I got up at 5:30am this morning (set the wrong damn alarm), but couldn't go back to sleep because I had this fear that I wouldn't get back up and that I'd be late. So, I'm up, eat my pb & honey on whole wheat around 6am, then have like 2hr to kill! Gah!!!!! Mess around the house a bit, surf on BF a bit and finally just leave at 7:45 cause I couldn't stand waiting any longer.
Weather was overcast/cloudy/foggy and some drizzle to start with. A few times, I think there was a bit of rain, but not very much. And, the temps were in the high 40's/low 50's I think.
Get over to Archers Lodge, go in to pick up my stuff and as I'm coming out, Andy walks up. We chat for a bit, then someone comes up to us that knows Andy; seems they knew each other from when Andy used to live in the Raleigh area. I leave and get my stuff ready. I see a lot of people that I've ridden with over the past couple of years (who I don't ride with regularly) and say hi to them. Chit chat & BS for a while, ride a little bit, and, embarrassingly, take a fall:(. Sheesh. First time I've taken a fall ever on the road bike. Oh well. Whatever. About 8:45, I get a call from my friend Jay - wants me to go pick his stuff up inside. I was going to, but the line was almost out the door and I didn't want to wait.
Finally, Andy decides that he'll ride a bit to get warmed up, so we do a few laps around the Buffalo Rd area and then go to the start where it seems everyone is waiting. He puts us towards the back a bit or maybe the middle as we don't need to start at the front. Off we go! Andy, me, & Jay. I make it just fine all the way up to Thanksgiving and then look back a little later...Jay is no where to be seen! Seems he dropped his chain and told us to wait, but I didn't hear anything - too focused on Andy's wheel. And Andy said all he heard was me telling him to pick the pace up! Haha.
Damn. We are hauling ass! Seems like starting in the middle made Andy want to chase down everyone! He pulls for like forever till we get caught by a group of riders around 25mi or so. Then he lets them pull for a while. I never took a turn pulling, but that was the plan anyways. The first 30mi up to the 2nd rest stop was at a 19.3mph pace for me! I can't tell ya how fun it was riding with Andy. He pushed me really, really hard up to the rest stop and afterwards, we dropped the pace down a bit. No way in hell was I gonna be able to do a 19mph avg for 60+mi. But, it was/is good to get pushed further than you have before. What doesn't kill you makes you stronger. And, I'll be stronger after this ride.
After the rest stop, it was a bunch of little hills, down to Buckhorn Reservoir and then up Buckhorn Road. It's a long hill and it taxed me pretty good. Andy just rode up it like it was nothing, which it probably was considering where his everyday rides are. Made it into Bailey and that's where I started having a bit of trouble. The last little hill before turning into downtown, my calves started cramping. I tried to work through them, but I just couldn't. Andy took on off, pulling a group of about 5 riders, dropping my butt like that
I just didn't seem to have a lot left after about 45mi. That first 30mi just wore my butt slap out. I was off and on with the group/Andy untill Flower Hill. Made it up that with relatively little trouble, though slow. Just had to watch Andy spin up it. He's so smooth. 50mi and the last rest stop. I don't think Andy was planning on stopping, but I was farkin' starving and wanted something to eat. Got a piece of orange and some kind of granola stuff. Jay finally caught up with us at this point and was (or appeared) a bit miffed for getting dropped. Told him we didn't know what happened.
Last leg - 12 miles back to the car. In retrospect, I wish that I wouldn't have stopped at that rest stop at the 50mi mark. No real need to, other than I was farkin' starvin'. Once the three of us got started again, Mr. Mountain Goat, just took off like it was an easy day for him. Probably was. My hamstrings were really hurting then. I just couldn't catch up to Andy after that stop. He just left me & Jay, telling me later, that he knew I would be ok with Jay and he wanted to toy with the group of riders that caught up with him later on on Antioch.
Antioch Church Road was hard this time. Mostly due to I just didn't have anything left. But, I thought about what someone posted on BF earlier this week - just embrace the pain. So, I tried. I really wanted to finish with Andy, but just couldn't keep up. I was finally caught by Kevin & Ray on the last climb up Covered Bridge and those guys pulled me back in. Thanks guys! Thanks Jay for helping me get through the Antioch part! All you guys rock!
So, my stats for the ride (broken down):
- First 21mi - 169/139/93/19.9 (NP/AP/rpm/avg)
- Second 21mi - 162/138/88/17.5
- Last 20.2mi - 148/127/87/15.5
- First 30mi - 166/140/93/19.3
- Last 32mi - 155/131/86/16.1
- Entire workout - 160/135/89/17.5, total work done=1722kJ
- Elevation gain - 3300+/- per motionbased/garmin
- Garmin file
I didn't get too many pictures today. The pace was too high to try and do much picture taking. Got a couple of Andy at the first part of the ride and then one of him & Jay at the 50mi rest stop. None of me. Oh yea, I wore the Hammer jersey/arm warmers AND I painted my nails to match:) Did anyone notice? :D
Here's what I had the pleasure of seeing all day long:). And, the guy pulling me and Andy along, pulled forever. Which was good for Andy I suppose.
At the 50mi stop, Andy & Jay:
So, overall, I really enjoyed the ride. One of the hardest I've done since Cullowhee. I think I need to start riding with the 'Hammers' some. Next time, maybe I can hang on at 19+mph for 35mi.
OK, that's all for now. Gotta get this bag of frozen peas off of my knee and maybe have another beer:)