Alternate title for this post – The Three Hour Tour
For some reason that kept running through my head this morning while I was riding because I thought that was about how long it was going to take me to finish. But, to be honest, it was rather annoying to keep having that song pop into my mind. I don’t think I’ve even ever watched an episode of Gilligan’s Island which makes that even weirder…
But anyways, my morning started bright and early getting everything packed up to head to my bike ride this morning. It’s harder packing up for a bike ride over a run… you must check your tires, find your helmet, shoes, fuel, water, etc., etc. And I still managed to forget my garmin which ended up being a really annoying thing later in the morning (think no clue what point you are at in a 3 hour bike ride…).
I got to the ride start about 30 minutes before my ride began which was more than enough time. It was a very, very small ride (or it seemed that way) so it didn’t take much time to get all set up. But once I got my shirt and goodie bag, I did still have to wrangle my bike out of the trunk, re-check the tires and get helmeted and shoed up. At about 7:30am, I was off!
The start of the ride was kind of annoying because we all started together and no one really wanted to be the one to take the lead. I ended up behind some slower riders so I had to suck it up and pass. I was terrified of riding 36+ miles on the side of a road with traffic and with other riders but I figured it was going to be a long morning if I didn’t just get over it and find my pace instead of just bringing up the rear.
By about 4-5 miles in, I was really not feeling this ride. My stomach was feeling really sick and the hills were really killing me + it was sooooo windy. Three things that were really hard for me to ignore and I was definitely not trained for the hills. If felt like the first 12-13 miles literally took forever but getting off my bike and stretching at that first rest stop ended up helping me a bit. It also helped I shed my long sleeve t-shirt because despite the wind, I was still pretty toasty most of the time.
I kept riding on for awhile and came upon another big hill that I thought would kill me but I ended up making it up just fine, shocking, right? And made it to rest stop #2. In hindsight, I should have known this was coming but I got off my bike at this stop and walked to the covered bridge to take a picture… through the mud… If you’ve ever walked with your clip-in shoes through mud, then you know I was in trouble. I ended up with mud packed into my clips so I had to sit on a rock and dig the dirt and stones out of my clips to try to salvage my ride. At this point, I really wanted to quit again but I didn’t really have that option so I had to just make it work.
The mud didn’t really come out of my shoes but I got them workable-ish so more biking ensued. This stretch was kind of painful and I felt really lost the whole time because all of the signs had disappeared at this point! The first half of the 36 was really well marked with signs but then all of a sudden… nothing. I hoped that meant “keep straight” but I hated feeling like I was getting lost. Anyways, I ended up being just fine and stayed on the route.
At probably about 30ish miles, the wind all of a sudden was so strong and directly in my face. I felt like I was being pushed backwards on my bike… Again, I really, really just wanted to be done with this ride!
Just a few more miles later, I did finally make it to the end and it was so anti-climatic. I guess I am so conditioned to finish lines and medals that turning the corner to… nothing was kind of depressing. I just rode by bike back to my car, loaded it up and headed home. The End.
So Anti-Climatic! But I did finish, I am sore and I don’t know if I am as exited to some-day attempt a Century ride… I guess that was one thing I was trying to figure out by doing this ride so we shall see… but I do at least have a new Bike PDR!! And got to spend almost 3 hours enjoying the beautiful Wisconsin morning.
Happy Saturday Everyone! Anyone run or ride any other races today?