Thursday, December 2, 2010

Trying to get caught up

Well I need to get this caught up.

The Tour of Beauregard and the La Vernia Hammerfest.

The Tour of Beauregard was in Deridder, LA. The ride was suppose to be 35 but ended up being 41. It was a great ride. I liked the route and it was great to ride some new roads.

Now on to the La Vernia Hammerfest. I think they should change the name to the Sufferfest. This was by far one of the hardest rides I have ever done. The ride was in the Town of La Vernia. Which is just out of San Antonio. I chose this ride because it was in the area where the MS ride was going to be. I rode the 65 mile route. I really didn’t know what I was getting myself in to. The 1st 22 miles was into the wind and up and down hills. Boy did I learn quick how to handle hills. But the wind was made them even tougher. I took an extended break at the SAG stop. The next 16 miles to the next SAG I guess I got in to a grove. After the 2nd SAG the next 10 miles was the worst stretch of chip seal road that I have ever rode. I guess they knew what they were doing to us because the next SAG was right past that part of the road. After a break to get the feeling back in to my hands and feet I headed out. The last 16 miles was in light showers to heavy rain. The outer rain bands from Hurricane Karl that had made land fall in Mexico had come in to the area. That was some hairy riding. But boy I was glad when that was done.

The Valero Ride to the River
Left Lake Charles on Thursday and traveled to Houston to meet up with my dad. Dad was going along to provide support. Boy I was glad to have him there. We left Houston Friday morning to head to San Antonio. When we got in to the SA area we went up and scouted the 30 mile century option route. He and I made the decision that I would only ride the 70 miles on the 1st day. We went out to eat with my cousin and her husband for some great Italian food that night.
Day 1 started early at 530. Happy Birthday!!!! Your going to ride 70 miles up and down hills!!!! I was beginning to wonder what I had signed on for.
We went to the starting area. The Alamo Dome. Was a little chilly but I dressed light because I knew it was going to warm up quick. It took about 20 minutes to get out on the road. The top ten fund raising teams got to start 1st. And I was doing this solo.
Got out of SA alright. This ride has the best s upport I have ever seen. Police everywhere. It made it easy to get thru town. I never even saw the 1st SAG stop. I was rolling with a group that was making good time. That was until right at the 13 mile marker. I came to a stop with a flat tire. I was praying that this wasn’t an omen for the day. (turned out it was just fate giving me a Bday present)
I was making great time after I changed the flat. I was really surprised at how well I handled the hills. I made a quick stop at each SAG and drank and eat something to keep my energy up. Dad met me at Texas Lutheran University and we ate lunch. (That really was a mistake!!!!)

After lunch it was 23 miles to the Fairgrounds and the end of day 1. Oh the 10 miles after lunch were some of the toughest miles I ever rode. My body thought that I had finished for the day when I stopped for lunch. It was tough to get going again. I will say that when I saw the turn off for the century option I thought to myself that I know I couldn’t make that and still ride 60 the next day.
I got to the fairgrounds and Dad picked me up and I went to the hotel and enjoyed a nice long shower and watched some football. I had a great night sleep.
Day 2
Got up and going again at 530. Was surprised I wasn’t too sore. We ate breakfast and I chatted with some other cyclist that had rode the 100 miles. I was glad to have only rode the 70. We loaded up and drove to the fairgrounds for the return trip.
I was lucky and got out in the 3rd flight of riders. The start was really hard. Right out of the gate and we have to make a long climb. The real reason I wanted to get out 1st in our group was not to have to fight with slower traffic. Once we topped that hill I found a group of riders who’s pace I liked and I stayed on their wheels. I hit every SAG stop but the last one.
About half way thru I came along a group of rides that I knew that where Sun and Ski employees from Houston. I stayed with them up until the last SAG stop. I was really making great time but all that changed at 49 miles. We came to a long climb that was three separate hills but they were back to back. That was the point were I started to cramp up. That is the reason I skipped the last SAG at 54 miles. I only had 4 miles left and I didn’t know if I got off the bike if I would be able to get going again.
There was another few climbs before the Alamo Dome. And they felt like they were the Swiss Alps too. They really added insult to injury by making us climb a Rail road over pass right before we got in to the Alamo Dome parking lot. But I will say that when I felt the burst of A/C from inside the Dome it was great.
I did 130 miles in 2 day. Day 1 was 4 hours and 1 min. Day 2 was 3:30 mins. I averaged 17.5 for both days.

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