In honor of my milestone 1000th post (this is it) I figured this is a good time to do my full ride report.
I had been dreading the ride ever since our attempt to ride to the village was thwarted by the closed gate. That last time as soon as we turned off of Boulder Springs where we parked, I knew I was in trouble as my heart rate and breathing got way out of control on that first climb just getting to the gate. Others had suggested that I may have been mentally defeated at that point. Very possible. I struggled mightily to just get to the shack that day. My first attempt to the shack took about 2 hours and 3 min per my Strava data. The attempt on 9/1 took me more than half an hour MORE...and think that is just riding time? Not sure...if that time includes all the time I was stopped getting my heart and breathing under control and talking myself into continuing on.
So based on this anxiety I decided to look at what I did pre-ride for the first attempt and do those things again. So I got a massage on Friday (which I had done pre Aug 5 ride). I had a good pasta dinner (spaghetti) the night before. In addition to the stuff I duplicated from the first ride: I ate a peanute butter and jelly sandwich and drank a glass of chocolate milk at home before leaving the house and I warmed up after getting to the start point. I cruised around the neighborhood to get my legs warmed up a bit.
Me - self portrait pre-ride - not exactly exuding confidence:
I was still very nervous and anxious that I would have a tough time and everyone would leave me behind. My initial plan was to LEAVE before everyone else so that wouldn't happen...that is how scared I was of having another bad day. That plan went out the window tho and I am so glad I waited to go with the group.
No pre-ride speeches this time...all of us had ridden to the shack previously and we were now considered "Veterans"... We even sort of waited at the red light...before Alyce gave the "all clear" and we proceeded to go thru it. Got going and I had thought I had turned on my GoPro to get our start but as we are climbing the hill...I heard it beep at me which I realized meant it was turning off due to inactivity. I had turned it on but it didn't register me hitting the record button. I tried to tinker with it while rolling but only managed to pop the clamp holding the door in place off....I had to stop to put that back on and get reset. Firefly stopped to check on me and we had a nice chat as we caught up to the group.
So that first hill leading up to the gate was the tip-off of my struggle on 9/1...yesterday? I felt GREAT! Heart rate was in a good zone and my breathing was even and not a struggle to get enough air and legs felt fresh.
Felt good enough after passing the gate while we were still pretty well grouped up to get my camera out...I'm not quite as good as Beanz:
I even got AHEAD of the group at one point and was able to take some pics of them climbing:
I was feeling unbelievably capable yesterday. I just kept "pushing a rock" as Nusince would say. I wasn't even thinking about it...I had found a good rythmn or something and was just DOING IT. I got to the shack in a PR (ok I've only done it three times but I did it in 1 hour and 51 minutes per Strava and previous best was 12 minutes slower).
So we move on to the next stage of our Clyde/Athena GMR / GRR Tour de Village....I didn't want to wait any longer so I took off after Alyce with these instructions: When given a choice of where to go...GO UP. Ok...how hard can it be? So off I go trailing Alyce (who is one steady rider!) and she gets ahead of me (she knows where she is going having been here and done it). I got concerned at one point as I lost sight of her and wondered if somehow I "missed" where I needed to go despite not having had any options...so I pulled off in a turnout to get my bearings and see around the corner the spot I was looking for...where I choose to GO UP. Evenutally the rest of the gang catches up to me and Alyce (caught her at the next SAG point).
Speaking of SAG...I am so incredibly thankful for AHultin and his wife for providing the ride support vehicle.
We stopped at one point to admire the view of Mt Baldy and GRR:
I was beginning to feel the climbing and just kept focused on keeping my heart rate and breathing in a good spot and to just keep pedaling. It was hot too in the sun but the shady spots felt sooooo good. Those who have done the ride to the village before gave us rookies the scoop on the last nasty long climb of about 3 miles before we would reach the village. That helped to mentally get thru that section for sure. It also helped doing it as a group for the most part. We would each go our own pace and sort of regroup at the SAG truck which Mrs. AHultin would move forward about every two miles...so we had an oasis to look forward to on the climbing portions to keep us going. SO invaluable, I cannot even express how much that helped.
Eventually we reached the top of the last climb before "THE VILLAGE" and we stopped to take some photos.
Believe me was NOT smiling on the way back up to this point after leaving the Village.... There seemed to be way too much climbing on the return ... somehow I didn't recall so many descents ....
For me it was a great feeling making it to the village but an even better feeling not slowing the group down and making everyone wait on me or worry about me. Yes it was painful at times....but it was a GOOD pain. I am grateful for being able to achieve this with such a great group of people.
I got video with my GoPro and will make a video or two and share later.