Post your AoM(M) ride reports/pictures here. I'll start.
First thing I want to say is I don't think I will do this ride or AoMM next year, if the temps are what they were today. No amount of training can prepare you for that (unless you train in it, which I didn't) and no amount of training can help you overcome severe cramping at mile 52. So friggen severe, it brought tears to my eyes and once I had stopped, I could not move an inch for almost 5 minutes. This ride assaulted both me and BikeWNC big time.
The ride started off well, lots of riders, and it was awesome hearing everyone clip in and get started this morning. My plan was to hang with BWNC until Bill's Hill, where I knew for sure he would drop me. Those plans went out the door about 10 miles (+/-) into the ride. First medium climb and he was gone. I decided at that point to just ride my ride and not try to blow up just to keep up with him. My friend NealH also just took off. He told me later that he had a great ride. Glad someone did.
Rode with several different groups up to the first rest stop, including a tandem that pulled me and and others for a long time. After this rest stop, I hooked up with Colavita guy and rode with him for a long time. I've got some nice pics of his calves and will up load the pics later. I didn't get any pics of BWNC's legs. Shame on me. I always get pics!
Anyways, the heat was starting to play a number on me. I was feeling drained and didn't seem to have any energy, tho I was eating my gel and eating at the RS. Final rest stop before Bill's Hill, I got water and headed out. Turn up BH. I had dumped most of the water on myself or just out so I wouldn't have to carry it. Not far into this climb I got a mild cramp in my right inner thigh and had to stop. Back on the bike, make it to the top, refill the bottles and head on down.
I think we made some turn maybe and it was a really nice decent around 50mi. But, after this descent when I started climbing, I could feel the cramp coming on. About a quarter of the way up hte climb, I had to stop. I couldn't move. It hurt so friggen bad. Never had a cramp like that before. The sag guy came back and asked if I needed a ride. No, I'm not riding, I'm not quiting. I asked how far to the next rest stop and he lies to me....says, oh, about 6mi or so. I knew the rest stop was at 64mi and here I am cramped up at 52mi. Right.
I continue on - now in limp home mode because once I start cramping, they won't stop. That was the longest 12mi. During this time, I'm trying to decide whether to abandon when I get to the next RS. DNF. I cry 'cause I didn't train all friggen winter to friggen DNF. But, I say to myself, you don't want to get injured, so do what is best for your health. OK. I'll sag back to Marion. But....
While at the rest stop, WheresWaldo & his daughter, Bittersweet, come up on the tandem. He had planned on going on to Mitchell, but told me he was going to abandon because of the heat and he just didn't have any legs left. I'm sooooooooooooo glad they showed up. Someone I knew and that I could finish the ride with. Only 8 more miles.
We head out, I drop them on the hills, they catch me on the descents and pull me till we hit another hill. Wash, rinse, repeat. A long climb....WW tells me it's only maybe a mile after the upcoming stop sign. I say great cause I want this to be over. He lied! More climbing, then about 5mi of descent. We finally get to the last turn and he says here it is...I tell him you're lying to me again and Bittersweet says no - look. There's the friggen campground!! Brings tears to my eyes again - I've never beeen so happy to see the end of a ride.
I made it just under 5hr, 4hr57min, 75mi. I could have made it in 4.5hr had I not cramped. I think I can do it in 4-4.5hr next year (to Marion) if I ride it. Have no idea how long it would take me to get to Mitchell...
I got some bbq, beans, & beans, ate that and then tried to call BWNC. No answer. He calls me back while I'm in the shower and says he has just got to the BRP - at like 1pm-ish. Said it was very hard. I figure he would be done around 2:30-3pm. Talk to him again after 2pm and he's suffering big time - climbing at 5mph. Unheard of from this mountain goat. I'm hanging around waiting on him and he finally calls at 4:15 to say he's at Mitchell! WTH? Poor guy - the heat was awful to him (and to me). I just decided to go on home since it's prolly gonna be a 4hr drive.
So, that's it in a long nutshell. My legs hurt, I'm tired, sunburned too I think. Prolly gonna take at least half a day off work tomorrow. I wish it was winter. I hate this heat. I am going to revise my thoughts on this high temp stuff. I'm with BWNC - give me cool temps cause I just can't deal with the heat. You just can't take enough clothes off to be cool.