Right as I got to the mount line I saw my dad and Wendy walking up, and I yelled hi to them, climbed on the bike, and took off up the hill. I passed a few people just by having the bike in an easy gear and riding up instead of trying to jog it in bike shoes. I settled in, and started my afternoon of pedaling. Having ridden the course before, I had some idea what to expect. I was ready for the steep hill right after crossing under the main road, and I felt pretty comfy on the bike. Just chipped away at the distance, nice and steady. Felt almost like a real biker as my cadence was over 70 😉 Although my monitor for it wasn’t working, so I’m not sure what it really was. The whole first loop on the bike I was feeling great. It felt easy, relaxed, like a tour of gorgeous country side. Chalk Hill was a climb, but felt pretty good. I had an easy time with hydration and nutrition — gummi dinos, take5 bars, lara bars, and eGel, along with my super-most-awesomest-wonderful nuun and carbopro mixture. I never felt bloated, never felt too dried out or really hungry.
Near the end of lap 1 it got a bit more interesting with some repaving of the road we were on. The construction guys were doing a great job of seamlessly getting all the bikers through and on our way, but we still had to breathe in the fumes and ride on slightly sticky tar! Soon though I got to pass my cheering squad… by then it was Holly, Mom, Dad, Wendy, Ry, Jenny, and Ethan!
Lap 2 started ok, but I started to feel that I’d been on the bike for a while. About 65 or 75 miles in my right arm started cramping a bit, but I’ve had that same cramp before on a long ride and found that I could stretch it while riding and pretending to grab my own ass, so I did that on and off and it felt ok by later in the ride. My upper arms were getting a bit tired of the constant vibrations. Those race wheels are sexy and fast but sure are a rougher ride! I also had to pee — and the course had a strict “no peeing on the course” rule. I wasn’t sure if it included on your own bike, or just on the side of the road, but given the lines at the 3?!?!?! portapotties on the ENTIRE BIKE COURSE and how fast some of the guys were in and out I had a feeling it might. Since it was auto-disqualification, I decided to stop and just use a portapottie, and ended up at one with a shorter line. It ended up meaning about 5.5 minutes stopped, but not a huge deal. While there I was also able to help a few people out of salt tabs and electrolytes by sharing my caps as I knew I had plenty left, and it felt good to help other people start feeling better.
Back on the bike, dispite the minor issues, I was still feeling pretty good. Chalk Hill was coming, and I was ready for it. Easy gear, cruised on up, and just let it be a slow climb. I made it over the top, and knew there were only a few more minor climbs to go, as well as a few fast sections. And then… as my butt and such were glad to know, I’d be off the bike and onto my feet!
The frustrating part was the few clumps of people that passed me, drafting and riding side by side. It was a tough day — I would have loved to have a friend at my side. But rules said no, and on the bike it seemd that many of us did follow them. The other frustrating one is people who feel this need to pass and then take it easy. I ended up having to break on a few climbs to avoid getting too close to them as I just didn’t think it necesary to pass them on the climb but they passed at the start of the climb and then slowed drastically.
The other interesting bits were the section where we were in a coned off bike lane… where cars had hit a number of the cones… making it a cone obstacle course! WOO! And the guy who felt it necessary to flip us off out the window as he drove by screaming at us to “get the fuck off the road”. Which I understood… I mean, he had to SLOW DOWN so that the car about 5 cars in front of him could wait for a few of us to pass before making a right turn into a business. However, the water station and intersection volunteers were awesome, so that was nice. Oh, and I heard someone honk at me at one point, and I had a feeling it was directed at me although I only saw the back of the car (it was going the other way). Turns out it was Aunt Dawn (really my godmother) who didn’t have time to wait and see me as I had just passed to start the second loop, but was happy to see a glimpse of me.
It was a good day… Cruisin’ and takin’ in the cals… smooth pedal circles with Dan saying “Circles! Circles” in my mind. Up hills, down hills, and then up and down more rollers. Most of the day was spent on an angle. But 7:13 and about 113.3 miles (the course was long by at least a mile and a bit) later, with about 5800 ft of climbing done, I got to turn into Windsor high school and get off the bike (for a full GPS version see Motionbased). Again a PR, as IMAZ had been 112 miles in 7:17:59! And I was still feeling good.
Wondering how Lisa was doing, I planned to ask the family and I switched into run mode. But she was there cheering with them 🙁 I wondered what had happened, and was glad for the extra emotional support, but was sad that her day was over. I had to keep moving though, and didn’t want to ask since in her shoes it would be upset to me to have to talk about it so soon. So I racked the hott bike, helmet off, shoes and socks off and running ones on, GPS to the wrist, a few mints and Swedish fish to my pockets, nuun visor and race belt on, and I was off jogging in 5:02.