Normally I start out with ride reports saying ďtoday was a great rideĒ but today was different. This ride was almost too much for me. At times, it WAS too much for me.
Itís funny because almost all of the rides I have done, with the exception my weekday rides, have been with friends and I am always eager to go and ready. This week was different. I have been off the bike for 6 days and hitting the gym more to give my legs rest. Perhaps that was a stupid move. Todayís ride, my bottom hurt which is usually doesnít and my legs were not there. I didnít eat right the day before and I do think that also played a role in it too. I just wasnít motivated to go to the ride this morning but I paid the entry fee a head of time so on my way I was.
The drive was 1 hour and 40 minutes and at the hour mark, I got an email from a friend telling me about a ride today in Delaware. Of course, that sparked my interest so I emailed him back to ask for the address. He returned the email with the info I needed so I stopped on the side of the road and plugged it into my GPS and almost got off at the off ramp to turn around but decided to drive on to the ride, since I did pay the fee already.
Got there, got parked, and waited in line for registration packet and helmet check. Helmet check was new to me but the ride was hosted by Bike New York, a big advocate on helmet usage so it didnít matter to me, I always have my helmet! Then once we got the packet, we had to shuffle to another line and get cue sheets. This ride didnít hand out cue sheets until 15 minutes before the rides started and since there was a 100 miler, 75, 55, and 30, they all had different start times so you couldnít get your packet until the dedicated time. But I was 2 hours early for my start time so I persuaded the guy to give me the 55 mile cue sheet. So I got to start with the 100 mile riders. I needed to get done early so I could go home and pack for Orlando (business trip). Off we went.
Not more than 10 miles into it and three hills to climb. For me, any hill is a tough hill to climb (working on getting better) so after the third hill, I was feeling tired. Legs hurt too (lactic acid build up). After the hills, we had a little flat and downhill but then the hills started again. But I made it to the first rest stopÖ thank goodness. Grabbed some water (laying off Gatorade for the most part) and tried Nun tablets. They didnít agree with my stomach so a lesson learned with that. This stop had beef jerky and PB&J sandwiches. I LOVE beef jerky. After a little deliciousness action of beef jerky, off I went.
Some more down hills and some climbing. The climbing kills me so it was tough to get up there. I think I had Godís phone number on speed dial because I was asking for the help to get up the hills. Didnít walk any though. Just had to stop and rest and then start again with fresh legs.
The second rest stop was a blur along with the third one. The roads were marked great, cue sheets good, and map was good but still fumbled and took a wrong turn. Wasnít just me though but I think we got distracted. A lot of cars were backed up so we weaved our way around them and saw a rider down. Didnít know what happened but saw a dead squirrel. Looked fresh to me so perhaps that had something to do with it. The ambulance came to help and I hope he is doing better. So I think we ended up missing a turn but recovered after three miles into it.
The fourth rest stop was so freaking cool. Had a chocolate fountain and you could dip fruit and such into it. Yum! Got more cold water, rested for a second and on the bike. Think we only had 14 miles or something like that to go and I was tired. My average speed sucked, quads were holding up but I just didnít have much energy. Off I went.
And then BAM. One of the biggest freaking hills I have seen. Steep and long. This one took it out of me and I had to stop 5 times and rest. One of the stops, I parked in the shade and laid down, had a good talk with God, asked for help (I am not a religious person at all but when you need help, you gotta pull out all the stops). This hill is going to kill me, I knew it. Call the SWAG in, I wanna go home. But then I saw all of these people walking the hill. Didnít care they were walking the hill, they can do as they please but I wanted to ride it. So, butt in saddle, hands on hoods, feet in pedals and the slow climb finally ends. Thank goodness.
Thought all was well. Down hills were awesome. Got to 32 miles an hour downhill, fastest I have gotten to. Made the uphill sorta (and I mean sorta) worth it.
ThenÖ. once again, another hill. Steep but shorter then the last. Had to take a break, Pulled out, sat down, and talked with another young rider in a single speed. Single speed people are hard HARD core! He left after ten minutes or so and so did I. Most people were walking their bike up the hill and I made it so close to the top and I too had to dismount and walk the bike up the hill. It is what it is.
Downhill and then into the finish line. Finally. Sweaty, tired, sun burnt, a smile, free t-shirt, a free bottle of Muscle Milk and then three fourths of the bottle of Muscle Milk in the trash. Yuk!
Loaded bike up, chatted with some guys, went and got water and left. Thank goodness for PB&J sandwiches!
This ride was too much for me. A lot of hills and it made me understand that I really need to practice on them and get better. I want to embrace the hills, not worry about them. Also need to nail down pre and post nutrition along with on the bike nutrition too.
End of the dayÖ.. 61 miles. New personal best for me. Twin Lights Bike RideÖ. Checked off the bucket list!
Twin Lights Band: This is the band that was playing at the end of the ride at the finish line. Great band. They also had food you could buy. Vendors set up and offered lunch. Great idea.
Twin Lights Boat: This was a little bridge we were crossing and the boat wanted through so we had to stop while the bridge was drawn.
Twin Lights Bridge Goes Up: Here is the bridge going up. We had to stop and dismount. Once the bridge was flat, we had to walk our bikes across. Steel grates too wide.
Twin Lights Chocolate fountain: Do I need to say more? Rest stop 4. Yummy!
Twin Lights Forest Pic: Here was a neat picture that I took in the forest. On the left was an old tree uprooted and the water was flowing. So peaceful. It was only me on the road at that point in that area and it was great to just spend some time looking at it. I often think I dont take the time to stop and enjoy whats around me. Need to work on that.
Twin Lights Isaac 61 mile pic: At the end... with the free shirt. 61 miles.
New personal best.