TODAY.....was one of the best rides of my life! No, I didn't set a PR on GMR, I didn't climb faster than I ever have in my life, no I did not top the billboard on Strava. What did happen was that I had a chance to ride with one of the best groups ever assembled for an assault on GMR. A group of Clydes and Athenas from bike forums.
Not just any group but a group of riders that I would consider riding against all odds. There were riders that had said they could never do a climb like GMR. Riders that said they walked up lesser hills. Riders that may have been intimidated by the mention of the mountain climb. But today, we freaking kicked butt on the ride. No we didn't break any speed records but what we did do was break the record for the most encouragement in a single climbing group of those fighting against our disadvantages as Clydes and Athenas.
There was PhotoJoe. A dude completing the ride after a major battle with cancer. Uh yeah, I got stung by a bee on a ride yesterday so my quad was all ouchie today. But freakin' PhotoJoe had his hamstring removed and GMR was on his comeback list. I am ashamed of myself, my bee sting, and sorry for using the "F" word Ma!
AHultin from the SSD area. He posted about a year ago that he couldn't do a climb like GMR. Guess what, he did it without any kind of resistance. The dude floated up the climb. CommuteCommando, I'll try it but I'm not sure. The dude skated up the road!
The ride organizer (suggested, same thing I say ha ha!) BeachGrad05. The lady walked up a hill on an organized ride. OK, that is cool but darn it, you rode every inch of GMR today! Lady, you got the bragging rights in your club now. You are Da Bomb! It was cool as we nobody ever said, "I have to stop!". It was more like this group read each other like a book. We'd climb then we'd take a short break. No stress, no sweat, everybody was on the same page even though we might be on different levels. It was like a natural um, um I can't describe it!
So anyway the group climbs and as I mentioned, not knowing the road can affect the mind. That was more the reason for a break than fatigue. We took a few more breaks than usual but once these people know where they are on the road, it's on baby! Every one of these riders will go non stop to the shack no sweat. Not to say that they couldn't have today if they had known the course. We did stop but everybody stopped as a group. It was great, no attitude, no I'm better than you, nada! We did have a few veterans with us. TrojanHorse who has posted decent times on Strava. Herb who has raced up GMR n the past. Alyce and Gina that have done it quite a few times but fit right into today's routine.
It was sweet! The experienced riders stayed right there with us the entire time. I was worried that if one rider faltered, we'd be left far behind as my intentions were to hang back if anyone should. But NO, everybody stayed together and the big dogs of the group were right there encouraging all of the riders. BeachGrad05 called the ride a first timers virgin ride and we treated it so. THIS ....is what I like! Togetherness, encouragement, support, it was all there today!
The people were great! Humor, friendliness, but no competition, pure motivation! The more I think about this ride, the more hyped I get, I'm speechless. Never, never have I been on a ride designated as a first timers, I'll help ya out ride without any ego whatsoever! Man, I got tears in my eyes!
Thanks to all for making it a success. As far as the ride? Do not put any faith in TrojanHorse weather forecasts ha ha! His mid seventies forecast turned out to be 91 degrees when we hit the shack. OK, so Gina balled me out and said I tricked her into the ride with false temps. Baby, it wasn't me, I was framed! You know what, now that I think of it, Gina had attitude. But she was the only one ha ha!
So the group climbed as if it were 72. A little dark and cool looking at the start but by the first mile after the gate, I was dripping with sweat. Pretty humid and I'm usually not much of a shweaty person. We all agreed that it was getting hot and quick, there was no denying it but it didn't seem to affect anybody. Especially that dude Commute Commando. Everybody was glossy with sweat but the dude's face was D-R-Y. He mentioned something about having his sweat glands removed. I thought he was kidding but now I am not so sure.
Taking pics on this ride as usual. Wow, I just pretty much point and shoot but I really like this set. Along with the video footage. Maybe the thing that makes it look so sweet (my opinion) is that plenty of times we were all in line and together. It was how do they say it nowadays, "tight". Or was that the 70's? Wow, I am getting so old ha ha!
Anyway, we did get a chance to meet Genaro and JusRelax at the start. I've known Genaro for a while now bu tit was coll that he made an appearance to say hello to the new faces. Along with JusRelax. Pretty supportive guy on the forum and on Strava. Yeah we appreciate it all guys! The two had us outclassed so they took off on their long journeys leaving us behind. No problem but I'd say with the way these newbs climbed GMR today, you guys better watch out ha ha! Just kidding! ;-)
Dang, I'm still smiling!
Herb & Alyce