Keith took me over to the "T through Z" table where I met the woman who designed the artwork for the hats... (grape leaves and rolling hills). That was a fun connection.
Last weekend, the forecast for this weekend was rain, and I was ready for it, but by mid-week they had revised the forecast to sunny and ZERO percent chance of precip... a welcome modification. I started off with knee warmers, arm warmers, and an undershirt and was pretty comfortable.
The first 20 miles were really packed with riders... I found a decent group and settled in.
- The plunge down to Monte Rio is always fun, but the road was pretty rough and my handlebar bell fell out. I didn't realize what the noise was at first and when I figured it out I didn't want to go back for it.
- After Monte Rio came Mays Canyon Road, and then Green Valley Road - last year Rick and I missed the turn to Green Valley Road and I didn't realize how much climbing we avoided until today - it was pretty steep in there. Then.... da DA DAAA! Leg cramps. Oh crap, mile 40 and my hams are seizing. Managed to make it all the way through but then I had to stop and shake them off at the top. I'd been popping the E-caps too but they didn't help today.
- If you've never had leg cramps, they feel like your muscles want to contract and extend at the same time, but if you let your knee bend it'll hurt like hell so you have to straighten your legs out, which also hurts like hell but you won't fall on your face. Then once you manage to make the cramp go away, your muscles feel tired and sore and on the verge of cramping again at any minute.
- At Rest Stop #2 they had drop bags for us to put in warmies we didn't need anymore and that was a really nice offer so I doffed the T-shirt and arm and leg warmers and was comfortable for the rest of the ride.
Between rest stop 2 at Wohler Bridge, and rest stop 3 at Warm Springs Dam, there was a pretty constant headwind... not terrible but kind of a nuisance. After the RS#3 though we were going the opposite direction so that was great fun.
Photo Credit: MilesJohn.com
- On the ride up to the dam, I got passed by some emergency vehicles and ambulances with lights and sirens on, hoped it wasn't a rider (thinking of last week's death on the DMD). The vehicles kept going past the rest stop though so must have been unrelated. Blog reader Pumpkincycle got in a bad crash though and DNFed on a gurney. LINK
- RS#4 was only 15 miles more which was a little early, but 30 miles to the finish probably would have been too far. And Chalk Hill was coming up so I stopped for some salty snacks and a HammerGel and lots of leg rubbing and stretching.
Managed again to finish the climbing before the cramps manifested but right afterwards I had to stop and walk around on the side of the road for a while... damn, that was painful.
But now there were only a few miles left and I polished them off pretty quickly. But just to make things interesting, I got a puncture with only two blocks to go! It was one of those PSSST PSSST PSSST PSSST punctures that tell you there's no way you can keep rolling. If you were on the ride, it was at that Chevron station just before the turn into the parking lot access. So I fixed the flat and rode like 500 meters to my truck and called it a ride.