Monday, June 18, 2007

Horribly Hilly Hundreds Recap

187 pounds....

I must stop the sugar train that I am on or I will have worked to lose all this weight for nothing. Time to get off the train and back on the wagon.

The Horribly Hilly Hundreds were this past Saturday in Blue Mounds. I was able to convince Barb to let me stay over Friday night in Mount Horeb. Which worked out well, the place was a dive, but it was nice to be able to get up at 5:00am, get ready, pack the gear and drive over to the park. At this point I was feeling good. All prepped up and ready to go. I grab the bike off the car and start putting things together. I get to the point to air up the tires and I finally notice that the rear tire is flat. shit.... I hit it with the air pump and nothing. crap.... a fucking flat. No problem, I tear it all apart and think I find the hole. Check the rim and tire and find nothing. Replace the tube and put things back together with no problems. I ride down to the start, still all prepped and ready to go. But at this point, I only have 1 tube left. No problem, the rear has been fixed. So nothing to worry about.

Stage 1: 7:00am comes and off we go. I'm starting in the middle so as not to be a problem. The start is great, no issues. The first major climb comes, a 3 mile grind and that pretty much thins out the group. All I know is that it is a long climb and things hurt all over. But I'm still in it. This is the type of stuff that we ride through for the next 25 miles until the first rest stop. 45mph downhills with twisting, bending roads. It was really nice. The first downhill was touch and go because of the people around me. Too much brake being used by everyone. Once I got around them and out in the open, off to the fast descents I went. 15 miles or so in, John calls on the cell phone. While going to answer it, I didn't notice that my Brooks saddle cover goes off into the wind when I opened the Bento Box. Needless to say, I was kicking myself later on this. The first rest stop has water, food, the usual stuff. All I was after was water since I was on a Hammer Perpetuem/Sustained Energy fueling strategy for the entire ride with Hammer Supplements on the top of every hour. Overall I was still feeling pretty good at this point.

Stage 2: The next section added in more grade. I was still moving along pretty well. Some of the hills were requiring me to climb out of the saddle since they were steeper than my body wanted to do sitting down. Getting up, out of the saddle really let me know how hard I had been working my legs so far. The first up and out hurt pretty bad but I was able to work through it. The second and third time, was just just plain nasty. I hit the water stop to stretch and make sure I have enough water since the temps are in the high 80's. Before I know it, I'm at the next water stop which is just up the road from the second rest stop. I stop and top off my water and stretch some.

Stage 3: I blow through the rest stop since I don't really need anything there. At this point we are about 3 hours in. I ride up to the next road to go down and go straight instead of turning. I was confused about the last minute detour that the route would be taking due to construction. After riding about 2 miles and coming up on a road that shouldn't yet be on the route, I dig out the map and see that I should have turned back there when I didn't. crap.... I turn around and start heading back. I notice the ride isn't quite right and sure enough, I have a flat back tire. So I tear it all apart and think that I have found the hole in the tube again and still can't see anything on the rim or tire. Maybe next time I'll bring my glasses too. The last tube goes in and away I go. Guess what, the next stage has hills on it, too. The next out of the saddle hills really sucked. Hurt like hell, but I didn't give up and was able to climb them and not have to walk them like some riders were. There was a section of gravel on one of the roads that I gladly walked since my legs and back needed the stretch. I was able to do the dreaded long climb into Barneville and then guess what, the rear tire was flat again. So at that point, I decided to call it a day. As my father would say, I came in on the hook. The SAG guy came and picked me up and hauled me back to my car. He was really surprised to see that I had a Brooks saddle instead of one of those gel ones. I told him that I had tried many different gel ones and I ended up on a Brooks. So while in the SAG wagon I crossed the finish line at 5 hours, 32 minutes.

I'm not sure if I could have made the final 2 monster climbs or not. The 3 mile climb that we started out with was coming back up and then the final monster into the park that is probably the steepest climb of the day. I guess I will have to go back on another day and do this ride again and prove to myself that I can do it.

After packing things up and changing clothes, I enjoyed the food that they had for us. Also talked with some people that I met along the way. Even a mountain biker or two that was there. I guess I could always try this ride on my Epic to see how it would climb those big ones.

Here is what the Cycling Peaks of the HHH ride looked like.

I worked on all the tubes when I got home and I have found that they all have a hole in about the same spot. So after inspecting the rim and the tire, I think I have a tire problem. There is a blemish on the inside of the tire that might have been the culprit. I will take everything down to the bike shop tomorrow and ask Alan to take a look at things and get his opinion.

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