Just got back from the Blood Sweat and Gears ride near Boone, NC. The name of the ride probably says enough.......Sorry-no pics today as my hands never left the bars all day.
This was a pretty tough ride. It was 102+ miles with about 9000 ft of climbing and it seemed that all the climbs were pretty long. There was a 4-5 mile climb near the start, 21 miles on the Blue Ridge Parkway with several long climbs in the 6-7% range there, a 2 mile climb on Hwy 194 that averaged 6-7%, the signature climb called Snake Mountain which is 2-3 miles long and tops out around 17%-19%, Georges Gap which is 2 miles at 8%, Bethel Rd climb of 1.5 miles at 8% and then a climb near the finish of 1 mile at 9%.
750 riders did the 100 mile route and probably 100-200 more did the 50 mile route.
I could never really group up with anyone today where I needed to so I wound up doing 90+ miles of it solo. I was able to finish in 6 hr and 21 mins and an average speed of 16.4 mph which wasn't too bad for me. I spent over 30 mins with my heart rate over 170 bpm so there must have been spots where I was working pretty hard.
I had some of my buddies finish ahead of me and some behind me so all in all I have to be satisfied with the outcome.
The winner was a local legend who finished around 4hr 50 mins. How in the heck do they do that??
The story of the day was that near the last part of the ride I got up with a group that was working and pulling for a 15 year old girl. There were 2 guys and a Cat 2 female that were helping this young lady work her way through this really tough ride. I got caught up in it as well and lended a hand and it was terrific to see her finish around 6 hr 20 mins. Truly, truly incredible to see this young lady work through a really tough route and fight off all the cycling demons.
This was the last of the more challenging centuries I had on my calendar for a while. While I road decently today I didn't really have that burning desire to ride hard and up to my full potential. There were times when I could have pushed harder or spun faster but really opted to ride conservatively. I suspect I left 10-15 mins out there but just couldn't muster the motivation to do more today.
I think I'm going to hit the pause button for a bit and reassess my schedule. I think I need some fun rides with the family for a while to help to keep riding but to avoid burning out. I think I need as much of a mental break as I do a physical one at this point.