Thursday, June 3rd - local Lowe's ride (road race simulation)... small group on the "A" ride, about 20 or so. Pace was being pushed none the less as we opted for a route that looked less likely for thunderstorms. Hot and humid was the cause for dropped riders. BMiller, SNavritil, JHathcock and myself formed a 4 man rotation with a little help here and there, but most hanging on to get back by dark. Came back to 521 with about 10-12, but at Sun City, BMiller punched it, Hathcock bridged across. I started late, but floored it and carried Navritil across. The four of us rode off into the sunset. 61 miles later...
Friday, June 4th - quick booty loop ride, from home, a few loops and back... 25 miles.
Saturday, June 5th - Well, well, well... the mountains and i just don't mix. Went up North to do a cookie ride, 3 Mountain Madness... Sauertown, Hanging Rock and Pilot Mountain. My primary purpose was to get one last mountain ride in before BSG for training, but you always hope to do well. I guess well is relevant and by all accounts I did not.
Had two teammates there, but teammates don't mean much in one of these rides. The Judge, who typically wins this one and most others and MHill. The other team represented well was Triangle Velo out of Chapel Hill with three strong riders. Big group together for a while, til we got near Sauertown and a split formed. Sauertown is not that steep or long, so the group remained together, although a few of us were dangling on the back. Once we got to Hanging Rock at mile 29 or so, there was more selection, one of which was not me. I, along with a few others, got caught behind a park ranger driving like a grandma on the descent, so we were forced to slow, which gave plenty of opportunity for the lead group to put in some time and they did.
The chase group got somewhat organized and about 5 miles later saw the lead group in sight. I was hanging on the back fighting fatigue and heat when our group decided to put in a hard effort to re-attach. I popped, mile 38. I chased my tail off to get back on. I caught back on at the bottom of a hill and popped not more than 5 seconds later when they were climbing again. Bye, bye! Mile 40.
What a lonely and windy countryside in Surry County soloing a cookie ride from mile 40. Does it really build character or just show weakness and possibly stupidity? Don't answer that. I looked back many a time to see if there was a chase group I could join up with, but I think we had already put too much time on them. So, then the game became how long could I hold off somebody... anybody?
I got 2 bottles at mile 32 and didn't refill until mile 68 (the next rest stop that was handing out full bottles), which meant I had been out, as was the heat and sun... 91 degrees and direct sunlight mixed with a nice breeze (called headwind). The fun of the ride was over early and often. I thought several times about taking the turn to the right called 75 miles, but then again I came to train, climb and paid my cookie entry, so to the left and 94 miles here I come, solo.
Finally saw a guy behind me about mile 65 or so, but didn't want to concede too early, so I punched it again to keep the game going. Thought he would eventually make the catch, but just didn't happen. If I put time on him the way I was feeling and climbing, then there was no use of waiting up for another wheel.
Got to Pilot Mountain and wish I never would have. I was already screaming obscenities to myself for even attempting it when I could have just gone straight and won the race. :) As I entered the park, here comes Keith and Charlie. How depressing, since I know on a good day it takes me 19 minutes to get to the top. Today I don't even want to know how long, but probably double that. Got to the top and thanked God. That was the end of my ride... kind of. Now only 10 miles to go.
I found some renewed energy on the flats, felt a few rain drops at 90 and hoped for a lightning strike to my carbon frame. No such luck. Working down my 8th bottle and still wondering why I was cramping and just physically falling apart. Counting down the miles, thinking about the free cookies and wondering how many beers Charlie had already put down. Really wondering why I even left the house at 5:00a to do this freaking ride, but kept good company with my friend, DEngel.
Finished at last and had no care or concern what my time was. Ready to lay down and sleep. After Doug and I regrouped, ate and cooled, headed home with bikes we don't deserve. We should have to ride BSG with steel bikes and a 19 cassette. Okay, I will speak for myself and won't try it with a 23 this time.
I believe Lexington is on the way home, so of course we had to stop for Lexington BBQ. At least something good came of the day. Home by 5:15 and wife tells me we have to be at some friends for a cookout at 6:30. I am learning to internalize. Just another day on the bike....
Sunday, June 6th - too many "to dos" around the house today, but was able to get on the bike at 7:15p for 25 miles.