This was yesterdays ride, me and three others set out. Keeping the pace low and not trying to kill eachother on the hills I had no problems until I got to Williams Hill Tower, the second spike on profile, which also happens to be the second highest spot in Illinois and I think the longest climb, doesn't mean much to someone from a mountainous state but around here its the best we can do.
When we got to the second climb I easily kept up even though I noticed my HR was going through the roof, about a quarter mile from the top my legs felt like they lost all strength. I could barely turn my 30x27 gear and was doing about 3 mph. The others waited for me on top of the hill but I got several minutes behind on the next series of smaller spikes. After the long downhill back to the flats I felt better, but couldn't stop drinking, I finished off a water bottle and my camelbak and ended up riding the last 5 miles dry.
During that part of the ride I swore I'd never do it again, but now I can't wait to try again, I just want to be about 20 pounds lighter before I do. A big goal for me is to do the 3 state 3 mountain tour next year and maybe ride the rockies or something in a couple of years.