The first Wednesday was 156 miles. That's right 156. I was with Steve and PIC Sonja. And I knew I had a chance to keep up because they were much more tired than I was plus I was jonesing for a good workout since I had just returned from my mini-vacation. And, I really didn't want to get dropped in the middle of nowhere.....Has anyone actually been to Wiggins, Colorado? Does anyone want to go to Wiggins, Colorado? I'd post pictures but they would all look suspiciuosly the same: flat road, corn fields, cows, blue sky etc. We rode it in a paceline. Yep, three-man/woman paceline. For 8 hours. And you know what? It was "fun". I'll put that one in quotation marks because I realize that my definition of fun seems to be a bit skewed when compared to some other people I know. Before that day, that farthest I had ridden was somewhere in the neighborhood of 80 miles, in the mountains. But that didn't concern me at all. Somewhere around the 50 mile mark Steve and Sonja both yelled at me to quit my aggressive pulling. Oops, sorry folks, feeling good and forgetting we are not EVEN half way yet. Of course, I would pay for that later. But what's a long ride without a good lesson?? At 80ish miles, we pulled into Wiggins. And stopped in the local grocery store where the lady at the register was somehow convinced that I was trying to steal (right in front of her) the melted Almond Snickers bar that I had in my back pocket since Boulder and was stuffing in my mouth. She even followed me to the bathroom. Apparently I looked like a criminal in my bike shoes, helmet, and lycra. At mile 100, my stomach went south. It was hot and I was starting to dehydrate and I wasn't eating enough even though every 15 minutes Sonja would yell EAT! As I was trying desperately to shove a bit of food in my mouth Son went off the front and decided she felt good. Dropped my ass pretty quickly. She got yelled at too! And so it went, for 156 miles. Stopping for Gatorade whenever we could. Paceline the entire way. And then the clouds came in and cooled things off a bit and we were 135 miles in. And feeling pretty good! 9 hours later, we rolled back to the car. What a day, what a ride, what an accomplishment! (Sonja actually took pictures of the day, here is her version!!)
The next Wednesday was a "short" jaunt to Deer Trail...86 miles. Gotta love these rides east. Pretty flat. Kind of fast. This week's crew was Steve, Beth, Holle, Kim, and Sarah. It's always interesting when you get in a paceline with folks you are not quite used to. I don't quite read other riders cues as well as I can read Steve/Sonja/Beth. But we eventually got in a good groove and had some fun with our pulls. Speaking of Beth, she flatted 15 miles in. And then again at the huge bridge seam at the edge of Deer Trail and her day was done. We made sure she had a ride home and we took off again. Kim decided to push hard early on. Holle and I were game but Sarah wasn't quite up to it. We regathered and then noticed it was f***g HOT. And we all had almost no fluids left. Steve-O spotted some old fire station and a water spout and we all gratefully filled up our bottles with yucky silty/sulfury water. We all made it back to the car and did what any sound-minded triathlete would do after 86 miles. Put on our running shoes and went and found a trail to run for 20 minutes. Can anyone say Jamba Juice?
And the next Wednesday you ask? Well that's the one where Steve-O decided the best way for me to get used to my new bike was to HAMMER me on a Chatfield loop. I was panting the entire way and I must say that I did figure out the gearing and shifting pretty quickly. I had no time for anything else. Once again, it was hot (it is JULY!!) so we after we were done riding it was time to put on the shoes and sprint!!! It was a "short" workout. But intense. And I couldn't wait for it to be done.
Last Wednesday??? Back to Deer Trail. But no company this time. Which is a good/bad thing. Good because I just have to concentrate on following Steve-O in the paceline. Bad because all I have to do is keep up with Steve-O in a paceline. This time on the way back we hit the evil big bridge seam from hell and both flatted. Flats fixed and away we went. Steve-O did the majority of pulling which I was fine with because even following him I was still working hard. Every time I went off the front and tried to keep up the 22+ mph he was holding I thought I might die. I almost hoped for another flat because we were out of tubes and cartridges and I knew my day would then be done. But no such luck. We finished in fine form and of course, put on the running shoes and ran for 25 minutes.
And, of course, there are plans for this coming Wednesday. After today's "comfortable" ride up Shadow Mountain. Thankfully, Bethie will be along for the fun. Plus, a paceline is much more fun with more than 2 people.