc. There's nothing worse then drive 3 hours to lead a group of people into one of the coolest (unknown) places in Colorado only to realize that you've forgotten your shoes. Luckily I wasn't at the trailhead and La Junta, Colorado use to have one bike shop.

But the real tragedy are the DNS rides you don't do out of fear. Fear of the unknown. Fear of disaster. Fear of others. Fear of failure. Fear of finances. The list is endless. One of my favorite quotes from movies is from Strictly Ballroom. It's not original but it is powerful. "A life lived in fear is a life half lived." The list of rides in my signature line is a testament to my trying to not live my life in fear.
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Old 01-10-19, 10:00 AM
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You haven't ridden enough if you haven't had a DNF. I've had a few, a couple due to equipment failures (flat tires) and one due to severe leg cramps. But the important thing is to learn from them. The first tire failure was back when I was just starting out. I had pulled my bike out of the shed and was riding on old tires, and at that point I hadn't yet started carrying a patch kit or spare tubes with me. The second tire failure was a gravel ride when I hit a big bump I didn't see, causing a pinch flat. It was getting dark and I didn't want to navigate the rest of the ride home on unfamiliar gravel after the time it would have taken me to replace the tube, so I called my wife to pick me up. And the leg cramping issue happened back before I started carrying electrolytes with me. I was basically just washing them all out of my system.

Last Saturday as I busied myself taking down Christmas decorations, I had turned on the TV just to have some background noise. I settled on watching Bob Ross, the painter. He said something profound while painting his picture, and that was that it's not a failure to make a mistake unless you don't learn from it.
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Old 01-15-19, 10:26 AM
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Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
...one of the coolest (unknown) places in Colorado only to realize that you've forgotten your shoes. Luckily I wasn't at the trailhead and La Junta, Colorado use to have one bike shop.
Thx for that link, that ride is on my bucket list now, and your travelogue will be extremely helpful!

I've showed up at a ride before with no pedals (more than once actually!). One time it was a camping destination. The nearby bike/ski shop was apparently closed for the season, but they had an advertising beater chained to their sign, and I had tools so I borrowed its pedals for 2 days and reinstalled them on my way back.
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Old 01-15-19, 10:40 AM
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It can feel like failure, but it does indeed happen to everyone at some point. At this point, I always make sure to have my regional bus pass just in case I've made a gross misjudgement of conditions (myself or weather), or ability...Some days my legs just aren't as fresh as I thought and a 40 mile ride would've been better if it was 30.

It happens. Heat stress x2, water x1, distance/legs x3, headwinds x1. You were prepared enough (phone) to make it back & had the mental tools to make sound judgement. I'd say it was a valuable learning experience to find your limits. Now you have one more data point in your arsenal.
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Old 01-16-19, 11:22 PM
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Never been to Jerusalem, but I'm under the impression it tends to be quite dry. You'd be a candidate for additional bottle cages, under the seat, handlebar mounts, etc. I had one of the first Cannondale racing bikes back in the 80's that had a third set of bottle cage bosses under the down tube. It was a bit of a challenge grabbing that bottle while riding but I put it to good use. Personally I wouldn't want to spend a couple hot, strenuous hours with a Camelback.

If you're like me and sweat liberally (seems to go with cramping) try a weak hydration mix in one of the bottles. I'll happily put in a product plug for the Skratch Labs Hydration drink, mixed half strength. When I started drinking this on hot rides my cramping stopped like a light being switched off. Just remember that's not the one you use to dump on your head.

One other tip, (for Americans only, I believe) Better World Club offers an add-on for bike riders for an additional US$30/year where they'll give you ride up to 30 miles. I haven't had to use it but I spend a lot of time out in the boonies (roadie only) and it's comforting to know it's there if needed.
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Old 01-17-19, 11:00 AM
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Thanks for the words of encouragement. At the end of that ride, I did bum water off another cyclist who was packing up her car. It was too late to save me, though, but she did offer a ride. She had a tiny car and I couldn't imagine fitting both of our bikes in it. The cycling community here is pretty good. There is an Uber-like taxi service here which would have been my last resort.

Yes, it can get very dry here. I rode 50 miles to Tel Aviv last weekend and almost cramped about 10 miles from the end. It wasn't an issue the other time I rode it with just 2 bottles. I did bring the 3rd water bottle this time and did not run dry. This time we were able to stop at a gas station in time, and buy water and Gatorade which helped stave it off. I'm going back to the States in a couple weeks and will be bringing back Gatorade powder--my Dad already bought some. I'll check out that hydration mix, too. Seems like most hydration drinks either contain magnesium or don't (Gatorade). Replacing Mg and Na seem to be central to preventing cramps. BTW, I sweat buckets!

I bought a 2.5L Osprey hydration pack. I'm planning a 94-mile ride through the Negev Desert to go to the southern part of Israel near Jordan. My family and some friends will provide sag, but my friend and I want to do it unsupported if at all possible.
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Old 01-17-19, 11:21 AM
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I like this recipe for DIY gatorade

Recipes for Homemade Sports Drinks

You can dial back the sugar if you want it less sweet (less sticky when you have to drink it warm)
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