Unfortunately, I started feeling bad about the middle of the week (prior to the FF) and progressively got worse towards the weekend. My plan was to go to G'ville on Friday, spend the evening with Hank and get up Saturday morning to do the ride. Felt awful Friday night, several bouts of coughing, trying to hack a lung up, meant that I didn't get a good nights sleep either. I went back 'n forth about whether to get up and go do the ride or not. I knew, just as sure as I didn't go, that I would undoubtedly feel better and then wish I had gone. Then again, there was also the chance that I would go to do the ride and not feel too well as the day went on.
So, I decided to go ahead and do the ride....arrived over in Tryon around 7:15am, went to registration and signed up. Saw the used-to-be friend from WNC and amazingly, he acknowledged that he saw me and said hi. Finished up registration, got the bike stuff ready and then rode off to see if I could find Neal. I saw him near the start talking to some other rider, so I rode over there to say hi and wait on the start. WNC guy rolls up and says he has my t-shirt from the CC ride in TN last month and I just tell him ok. Neal gets the great idea that the riders he sees out on the road (who are actually warming up) are already starting the ride, so he suggests we go ahead and start the ride.
The four of us (myself, WNC, Neal, and Richard) start out at 7:40am and immediately WNC sets out at a pace that I know is much faster than his normal warm up pace. I know exactly what he's trying to do and I just say to myself that he's not getting away with this. Yea, I know....very bad idea, especially considering I'm sick with a chest cold. I knew better than to try and keep up with him, but I couldn't help it. It was that damn ego & pride I have that told me he wasn't going to drop me. I think at one point, I heard Neal say this was a pretty damn fast pace...no shit. WNC didn't drop me until we came to a short little hill and I didn't downshift soon enough and tried to do so while climbing. Not good. The chain became stuck on the big & small ring and cranks wouldn't turn. I had to stop, get off the bike and fix that.
While I'm fixing that little problem, I keep my eye on both Neal and WNC...not once did WNC look back to see if I was ok. Not one damn time. Strike 3. That's all I needed to see to confirm certain things about the so-called friendship. So, I get the chain back on, Richard catches up to me and asks how I'm feeling because he knew I was sick. I tell him I'm sorta ok, not breathing too well and I can tell I'm running out of energy. We ride together for a short spell, then a guy comes around us, just spinning away so I decide to catch his wheel and get pulled as far as possible. We do really well and eventually catch up to Neal and WNC, who appear to be just taking it pretty easy riding and talking. I think "what an asshole that guy is" and when New Guy pulls out to go past those 2, I go with him - not even acknowledging those guys.
I stay with New Guy till we come upon more hills, get dropped, catch back up, Neal & WNC eventually catch us on another climb and I let them ride on past me...I've already expended way too much energy and I'm losing steam pretty quickly. Decide to just finish the ride at whatever pace I can. But, I'm feeling real crappy by now. Sorta lightheaded & dizzy. I manage to get to the first rest stop, refill teh empty bottle and head on out again. I do fairly well, get caught by the group(s) of riders who left at that proper start time, but, I'm unable to hang on to the group. Unbelievable. Simply unbelievable. Should've been able to hang with a group like that - guess that shows me that I shouldn't have been riding at all on Saturday.
After getting dropped by 2 separate groups of riders, I latch onto the wheel of some guy coming around me and let him pull me all the way down SC 11 and to the first Grunt climb. OMG. That climb was seriously steep. I haven't looked at it on mapmyride, but I bet it's over 18%. Last year, I had to stop, get off the bike and walk up that climb. This year, even as sick as I was feeling, I was determined to ride my bike up this. Success. But, I swear, I bet I wasn't climbing any faster than maybe 3-4mph. It was very hard and took every bit of energy I had left to make it to the top. Once at the top, took a right onto 176 (or was it 276? don't remember) and headed back towards Tryon.
About 2mi outside of Tryon, the route took a left and up another hill. I just couldn't do anymore - knowing I had another Grunt climb and the Watershed climb ahead of me and asked one of the volunteers how far back to town. They suggested that I wait on one of the trucks to take me back, but I decline and ride back to the start. I finished up with 33mi in 2:10hr or something like that. Yea, I am disappointed that I didn't finish the ride...but, I also wasn't really prepared for the ride and was riding sick. Oh well. I have the route and can go back and ride it any time I want to.
I load my stuff up and head on back to Greenville. Spent the remainder of the weekend there - coming home Sunday morning. I've spent a bit of time (on the way home, yesterday evening, and some today) thinking about the remainder of the year, as far as riding. I've come to the conclusion that I'm not going to do Roan Moan this year (I'm not ready for it either), that my last organized ride in this area will be Tour de Tuck in September, then I will be getting into cyclo-cross season. Next year, I'll do Assault on Mt Mitchell again to see if I can decrease my time, most likely Tour de Tuck and that will be it for organized rides. It's time for something else. Anyone can go out and ride metrics/organized rides - well, I don't want to be just "anyone". I want to be different.
Different....I really enjoyed the 200k Brevet I did back in April and doing more of those could be in my future. Riding all of the BRP is definitely on my list. What else? Not sure yet....I'm sure I'll think of something and also get plenty of suggestions from others.....
This week I'm still sick, but I'm going to get out and ride tomorrow with the friends from IOS in Cary, do the OMV group ride Wednesday (fixed too) and ride with Dallas on Thursday. The weekend - not sure yet, but considering the Cyclepath ride Saturday morning......