Tuesday, May 25, 2010
I admit I was scared to be around 2,500 other cyclists. I didn't know if I could "hang". I didn't know how I would be looked at in my spandex. I didn't know if I could climb the hills. I had a lot of doubt about myself.
The started like a bad Nation Lampoon movie. Our 25' breakfast buffet at the hotel ended up being a 2 foot counter. The eggs were not real. Eggs are cheap so imagine a cheaper substitute...now imagine eating the slime from Nickelodeon. Yup GROSS. The waffle maker and toaster didn't work because of a blown fuse and the fruit salad was warm. I ended up with a bagel and cream cheese. Then the trolley showed up with the bike trailer. Hahaha, it WAS NOT a bike trailer but we were prepared and actually wrapped our bikes in foam for transport. The company still managed to rip my brand new bar tape.
40 minutes later we were dropped at Boyne Mountain. It was hot and sunny.
A lady we met on the shuttle told us "The pain you feel on the first 25 miles is worth the view" Yup, she scared the shit out of me. We quickly got comfortable on our saddles and fell into a good cadence. After turning the first corner I saw a hill that compared to anything I had climbed so I worked my way up passing people. I looked down and we are only 3 miles in. I was warned that the bad hills were at mile 8 and mile 10. This was no joke. The hill at mile 8 had to be a mile long with false flat and then another 1/4 mile of climbing. People were pushing their bikes up but I refused. I thought that was bad and it took me a while to get my legs back under me and up to speed. At mile 10 the hill was after a sharp turn. The look of it was horrifying. People were actually stopped at the top cheering people on that made it. The hill was so long that I had to alternate between standing time and saddle time but I made it up. I only managed about 9mph on that climb but I did it. Sweat pouring out of my helmet and legs on fire I did it.
After a few miles of flat and small climbs we came upon the "Tunnel of Trees", a sign before entry warned of the steep down hill. 36.6 mph on a road bike is a rush. I passed a girl with 2 hand fulls of brake and as white as a ghost. That road was amazing.
Mile 25 brought us to Leggs Inn in Cross Village for lunch. Rest, refuel and rehydrate. We didn't stay long. The second half was flatter with some long gradual climbs. The kind of climbs that leave you wondering why the hell you are going so slow if the road looks flat.
Mile 35 brought about an interesting situation. My husband and I ride together. Often we are not next to each other because the idea is to take turns in front. The rider in back burns 30% less energy. Well we picked up some people and had a nice pace line for a while but dropped them. I came upon another rider that was letting people (men) pass him. When I approached his wheel he saw me and picked up speed, I picked up. He kept picking up speed so I couldn't pass so I backed off. I then watched as he let 2 more MEN pass him. This truly pissed me off and I informed my darling husband that he needed to learn a lesson and I was the girl to teach it to him. My husband responded with "go get him" giving me full permission to attack knowing he would follow. Full sprint at 25mph I caught him, passed him and pulled him at that pace for 3-4 miles until he was just too tired to keep up.
Sir, if I ever meet you again I truly hope you learned a lesson on that long sandy stretch of road. I ride like a girl....try to keep up.