(cross posted to PNW and LD forums)
I was planning on a record setting day for myself; looking to come in under 10h 00m, preferrably closer to the 9h 30m mark. Key concept being that was my plan. How it went down was a bit different:
Rode up from the ferry to Clinton and got signed in. I met Kamala and took a couple of pix, then after a brief few words from Mark R., we were off at the 7:00 bell. The pack quickly divided into two groups, and par standard I was in the back... but I was keeping myself paced for where I wanted to be, and wasn't going to burn myself out too quickly.
Everything was going well, and I fell into a good pace riding with Eric V., Geoff and Tanya S., and a guy I can't remember his name; black Rodriguez with an Alpha Q carbon fork. (if anyone knows, plz tell me. I feel bad for forgetting his name!) Everything was going well with the exception of some derailleur problems on the Geoff & Tanya's tandem, which led to a chain break on an uphill section. *SHPANG!* and we all pulled off to the side and managed to get things fixed.
Back on the road, I decided to make up some time and pulled ahead, which in all likelihood is the start of my mistakes; not even 100k in and I was pushing pretty hard on some uphills to keep up with the stronger group. (I'm typically lagging well behind this posse.)
We rolled into the Deception Pass control and munched some chips, oranges, a Coke, refilled bottles, had some more chips, a couple bites of French bread and some deli meats from Salumi (thanks for picking that up while you were downtown, sweetie! ). The rest of the gang was a couple minutes ahead of me after I re-applied some sunscreen and stopped by the can, so again I piled on the steam to catch up. About 8 miles down the road I encountered Eric V. and rider whose name I can't remember, stopped on the shoulder. No mechanicals, just making a check-in call to tell family when they're going to finish, so I kept on hauling. Really hauling, 'cause I felt good. The first 100k took about 5h 15m, so I thought I could bang out the last 100k in under 5h. Instead, what I did was burn myself out by mile 106, and spend the rest of the time fighting a wicked cramp on the inside of my thigh every time the climbing went above 5% or longer than 1k.
Endurolytes weren't making it go away, water neither. I was munching bananas and oranges and whatever else, and managed to struggle my way through the remaining 20 miles by grabbing a hold of the muscle and keeping pressure on it when climbing, to keep it from knotting up. The group caught up with me again at that 106mi control (and picked up Jeff L.) and we kept pretty well together from there, with me and the tandem team leapfrogging the back spot on the hills. The 3 singles picked up the pace on the final hills and finished probably 5 minutes ahead, I rolled in at 10h 41m, and Geoff/Tanya were about 5 minutes behind.
I munched on some cookies and a Sprite while talking to Vincent M. and Mark R., the tandem rolled in, and I headed down to the ferry.
On the ferry, Geoff and Tanya told us that while rolling to the head of the line for boarding the ship, their front tire blew out! Well, better there than on the course.
200k (official) 204k (with nav. error bonus kilometers)
10h 41m (29m better than my spring 200k)
6200' of climbing (official)
2 Cokes, 2 Accel Gels, 2 bananas, 1 Clementine orange, 4 handfuls of potato chips, 4" chunk of French baguette, 7 - 10 slices of random cured sausages from Salumi, 1 fragrant pear (not very tasty), a couple of bugs, 5 bottles of water, 4 bottles of Accelerade/Cytomax/Gatorade, 1 ibuprofen and 14 Endurolyte caps.
Whidbey in the morning mist:
Me at the start:
Kamala at the start:
Fixin' Geoff & Tanya's broken chain:
Beautiful roads and views on Whidbey: