Ouch. I was not ready for this 300k.
As usual I tried to start my preparations the day before. This included a lackluster attempt to get everything ready the night before – which included not having my bike carrier on the top of my car – and a crawfish boil. “I’m going to regret this tomorrow” I uttered as I grabbed tray after tray of mudbugs. Regret I did.
I was putting my bike carrier on the top of the car, running behind schedule, and I felt the need to run back in the house for some “business.” I feared missing the start, so I hopped in my car and hoped my system would go into shut down mode for the next day. While I made the start of the ride, at mile 20 I was pulled over at a state park taking care of the problem. Of course, I walked out to a woman waiting for the pit toilet at 6:30 in the morning – one of the 2 things in this world that embarrass me.
The wind was stiff, and coming out of the south. Since I was heading south, that means a headwind if you weren’t paying attention. Mile after mile of head wind combined with cross winds blowing me near the center line made me feel like a new farmer’s plow mule. The wind was so stiff that the 12 miles heading north to the turn around point had me going 25-30 mph. Going back south it was about 10 mph.
This ride is also labeled as a “rollerfest.” Meaning – start at 5200′, climb up to 7500′ and then work some rollers at 7000’+. I know “rollers” are a relative thing for everyone, but I’m going to go out on a limb and say a 3.5 mile climb fits in very few people’s “roller” definition.
The control at mile 120 presented me with the quagmire – I was hungry and the cytomax I was taking was making me sick, killing my appetite. Perhaps it’s the new stevia they’ve added. Luckily the control is a BBQ place and I had nice BBQ sandwich (which seemed to hit the spot). The crawfish from the day prior also called me to extended my stay at the control.
The wind had me beat and as I worked the [unfortunately] non-ironic “Roller Coaster” road I was dreaming of calling my wife to come get me. The dream part is she wasn’t made when she came to pick me. Of course, I too, would be upset if I had to pick my spouse in the middle of nowhere, packing around 2 rugrats.
The wind, as I feared, was starting to shift, coming out of the west. It would eventually make an about face, blowing in my face on the way back. It’s as if Mother Nature served me up a turd sandwich and then gave me a swift kick to the groin. The kick to the groin, however, was light and certainly not persistent as the turd sandwich. The wind was on and off on the way back, more off than on, and usually light when it was blowing. Nothing I would usually complain about, but I felt robbed.
With the new saddle, I’ve been presented with a new chamois chaffing issue which I’ve never had. Standing or sitting back down killed me and was minimized as much as it could towards the end of the ride (when I tend to shift around a lot). It started to rain and the moisture wasn’t helping my new found irritation. But, I did attempt to grab a selfie in the rain.
I’ll have to work on the selfies. But, I was happy I had fenders. They are such a life saver and carry very little penalty for having them.
188 miles. 9000′ of climbing. 14 hrs 55 mins.