Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Covered Bridge Metric

I had been registered for this ride for quite a while and planned on making a weekend of it...the plan was to get up to Lancaster, PA around 3pm, check-in to the hotel then meet up with some BF folks for an easy social ride of around 18mi. Well, I left the house around 8am, but I had "other" things on my mind and I headed out on I-40W. Where the hell I thought I was going I have no idea (yes I do - I was headed back to G'ville). When I realized my mistake (Jones Sausage Rd) I turned around and headed the right way. For a short time. I get to I-95 and which way do you think I went?? That's right. I went SOUTH instead of NORTH. Sheesh...I should've taken the hint and just went on back to G'ville, but I turned around and finally got headed in the right direction by 9am!!!

One would think that traffic on the weekends around DC wouldn't be too bad. Wrong. From Fredricksburg to past DC, the traffic was awful. Stop. Go. Stop. Go. This was absolutely killing my time and I didn't arrive to my hotel until right at 4pm. Quick check-in, change clothes and hurry over to the Hampton Inn to meet everyone. I brought my fixie for this ride, figuring that 18-20mi would be good on the fixie. I meet 5 or 6 guys from BikeForums, but for the life of me, cannot remember everyone's name....sorry guys.

The Saturday afternoon social ride was very nice...rolling countryside, horses & buggies, cows, corn & tobacco. Big gardens too. I /love/ big gardens & fresh veggies - those reminded me of my grandmother's gardens. No trouble riding the fg either, except one little hill that was a bit steep, had to stand to climb it - otherwise, no troubles.

I was hoping to meet up with one of my good friends (& his wife) from BF on Saturday but it just didn't work out. They were late getting to Lancaster and missed the ride, but left a msg on my voicemail that they made it and hoped to get together that evening. Didn't happen. By the time I got back from the ride, showered, changed, it was after 6pm, long lines everywhere I went to find food, except the Pizza Hut next to the motel. /rolleyes/ Ended up there with some pasta & salad, back to the room and made it an early night.

Next morning I met Phil & Jen in the lobby and we headed on over to the ride start. OMG. I haven't been on a ride where there were so many people!!! StupidlyBrave (Jim) was in the same lot as Phil and I, and we met up with the BF members from Saturday's ride around 7:30am. It was a rolling start from 7:30 on, so we headed out shortly after the meet-up and getting a few pictures taken.

Here are the photos I ended up taking. Not too many because I was riding Steve's wheel and we were rolling! No time to take pictures of the countryside. These pictures are from when we stopped..

ok, a few at the ride start and the first rest stop..Phil & Jen in the orange & yellow jerseys

Steve and another BF guy (can't remember name)

Foo Jersey:

Phil (pgoat) and StupidlyBrave (Jim) to Phil's left

at the lunch break today on the Covered Bridge Metric

a few pictures by other riders:
the first covered bridge

and, Jim brought me a present:
wow....i almost forgot this picture....SB brought something special for me...

Overall, it was a great ride, tons of riders (something like 4100). Lunch stop was great - had Subway sandwiches with the fixins for us. Bad thing though....I sat under the shade tree with the guys at lunch and sat too long. When I went to stand up, both legs cramped something terribly. The outer quad on my left leg and the inner/middle quad on the right. So much pain. I managed to finally get them under control and head out with the guys, but was unable to maintain the pace set by Steve due to my legs.

Jim fell back and rode with me at times, waiting on me at turns and various other spots. I told him he didn't have to do that, but he said it was fine. :) We eventually make it back to the start and despite my difficulties on the last 30mi, I still ended up with a decent average - 63mi/3:45hr/16.8avg. Changed clothes and proceeded to go find the rest of the crowd and have some ice cream!

Later that evening, went out for supper with Phil & Jen to a local brew pub. Great greasy cheeseburger and about half of some kind of beer. Don't remember what it was, but everything tasted great!

Packed up the next morning and headed home around 10am. I initially thought I would try to take a different route home because of all the traffic encountered coming up, but changed my mind. I-95 straight home and in 5.5hr. Very glad to get back home. I think my next vacation/trip will not involve an automobile.....thinking that I'm going to do any traveling on my bike.

So....overall, I had a great weekend but, I doubt I travel 400+mi to do a 63mi ride anytime soon....


I've been pretty lax about keeping this updated. Pretty much all of July, since around the 15th, I was sick, but still tried to get a ride in with the guys on Tuesday evenings. I did the HP&A ride, rode maybe, 1x the following week then jumped right onto a century with the guys for August 1.

That century was really good...four of us riding (me, Dallas, Cliff, & Randall), the route had a little bit of hills/rollers from Dallas's house to Middlesex & Elm City, but we kept the pace reasonable - 18+/- average and I felt good despite my lack of riding. Once we left Elm City, we headed out towards Wilson - made a route around Wilson and headed towards Fremont. Very good roads to ride on, traffic minimal, and what traffic we did have, was courteous.

Weather was good to us as well - overcast for the majority of the day and the temps weren't too high. I hit the wall big time around 87-90 miles into the ride. Yes, I had eaten and drank enough, but I suppose asking my legs to churn out 100+ miles with not much mileage in them was a bit much. Dallas & Randall waited on me and paced me back in until we got on Thanksgiving Rd. They left me then, but I was ok with that - I knew where I was going. Finished up the ride about 10min later than those guys.

Stats (best I can remember): 101mi/4hr40min...

I didn't ride any the following week....too hot, not feeling great. Another century for the weekend was planned though. Same route but we added 2 more people and Randall was out. This ride didn't start out as planned - too fast to Middlesex/Elm City. The 2 new guys kicked the pace up to 20mph average for that 40 miles and it was just too much for me. I felt bad at Elm City, but didn't mention anything to the guys. Somewhere along 50miles or so, I started feeling those familiar twinges in my right quad. Yep, cramps coming on. They were bad.

I made it to Fremont and then finally to Kenly, where I had planned on waiting and having Dallas come back to get me. But, after scarfing down 2 cheeseburgers from McDonald's, I felt slightly better and thought I'd try to make it on back - it was only about 20-25 more miles back to Dallas's house. But, no, my legs were done. I made it to the little church at Old 222 and told Dallas I just couldn't go any further. He caught up with the guys (who had left us - he was riding with me now), but blew himself up in doing so.

I lay on the porch of that church in the shade (very hot on this ride) and cramped like I haven't cramped in a long time. So bad were the cramps they brought tears to my eyes. When Dallas finally made it back to me, he said he cramped up when he got home - rode his ass off to catch the guys...anyways, only made it 85miles in 4:40hr. Once home, had lots to drink and some food, plopped my butt on the couch, legs up, trying not to move much because if I did, my legs cramped.

These cramps were so bad, that on Monday I could hardly walk - the muscles were SO sore. Tuesday was a little better and of course, I didn't do any riding the remainder of this week.....