Well- I did it! I rode the 50 mile option and attended my first SAG supported ride. The ride was to support Adventure Kids – a great charity that helps homeless kids in GA. The kids were there and led out the ride on bikes for the first 1.5 miles…some rode longer and were very inspiring!
I decided a few weeks back to participate in the ride. I actually went alone – and figured I would meet people along the way and get a hell of a ride. I have minimal pictures – I thought about it – but it took almost everything I had to ride the bike…so alas I have a pic of me in the beginning and at the end. I will try and find a pic on the ride website once the photos are posted later in the week.
I was nervous at the start – I am nervous before every ride – We started out at 8 and all was well. (Over 1000 riders.) I spoke with some people as I rode by and then we were off following the route painterd markings…. Rode about 12 miles to the first SAG stop. That seemed pretty quick for a rest stop. It was still cool (Race started at 8AM) I got off the bike, filled the water bottles and Camelback – mostly water and a bit of Powerade for a touch of flavor , said hello to some folks, one nice fellow adjusted my seat forward a bit . Ok – Off to ride to rest stop 2. Rode on – met up with a nice fellow and we rode together for a bit. We tried to catch some riders up ahead… I am slower on the hills (go figure) and we almost caught up – but I fell behind on the hill….anyway it turns out I rode behind or in front of those people I was trying to catch most of the ride. So we rode on. Section 2 was challenging. A bunch of hills. This was to be a flat century…I beg to differ. A bunch of rolling hills. At some points my thought was Oh No! Here we go again…but off I went. As I approached Rest stop 2 (23.79 miles) it was a tad sad as I saw many a big hill we would need to climb on the way out after the stop. (Ok big to me) A lot harder than I imagined.
So I rolled into Rest stop 2 – got off the bike…. Sat in a chair I found, had a fig newton, orange quarter, topped off the bottles and rested. It was hard to get back on as the hill was looming. Rested about 10 minutes and off to tackle the next section. I could do it. I rode from one mailbox/pole to the next. Just peddle along – Granny gear at the hard parts and I could do it! Ok now someone turned up the friggin heat! (Later I found out it was like 95-100). As I inhaled it was hot! Anyway I pedal on. It was hard and a long road in the sun. Rest stop 3 was at 40.29 miles. Finally arrived – ready to lie down. Oy Vey! Another half a Fig Newton and some water. Spent some time with a great Bike Mechanic form Cycleworks. He helped me adjust and ratchet my bike shoes. Who knew??? I learned how to tighten them on my foot. (The top strap has a white and a blue lever and once on I am supposed to tighten them snuggly – mine were always loose.) We talked because my feet were killing me! At one point I had gotten off the bike – took the bike shoes off and bent/rubbed my feeties…so I asked him for help. (Tightening shoes would likely have helped me pedal more effectively and help the pain –but I think after stop 3 – I was too tired to be helped too much so will tighten shoes on my next ride and see the impact.)
OK- so after a while at Rest stop 3 it was off to the home stretch. Leaving the rest stop was hard as I knew it was going to be painful to ride to the end. I heard another rider say to his buudy/wife- ok let’s go get this over with….Exhausted and really hot, I rode off.The ride was now from tree to tree, mailbox to mailbox. As I got closer to the last 5 miles…. I rested with 2 riders at the side of the road. It was a good spot as it was before the final turn of the ride and last 5 miles. So at that point (1PM) the 100 mile riders were joining us. (So I had ridden 50 wile they rode 100 and were passing us…)It was fun to be with the elite riders! A little pick me up certainly. They are always a pleasant bunch. So got back on the bike and headed out for the last 5 miles.
Made it back! Yay (Approximately 51.6 miles. 4 hours 8min 40 seconds ride time….almost 51/2 hours elapsed time) I stopped for some ice cold water at the post-ride spaghetti dinner – which I bypassed thinking I would reward myself with my favorite Subway Chicken sandwich (watch out Jared!).
Anyway – that was it. A long brutal ride!! Would I do it again? Yes in colder weather…and after I train more. At this point I have pretty much decided it’s time to stick to smaller 25 mile rides or less. I think it may even be dangerous to get that tired and hot. On the way home – I could barely stay awake – I poured cold water on my head as I drove to stay awake. Stopped at Subway for takeout that if I could manage I would try and eat later. Got home – got a pillow and hit the carpet. Laid there for about 45 minutes until I thought I could manage to get up. Went to take a shower and threw up (big time!). Most likely I was dehydrated. Even when I was thin and played tennis in the heat I would get dehydrated easily. I drank a lot today – but I think my body was not taking it in as I threw a lot of water up too. (A friend of mine said she used to throw up after running marathons...so maybe it is my body getting rid of toxins???? or perahps sun stroke, dehydration???)
So today (Sunday) my plan was to ride. I think I will skip it… But I am home for the next week or so and will go on some rides as well.
OK – I am very happy to have completed the ride! I will definitely skip the long hot rides for a while – and keep my rides to 2 hours or less.
Ok if anyone read this far – thanks for reading! I am very happy to have the support the forum gives me – so thank you to all of you for reading and posting. I iwll add pics later in the week if I find any on the official ride photo website.
Here's a pic of me after the ride.... I am smiling...