Margaret and Dick   


Atlanta to Austin - Day six: Carthage TX - Crockett TX

Distance:  114 miles

Rolling speed:  13.2 mph (see the pattern here?)

Total time:  10:00

Calories burned:  4,744

Weather: upper 80s with a Texas-sized headwind

Close encounters of the dog kind:  0

Irate motorists:  3

Other cyclists seen:  0

Roadkill report:  two dogs, two cats, one deer, one jackrabbit, numerous unidentifiable flat mammals

Road surface:  Texas roads are gorgeous -- even the shoulders are (sometimes) smooth

Muscles:  glycogen? we don't need no stinking glycogen

Mental state:  better


Ask not for whom the buzzards circle.  They circle for me.


I learned that there are some kids tuning in to the website, so we'll do some lessons today.



Ibuprofen -- it's not just for bedtime anymore.  Why did it take me six days to figure this out?  I took one this afternoon and it changed my day.  Also, if you take an Ibuprofen after a ride and take a hot bath, the drug's effect is concentrated where your blood is -- in those lobster-red legs.  This works.


Exercise physiology:

Ok, this duplicates some info elsewhere on the website, but it's my current obsession.  Our muscles need fuel to work.  When the demand on muscles is moderate, we use oxygen to "burn" glycogen that's circulating in our blood and stored in our liver, hence aerobic energy.  Provided that we keep eating and (ahem) drinking, the blood glycogen is replenished and muscles can keep going at a moderate pace just about forever.  When demand is more extreme, muscles use a precious resource, muscle glycogen (i.e. glycogen stored locally in the muscles), in an anaerobic process.  Muscle glycogen is renewable, but on the order of days rather than minutes or hours.  These days I start off in the morning with a tiny bit, but by midmorning it's gone.  If the road turns up just a little bit, I'm at 6-8 mph, whatever my aerobic system can deliver.  If I encounter a dog, I've got about 15 seconds of high energy from the ATP-CP system, another anaerobic system.  If the dog is still there chasing after 15 seconds, better get out the pepper spray!   Fortunately ATP-CP recharges within a few minutes.  You can illustrate these systems by doing multiple sets of pushups:  do as many as you can in each set, and wait five minutes between sets.  The burning feeling after each set is from the anaerobic waste products.  Eventually you'll find a set where you have an initial burst of energy (ATP-CP), then fall on your nose (muscle glycogen depletion).  Yet your arms are still perfectly okay for doing less demanding work using aerobic energy.  That's what my legs are like all day now.



When French cyclists use up all their muscle glycogen, they say, "Je n'ai rien dans les soquettes."  Literally, I have nothing in my (cycling) socks.


Day seven:  133 miles to Giddings via Old Dime Box