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GMR VIRGIN RIDE A SUCCESS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (ride Reports)

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GMR VIRGIN RIDE A SUCCESS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (ride Reports)

Old 08-05-12, 02:39 PM
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GMR VIRGIN RIDE A SUCCESS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (ride Reports)

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!

The others are welcomed to post their reports and info here too!



Music video...I like this music video!


Last edited by Mr. Beanz; 08-05-12 at 11:35 PM.
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Old 08-05-12, 03:50 PM
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Old 08-05-12, 03:54 PM
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Old 08-05-12, 03:56 PM
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Old 08-05-12, 04:04 PM
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Wow, looks like a great time! Make this an annual or semi-annual event and some of us from up north will come down.
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Old 08-05-12, 06:49 PM
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thanks for posting
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Old 08-05-12, 06:51 PM
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Originally Posted by vesteroid
thanks for posting
Thanks you! The first video is complee, interview type. Music video later.
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Old 08-05-12, 07:42 PM
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Beanz....caught on camera for once!















Thoughts and insights later. And sorry I didn't get shots of everyone. I'm new at this photo thing!

And that's a nasty still on your video.....and why didn't anyone tell me I had helmet hair?!?!?!?!?!?!?

Last edited by PhotoJoe; 08-05-12 at 07:45 PM.
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Old 08-05-12, 07:54 PM
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You're lucky you HAVE hair!

Oh, btw, you're supposed to get your PED shots before your event, not after.

Btw, I hit a squirrel on the way home. he just shot out across the bike path in front of me, nothing I could do. Ironically I didn't feel anything (I would have hit his tail if anything) so maybe he whipped that tail up out of the way in time.
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Old 08-05-12, 08:19 PM
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Originally Posted by PhotoJoe
And that's a nasty still on your video.....and why didn't anyone tell me I had helmet hair?!?!?!?!?!?!?
Oh I can change the video still if you photoshop my belly and give me a 6 pack.
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Old 08-05-12, 09:47 PM
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Sorry I missed you all. I was hoping to maybe come out, but I had schedule issues. Great job, everyone!! Well done shepherding, Beanz.
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Old 08-05-12, 10:36 PM
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Originally Posted by mkadam68
Sorry I missed you all. I was hoping to maybe come out, but I had schedule issues. Great job, everyone!! Well done shepherding, Beanz.
Thanks but honestly, these people didn't really need much looking after. Maybe a few tips but also thank TrojanHorse and Herb for sticking with us on the newb ride. Ton of motivation for the guys when they stick wit it!
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Old 08-05-12, 11:10 PM
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Great photos and videos, glad to see Ahultin on the ride. I was debating to go but who wakes up at 6 am Sunday? Plus, been off the bike for 2 weeks.
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Old 08-05-12, 11:13 PM
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I am new to taking video and only got the uphill portion (almost all the way to the shack). Need to adjust my settings so file size is not so large.

Here is my video....

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Old 08-06-12, 12:05 AM
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Pretty cool Beach!
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Old 08-06-12, 09:52 AM
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Wow Beanz...that ride report made me tear up!

I got the idea to ride this after I posted about the Big Ring Metric I was doing and Beanz WARNED me about the nasty hills at about the 40 mile mark. The ride started off with a long steep hill at about the 5 mile mark and I just was not up to it that day and I walked that hill...then walked all the hills at the 40 mile mark. I was proud to have finished the 60+ miles tho as that was a milestone.

Beanz, PhotoJoe and TrojanHorse have been truly supportive of my journey and we got to talking about doing GMR...but we had to wait on PJ to get his bike. And maybe put some miles on that bad boy..... (Beautiful bike by the way after seeing it up close and personal). So a few weeks ago I figured I'd start a thread to get us to set a date and time to conquer GMR to the Shack as a group. And lo and behold it happened...we figured out a day and time! That is not easy in a group setting more often than not.

I was one of those that was fearful of being able to do the ride honestly considering my "history" on the Big Ring Metric....but I recently did the PV loop and did decent on that (other than two flats due to punctures). I was afraid that Beanz would be babysitting me up the hill. But other than having a bit of difficulty the last mile or so...I did OK...I didn't walk any of the ride!!

I have interacted with most of those on the ride via Bike Forums and it felt like meeting up with friends not strangers. Heck, even those who aren't BF members were not strangers thanks to Beanz videos. Gina, Herb and Alyce get my thanks for coming along and providing their support and encouragement! It was hot and I was sweating ALOT...(I still have my sweat glands..ha ha ha)....

I was a bit scared coming down the hill and oddly was having more hip pain at that point than any other time. Plus my hands were hurting from being on the brakes so much....my thanks to Gina for sticking with me as I made my slow descent.

Cycling is so much fun when you can do it in a group such as this where it is not about PR's or getting KOM or QOM on Strava...but is more about celebrating what it is to ride and achieve something you never thought you could.
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Old 08-06-12, 10:08 AM
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Nice post Beach! The reason for the difficult last mile is that 10-11% grade. It is short but steep and if you don't know it's there, it takes a lot out of a rider. That sets the mood for the rest of that looong mile. But now you know it's there, it gets better cause you will develope a system for handling the effort and recovery. A blind ride is very tough to do but you handled it well!

Yes, Gina is excellent wen it comes to hanging back withfirst time descenders. She's never in a hurry to get down and I prefer it that way for safety reasons. I only go ahead to get footage of all the riders (if I can) but if you had not shown soon after, I would have been heading back up looking for you. But I know Gina is pretty good at talking, helping, encouraging first timers down the hill.

Plus Herb and Alyce are good friends to have around. As you can see, when PhotoJoe flatted, I hung back with him but when we took a little longer than usual, Herb and Alyce ddrove back up in the truck looking for us!
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Old 08-06-12, 10:24 AM
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Great videos! Too much fun!

OK, I was definitely one who was concerned about making it up the hill. Crazy Beanz says he'd rather do 10 miles of climbing than 1. REALLY?!?!?

So, I got to the meeting point at 6:15. First one there. Now what do I do? So I left and drove a couple miles up the road. Almost just turned around and headed home. Seriously...I just kept thinking "I'm screwed". I've only climbed a couple of MUCH smaller hills, though one was much steeper, but I almost passed out on each. The missing hamstring is annoying, but manageable. It's my breathing that gets me. On both previous climbs, I got really light headed and seriously had to get off the bike and sit down. It happened once when I rode during chemo, too. I know what to look for and how to react quick enough that it's not a problem, but still....now I sit looking at GMR. Yah, this is a dumb idea.

So I was mentally defeated from the beginning....yet looking forward to beating it. FAILURE IS NOT AN OPTION!

I went back to the meeting point and found BeachGrad05 there and gearing up. We chatted for a few minutes then the other masochists started showing up one by one (or two by two in some cases). It was great to put faces to names, and to know I wasn't the only one who was a little nervous about this ride. Got a text from TrojanHorse while we were gathering saying that he wasn't going to make the ride because of a pesky hangnail. Well, that's not EXACTLY what it said, but that's the way I read it. It said something like "I'm a few miles out and will see you in a few minutes." Same thing, right?

We got a little briefing from Beanz about what to expect, where we were planning on resting, reconfirming that we would rest wherever we needed to, to watch for traffic, especially the motorcycles, etc. etc. The last thing we discussed was the flashing sign on the way up that read "Cyclists obey traffic laws....laws enforced...blah, blah, blah...." And with that, we were off.

We got to the corner of Boulder Whatever Lane and GMR.....and rode right through the red light. I felt like such a rebel!

Right off the bat, we hit a pretty good climb. So, this is how it's going to be, huh? Got to the top and did NOT feel any symptoms of the light-headedness. Hmmmm, maybe there's hope. Then I looked up the mountain. Uh.....on second thought. There's still plenty of time!

So we rode...and rode....and rode. It was great taking our time. I got to work up and down the line and talk with everyone on the ride....well except Genaro and JusRelax. Those guys are billy goats. Once we blew the red light, they were off and gone. I get it though. Long ride ahead and the heat was coming. Well, they thought it was coming. We knew it was only going to be in the med 70's. TrojanHorse told us so! Oh, and I didn't get a chance to really talk with Herb much. Next time.

About half way up, I pulled out a banana. I get pretty bad cramps in my right leg as the muscles adjust to their new roles. So the banana was an attempt to head that off. Made me laugh when Aholtin looked at it and said "That's what I left sitting on the counter at home". Sorry, my friend, I should have shared!

I also got a kick out of psalm with his "It's downhill all the way up" line. That really broke up the mental anguish with some levity.

So one pedal stroke at a time, we climbed, then all of a sudden, there it was...this little abandoned building with barbed wire around it. One of the greatest sights! We made it. We ALL made it.

In looking back, there was absolutely NOTHING to fear in this ride. I actually found it to be a relatively easy ride, compared to what I expected, though "fast" would in no way describe me. I now know what Beanz was talking about when he said he prefers long climbs to short. As he said would happen, I got in a groove and just kept pedaling.

At the shack, Beanz asked if I could have gone on. I think, assuming we could take our time, I could have made the village. My legs felt great. Water was my issue. You can see in the video that I use a bottle-launcher on my seat for two extra bottles. I used 3.5 bottles to the shack. I sweat a lot and still get dehydrated fairly easily. Getting to the village would have required the Camelback, too. Or a sag truck at the shack.

The ride down the hill, also known as "the reward", was great. We all just rode our own pace and cruised. I stopped near the bottom with Beanz as he shot video of our riders going by. When we were the last two in our group, we headed out to finish the decent. That's when I noticed something on my front tire. I stopped and pulled a goat head (thorn) out and was immediately greeted by the gentle hissing from a soon-to-be-flat tire. That's OK, I have a spare tube. Well, this is my first road bike since high school and I didn't realize my wheels are as deep as they are. When I bought my spares, I thought the short valves would work fine. NOPE. Can't get my CO2 on it. Luckily Beanz' little pump did the trick. Thanks for your help!

Also, many thanks to Herb and Alice for coming up in the truck to make sure we were ok. I appreciated it.

Overall, it was an amazing day and the second most gratifying day I've ever had on a bike. The first was the first ride around the block after the surgery to remove the hamstring. Cancer free, hamstring challenged and riding. I knew life would be back to normal at that point. This ride up GMR was an emotional victory for me simply because....well....it was big and I did it. Hard to explain.

I did set a PR for this climb though, and thinking swiftly, made sure there was PLENTY of room for new PR's. I am now ranked 1766 out of 1769 for the gate to the shack segment on Strava. You can all thank me for boosting you up at least one in your standings!

Today, the only thing that hurts is my lower back. I'm stiff. Legs feel great, though. Very relieved about that!

Thanks everyone for being a part of that ride. I could not have asked to do it with a better group of peeps.

Now get out there and ride. We have a village to get to!

Last edited by PhotoJoe; 08-06-12 at 04:37 PM.
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Old 08-06-12, 10:54 AM
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Originally Posted by PhotoJoe
I did set a PR for this climb though, and thinking swiftly, made sure there was PLENTY of room for new PR's. I am now ranked 1766 out of 1769 for the gate to the shack segment on Strava. You can all thank me for boosting you up at least one in your standings!
I'm right behind you...ranked 1767!!! Should have tried to outsprint you to the shack....NOT
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Old 08-06-12, 11:06 AM
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Nice write up PJ!


Originally Posted by PhotoJoe
So I left and drove a couple miles up the road. Almost just turned around and headed home. Seriously...I just kept thinking "I'm screwed".


Originally Posted by PhotoJoe
Oh, and I didn't get a chance to really talk with Herb much. Next time.
Nobody Dooooes! Herb is actually very quiet so if you can claim to have had a lenghty discussion with him, I'd have to congratulate you!


Originally Posted by PhotoJoe
As he said would happen, I got in a groove and just kept pedaling.
Was I right!? Was I right!?
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Old 08-06-12, 11:08 AM
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Originally Posted by Mr. Beanz

Was I right!? Was I right!?
Yes, you were right. There, I said it. Are you happy now?
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Old 08-06-12, 11:11 AM
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Originally Posted by PhotoJoe
I also got a kick out of psalm with his "It's all downhill to the top" line. That really broke up the mental anguish with some levity.
Going up is the easy part, it's getting started that's the hard part. Coming down is the fun part.

Great riding with all of you.

PJ you are an inspiration!
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Old 08-06-12, 11:23 AM
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Originally Posted by PhotoJoe
Yes, you were right. There, I said it. Are you happy now?
Yes, it shows the other members that when I suggest Clydes & Athenas "CAN DO IT", I am not just being an arrogant SOB!
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Old 08-06-12, 11:25 AM
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Originally Posted by psalm
PJ you are an inspiration!
Yeah he is! I almost called off sick because of a bee sting on my thigh, Im such a wuss compared to PJ!
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Old 08-06-12, 12:03 PM
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OK, dangit, I just looked and I'm down to 1452/1769. The first time I did it was the fastest! And ironically, the coolest! I wonder if there's a correlation?

Let's agree to dispense with this "It was easy" BS. It's not an easy climb. It's not an impossible climb either and how good did it feel to lean your bike up against the guardrail at the shack? That was a terrific accomplishment, don't diminish it by saying it was easy. The whole point of yesterday was to flip the switch from "I guess I can go up hills" to "I can go up mountains" so congratulations again.

As for PJ's extra bottles, I was suspicious - they looked like some sort of rocket propellant. And join the clyde club on Strava while you're thinking about it...
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