Friday, June 19, 2009
Sunday in June 100K
I did not post about Sunday in June when I arrived home last Sunday, so procrastination immediately struck and as you can see it is now Friday when I am reporting. I am also behind on biking and running due to my chemistry class (who really knows about ions, electron configurations, and what the hell and earth metal is anyway???) I think I am beginning to see a pattern.
Last Sunday, I headed up to Burton to try my hand at a 100k ride. The last one I did was in September 2006 and I suffered tremedously. I couldn't move my shoulders or my lats for a few days and my butt was no better. I thought about the 100 miler, but was apprehensive whether my legs would hold up for my olympic triathlon 2 weeks later. I stuck to the 100k and met up with JP who was also doing the 100k. AY, SY and AP were doing the 50 miler so we rode together for about 35-40 miles (not sure what mile we were at when they broke off).
The first 12 or so miles took us south toward Parkman and basically into Daisy's backyard. The roads were surprisingly flat or rolling! Usually, Chardon, Burton and North Chagrin are synonomous with hilly. While we were on our way to the rest stop I learned AY liked 2-ways better than 4-ways. I had to laugh as we were talking about stop signs, but without the context of the conversation you can see where someone might find it humerous. We stopped for about 10 minutes to refuel. I had packed a PB&J, a honey oat bar and gel in my jersey, so I really didn't need anymore food, but I never miss a meal, so I grabbed a nice sized chocolate chip cookie and "in a flash it was gone. It happened so soon!" I also ate half my PB&J. I hate bonking on the bike and as long as I eat every 1-2 hours..."it's all good!"
Hopped back on our bikes and made the trek to the next aid station which was the start. Less than 2 miles from the 2nd aid station there was a "Y" in the road. You could pick your poison. The right took up a short steep climb. The left was longer, but less steep. SY our fearless leader who was leading at the time chose the right. I had to stand to make the climb, but it was nothing compared to Sherman, Old Mill or Fairmount (you get the picture).
Back at the start we all regrouped and of course, I refueled. I had thought this ride offered lunch, but when we got there I was disappointed to see only cookies, apples, bananans, crackers and gatorade. I mentioned it to AY and she laughed at me and said it would be set-up later in the day and made the following comment...
"You really only do all this triathlon and running stuff so you can eat...don't you?"
The cat was out of the bag. I answered honestly "Yes." I like to eat. What's wrong with that?
We picked up Chuck and Brenda and a friend of AP's wearing a yellow jersey and headed out to for the 3rd part. JP and I were on our way to another aid station but the 50-milers, just made a 24ish mile loop back to the start. Initially, we all rode together as it started mostly downhill, but then a few rollers and small climbs came up and the group started to spread out. The speed was the same as before, but with the hills the effort had increased. I felt only a little uncomfortable as the guy in the yellow jersey pushed the pace but I was able to keep up. AP commented how he thought the yellow jersey was going to the guy's head and we all got another great laugh. We managed to stay together for the most part and make it to Sisson Road where JP and I were to continue north and the other part of our group would break off and go west for the 50-miler. JP and I rode comfortably talking about marathons, triathlons and had an awesome time. JP and I refueled at the rest stop as she didn't want to bonk on the bike either and she didn't have the PB&J like I did ;)
We made our way from Big Creek Park back south into Chardon and I recognized the start and finish of the Maple Sap 5 miler. We road around the square and dropped down a hill parallel to the finish of the 5 miler. It was just as steep. I always like to get a little adrenaline rush on my bike at least once a ride, so I got low on my drops and cruised down at 40 mph (probably could have gone faster if I would have put some more speed on before dropping in, but whatever). Turned back to see JP had also dropped in at a decent pace too. When she rolled up next to me, she told me to my surprise she had never hit 40 before on her bike. She was definitely excited and enjoying the rush. We caught a big group (~20 riders) just before jumping on the all-purpose path. They were riding slower than us so we started to pass them, but there was an arrow indicating right turn. Now, for a while the arrows were right on top of where you turn, so everyone was breaking and the guy in the back of the pack wasn't really paying attention and almost crashed into the lady in front of him, but he managed to avoid it. He did however start wobbling on his bike and for a second I thought he was going to go off the road in the toolies!! He recovered and I asked if he was okay. He said "yes,", but he was mad and yelled up to the front that people need to yell "slowing or braking!!!"
I started laughing. I have always believed that it is each and every rider's own personal responsibility to know there riding level and whatch their own ass!! If you can't make split second decisions and control your bike, then 1) dont' f#cking ride that close to the biker in front of you 2) don't f#cking ride that close to the biker in front of you. Your bike,your ass, your responsibility!
We hit the path in the thick of things. About 10 cyclist behind us and 10 in front. We couldn't pass as the entire path was blocked by the people in front and JP, so we stayed side by side and on bike-ups she was able to squeeze in my lane. The group was averaging ~19, so we were content to not advance our position, but then the front pack would start yelling and braking and goofing off with each other dropping speeds to less than 15 mph. JP and I at this point felt it was getting sketchy and irritating, so as soon as there was a gap we sprinted by. Both of us were relieved that crap was over. It was hard to admire anythin on the path with all the other riders changing speeds and riding so tightly. It was like a peleton on a 1 lane road.
Off the path and back on the open road we saw less and less cyclists, but lots and lots of motorcycles. I even saw one of my favorite's, a Ducati 996!! When I looked down at my computer and realized we only had about 6 miles to go. I was kinda sad as it was almost over and I was having so much fun. I even felt great (my butt hurt a little, but I had taken chamois butter to apply at each stop, which helped). I could see the Burton water tower in the distance and I commented to JP that that was our finish. She was doing awesome for a west-sider who doesn't have half as many hills. We started the last long climb back into town. It seemed about 1-2 miles. It wasn't steep, just enough to let you know that your legs had already ridden 62 miles. We finished in less that 4 hours, right at a 16 mph average. I was really pumped. Although my legs were fatigued, I definitely did not push myself and we were right on target (15-17mph average was goal). I even managed to run 4 miles later that day.
After I stopped in to eat some pasta, chicken, garlic bread and salad.