Monday, April 28, 2008

Larry Schwartz - April - 100+miles

I waited, once again, till the last possible day to ride my year-rounder century, and I paid for it in bad weather.

Since riding my first one in freezing temps, I decided to wait until there was a really nice day. There were a few that I let slide, so I had to ride in the rain.

While getting ready to go I realized that one of my water bottle cages was still laying beside my bike waiting to be fixed. I had 15 minutes to eat breakfast and get everything else ready, but now I had to fix my bike.

After fixing my bottle cage, indeed having more than one water bottle is a necessity for a long ride, I crammed a bowl of Wheaties down, splashed some water into my bottles and took off.

On the way to the designated meeting point it felt a little cool. With rain on the way, and the skies looking somewhat ominous I asked my son if we should go back and get long sleeve jerseys. His reply? "It's too late now" (we're 3/4 miles from home heading out on a 100 mile ride). So we set off, 56°F degrees with rain on the way, in shorts and short sleeve shirts.

I didn't expect anyone to show up to ride with us but I went by the start point just to make sure. Sure enough, there was someone that showed up, but not who I was suspecting. This particular rider is someone who I've ridden with infrequently in the past. Infrequently because every time I try to keep up with him it's at least six months before I'm recovered enough to forget how painful it was the last time. So these thoughts are racing through my head, wondering if I can keep a lid on the speed, long enough to survive the ride.

So we commenced the exercise, heading south to Beaverdale and following the River Rd to cross 411 and head for the big climb. As we turned onto the River Rd, it began to rain, 25 miles had been covered.

Arriving at the Fort Mt climb, I bid goodbye to our racer friend and started the long grind to the top. Almost as soon as I got on the climb my lower back muscles started cramping up making the ascent extremely uncomfortable. After about an hour of that torture, we were close to the summit and found our friend already to making his descent. There was heavy cloud cover and fog so the scenery wasn't as spectacular as it could have been. After spending a few minutes at the top, wishing for better weather, we carefully made our descent on the wet twisty roads. When your body fat is less than 15% and you're in a cold weather rain, hypothermia is a concern (not a concern for myself as I'm 30% body fat). My son was shivering and covered with goosebumps at the bottom, after coasting for 20 minutes through the fog and the rain. It was 58°F.

We headed for a food stop at Subway, hoping for a warm retreat from the rain. When we stepped through the door we knew we were in trouble. The lady behind the counter apologized for the meat locker temperatures, she had been baking the bread and had cranked the air-conditioner because the ovens were vented into the room and she had gotten too hot. It was actually warmer outside, so we went back out to eat.

I told my son to sit close to me so he could get benefit from some of my body heat. Picture this, two fully(mostly) grown men dressed in spandex sitting close together on the ground outside of a Subway in a (mostly) redneck town. It's survival time.

C warmed up a little, the rain slowed a little, and we took off for home, 45 miles to go.

The rest of the ride was uneventful with the weather gradually warming and the rain eventually ending. By the time we reached home the roads were dry and it was 63°F with the sun trying to peak through the clouds.

It was good to have the extra company. Thanks RH for coming out with us and showing us a different route to the mountain.

I predict the next Year-Rounder to be much warmer, if not dry.

Route and Ride details:

Length: 100.48 miles
Duration: 6:29 (moving) 7:42 (total) (see motionbased player for stopped locations)
Elevation: +9400'

1 comment:

sBlogger said...

Two down, ten to go! Great job. I "kinda" envy you guys.