This may become a new trend. Whatever distance Jeremy does in his Ironman training, I'll do kilometers to his miles! I think it'll work perfectly.
This past Saturday was the 10th annual Tour de Ruidoso, which hosted a 100 miler and a 100K. This is the city up on our "big" mountain (I know I keep calling it that, but it does go up to 11,000ft, which is over 1000 higher than the one just up the road from us). So we trekked up to the cooler weather, where I decided at the last minute to shed the arm warmers. The sun was coming up and standing at the car felt warm. I regretted this decision for about 2 miles. I told Jeremy to get up there with the front group when we started, and realized that I was so concerned about him that I forgot to position myself accordingly. I know I'm slower lately, but I should still beat some of the mountain bikes and guys in cotton t-shirts. Plus it would be nice to have somebody to draft off of. The first 2 miles I worked by myself up a little incline, trying to catch the pack that had formed in front that Jeremy had gotten onto in time. Not wanting to go out too hard, but not wanting to ride completely by myself, it was a tough decision, but I kept pushing. THEN, we made a turn onto the highway which went straight uphill.
Ah ha, it was the beginning of what had been described on the registration form!
Beginning with a climb from 6840 to 7485, a downhill and a climb back to 7482 and then dropping down to 7257 ... and this is in the first 6 miles!
Of course after the hills started, everyone spread out and the usual happened. I would make up ground on the uphills, people would fly by me on the downhills. I was being particularly careful with my downhill speed due to this whole pregnancy thing-- I really don't want to fall-- so I was getting left behind. Every so often the road would flatten a bit and I would ride with a few others, or a small group. There were several groups of Mexican cycling teams, and I think they particularly appreciated my Los Locos kit. I got at least one chuckle.
I rode in a nice little paceline for a few miles with about 4 men. One was of the t-shirt wearing type, and he was all over the road. You know those people who can't be still to save their lives? He was fidgeting all over the bike. I think he burned three times as many calories as I did per pound. After each person had had their turn behind him, someone finally broke away off the front and let him scare the next group for a while.
Losing those guys somewhere between the braking on the downhills and passing on the uphills, I found myself mostly alone again, until a few hills later when I passed a guy in white. Some people don't say a word in passing (especially when being passed on an uphill by a girl), but Juan Carlos was not one of those people! We started chatting from the moment I pulled up beside him, and he had a lot of encouragement to give. It turns out my new friend is a former pro cyclist from Columbia. He says he was much smaller back in the 80s when he was racing (he weighed about the same as I do now), but still, I kept up with a Columbian pro! He let me go on one of the climbs, and I said I'd see him later.
I knew we were getting close to the airport, with one more hill to go. As I crested one and made a turn, a lone crow the size of a bear cub, cawed at me as I passed. I could tell exactly when Juan Carlos and another guy passed. I think he was cheering us on.
So back to this flat section that I'd been looking forward to. The straight on headwind that we turned into made my speed much slower than I'd expected. The most brutal part was that I could see several miles ahead of me, and I knew that it wasn't ending anytime soon. I later described this "flat section by the airport" as the worst one for me. I was told it "wasn't exactly flat."
Garmin tells me they were right:
As a side note, this reminds me of how mean I am. There's a section on our "flat ride" from home that I always get onto Jeremy for going so slow on. I had in it my head that he had it in his head that it was actually an uphill when it was clearly not.
Again, Garmin was there to settle it:
Yes, I'm mean. Or just really bad at judging grade. But back to the ride. I did take a break at the final rest stop for a delicious PB&J, and I figured it might be a long time getting home. As soon as I saddled back up I saw Juan Carlos up the road just a bit and hoped to catch him for a nice draft. About 5 miles later, I finally got within his view, and I think he slowed down for me. And he left me draft! But it ended quickly as we got to "the final downhill." A very nice volunteer lady cheered us on and told us it was all downhill. This being JC's specialty these days with the extra weight, he took off. But around the corner we found that the nice lady lied. Twice. My Garmin had called it quits for the day at about 54 miles, and left me by myself for those last few hundred feet up and thankfully down as well.
Finally finished, with nothing to do but eat green chile burgers and wait for Jeremy, but not drink the free beer, I found some good people to chat with, I won a recycled bike chain bottle opener (to match my recycled bike chain picture frame), and even saw some football.
I'll let Jeremy describe his long, flat tiring (haha) day with a few more thousand feet of climbing thrown in there. But I want to remind everybody that he only carried himself over that course, while I was biking for two. :)
P.S. Does anyone else have a 405 that only holds a 100% charge for 3 hours??