Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Riding to Dallas and Back!

 My legs were feeling heavy after Hotter'n Hell this past weekend, so I needed a long slow ride. Carola needed a new bike light and REI had the one she wanted on crazy sale. I called around FTW to see if anyone could beat the price and no one could match it, so off  I went on an adventure. I have never ridden on this route further east than Grapevine so I was a little apprehensive about riding over in the big D. I thought, this will be an adventure if anything, and I loaded up Carola's new bike with all the needed food safety gear and set off.

I made it to the north end of DFW airport when I got a flat. The Continental Country Ride tires have great flat protection but when an inch long finishing nail punctures the sidewall there isn't much you can do.

 I made it to REI and shopped for a little while but I knew that I would be getting home late if I stayed much longer. It was already dark when I started home. I love riding in the city at night. I had a blast. The rest of the trip was an enjoyable ride and I think I will take my bride with me next time.
The haul was good and the fuel was even better!

Lets Ride and Make The World Happier!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Hotter N' Hell Hundred!

The Criterium Races
This past weekend was the Hottern' Hell Hundred in Wichita Falls Texas. My friend, wife, mother-in law and I went up early on Friday and set up camp. We went to the exhibition and watched the criterium races.
    I had the goal to ride a sub five hour century and I ended up with a time of 4:50:38. I am pleased to say that I hung with the lead group (in front of the "Official Pace Group") for 60 miles. I ran out of water and had to stop off at the Burkburnett rest stop to refuel/ tighten my handlebar stem bolts. At that time my average speed was 27mph. I was able to catch on with the second chase group and hang with them for about 20 or so miles. I started feeling some light cramping in my left calf muscle so I peeled off at the next rest stop. After a whole bottle of Pickle Juice and a refill of my bottles I was off but not in a group. I rode solo for about seven or eight miles when I was over taken by and latched on with the "Official Pace Group". It was an interesting experience riding in a group with "full race support" watching them slow for a "feed zone". The race leaders would ferry bottles from the team  motorcycles to the riders that needed refilling/refueling. They used radios to control the pace of the group, keeping everyone in a tight pack. It was neat seeing the organization of all this happening while still moving along between twenty and twenty-five miles per hour.
The Finish
    I had some discomfort on my inner right thigh and reached down to investigate only to find that my seat bag strap had rubbed a hole in my shorts and was now rubbing a hole through my skin. I reluctantly had to leave the pace group at the next aid station to get my leg seen to and to refill/refuel for the final push into the finish. The doctor at the station understood my hurry being pressed on time at 4:37 since the start and only at mile 92. With 23 minutes to go, 8 miles and get my leg dressed, time was very close. I needed to average 20 mph but I was tired and there wasn't a paceline in sight. I was desperate. The head winds were killing my speed, the best I was able to make was 19.5; not quite good enough. Then suddenly from behind a small group of ten or twelve riders started to come around me on my left. "I'M SAVED!" I thought and latched on to the first wheel I could muster and held it until the last turn. I was in a total zone of aggressive male, almost growling as I planned my sprint into the finish. Judging my strength after 100 miles and the length that I can sprint. 100meters after the USCF finish I started my sprint into the finish. I was off like a rocket propelling myself past the finish in a burst of anger and elation. My heart was pounding like a drum even after I stopped. I unclipped and walked my bike towards the finish line village. I picked up my finishers pin and went straight to the fire hose to cool my body down. The water was refreshing but I needed to sit down. I found a shady place and sat on a chair, drinking water till I felt like I would be able to walk back to the campsite and get a shower.
A Finisher!

    My ride, while a major accomplishment for me, doesn't compare to my mother-in-law's ride. This was her first century and she is not quite as youth-full as I am. I am really impressed with her endurance. She looked very strong crossing the finish line. I am proud of her.