not for mortals
this was year two for me riding the bsg. Last year I had to dismount and walk up Snake. This year my goals were to #1 ride up Snake without stopping, and #2 beat my time of 6:30 last year (I know its an average time but hey I'm almost 43 with only about 10k worth of miles total in my legs over only 3-4 years of riding.
The wednesday before the event I drove to Meat Camp Road and attempted to ride Snake with fresh legs......I did it successfully, so now I knew I could do it, I just had to have some legs beginning on Meat Camp.
As I spun up Meat Camp not burning any matches I was getting passed by everyone.....but near the top most of those folks were walking as I rode past them at a blazing 3 mph. At that point the ride was a success for me as having to walk last year had me bummed.
For some reason for two years in a row now it seemed like I was riding the last 40 mi by myself. It would have been great to be with a small group to work with, but hey, everyone is in there own world of misery at that point. I actually heard lots of screaming and yelling from people cramping up.
After the very last little climb I had juice left to peg it to the finish at 22-24 mph, and I finished with the clock at 6:40, which was a little slower then last year, but I'm not sure how the 7 minute delay at the start nor when I atually crossed the start line will affect that.
Overall I felt much better at the end of the ride this year, as I did not go as hard in the first half (as evidenced by my split which was 25 minutes slower last year)and I paid more attention to food/hydration. This enabled me to finish stronger as I made up for my slower split time with a nearly identical total time over the last 50 miles.
This ride is a test of both physical fitness and mental toughness. I am in sheer awe of those who finish this ride near 5:00.
I highly recommend this century for those looking for a very well organized epic cycling adventure in one of the most beautiful areas in the country.