Sunday, May 18, 2008


Some of the 383 participants before the start.
I don't think you could have asked for a better day for a ride. Temperature starting in the mid 50's and rising to about 70 by the end, low humidity, air quality in the green, and not a cloud in they sky. The organizers told me that they were a little worried that 500 people might show up because the weather was so nice. They didn't get that, but it was still a record turn out by about 20 riders.
I started about in the middle of the group and started moving up. After maybe 10 miles, and passing what seemed like 70 or 80 riders, I had made it into a group of 10 or so that was going at a comfortable pace. Then, my chain came off. When I stopped to put it back on, everyone passed me again. I never made it back into a group, so I spent the rest of the ride by myself - I caught and passed a lot of other riders, but never found anyone going close to what I wanted to go.
At about mile 57 there was a point where, if you were on the 75 mile ride you could turn onto the end of the 40 mile loop and finish with a 60 mile ride instead. I felt OK, so I continued with the 75 miles. As I was deciding that, I somehow managed to turn my left foot so one of the rear wheel spokes caught the back of my shoe. Of course, this locked the rear wheel, and I slid to a stop. It also bent the spoke. I spun the wheel, and, sure enough, it was now out of true and rubbing the brake. Bending the spoke back a little gave the wheel enough clearance to stop rubbing, and off I went.
About 5 miles later I was starting to struggle. It didn't help that this last 17 miles included hills steeper than anything I had ridden in the past 4 years, and it was all into a headwind. It was really hard to keep going, and I figured I'd really screwed up my pace and didn't have enough left to finish. I did make it, though, although the last 10 miles were all in the small chainring. Total miles: 76.82 @ 16.7. My average up to when I bent the wheel was 17.7.
When I got home I discovered that the rear wheel had actually deformed even more and was making hard contact with the brake in two places. I wish had known that on the ride! That is probably the reason those last 17 miles were so tough to complete.
My legs are beat today, but I did enjoy the ride. Now, I have to go true my wheel.

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