|Total – 5:30
Moving – 4:45?
|Overall – 18.2 mph
|5:45 AM – 2 pieces cheese toast, big bowl of yogurt, apple sauce, muesli, tea
|2 large bottles each w/3 scoops Perpetuem, peanut butter and jam sandwich, PowerBar, 2 shots gel, Coke
|low to mid 40s, dry sky, damp ground for the first several hours, light breeze
|Sugoi show covers, Roubaix knickers, Roubaix leg warmers, Craft long sleeve undershirt, heavy long sleeve jersey, wind vest, Polypropylene gloves, OR Gripper gloves, cap
We had the best attendance of any team ride yet. Nice!
The first few miles were very sane which was great considering we were gonna be out there for a while. On Hollywood Hill We immediately dropped Neal G which sucked. I feel bad for that guy, he works so hard and has less time to ride than some people. A few people also separated themselves from the rest of us setting the tone of the ride. Any time the road tipped up Olivier H, Ryan D, Alex T and Andrew E would ease off the front and continue to increase the gap as long as the hill lasted. Behind them was Steve O, me and sometimes Greg K who rode with a lot of determination today and kept getting better as the ride progressed. I was determined not to blow early so although I might have been able to hang with the leaders I probably would only have been able to do that once. Not a good strategy.
We had to avoid only one flooded road and that was very early with an easy detour. The roads in the Carnation Valley were all okay to my surprise.
ASIDE - High Rock is a great climb; we need to come here more often. This was one my hardest and longest efforts today. Unfortunately this is where we lost Neal for good. He was really struggling on the West Valley road and this was the nail in the coffin. While on the Cherry Valley loop we saw a huge bird of pray that glided by pretty darn close to all of us. Impressive. I also took off my vest here. A bummer that we lost Tony B on this section.
We were still all together as we hit Carnation for a food stop. Greg got a huge Coke and shared it with me – that was a life saver. Funny how I hate soft drinks until I'm at the bottom of big, black pit of glycogen depletion. Then it's manna from heaven. Here I removed the Gripper gloves.
Going up Tolt we still managed to stay together but then on Ames Lake Road we broke up. Alex was going faster than the rest of us and then Olivier jumped to join him and then Ryan did likewise and then Andrew went too. That was the last I saw of them. Tim F was having trouble unfortunately but Greg hung back for a bit and when he caught us he told us it was okay to proceed. So at that point it was just Greg, RC R, Lane S and me.
RC was really working to hang in there whereas Lane always looks like it's easy. Greg was feeling it for sure and so was I but I managed to put in some good pulls here and not explode.
Entering Redmond Greg's rear wheel started to come undone and we had to stop to tighten a lot of spokes. I used the opportunity to take of my leg warmers. At this point Lane took the shortest route back to the north end of Lake WA so now we were three.
As we rolled through Marymoor Park I was running on empty for sure. We got to the exit and as I eased into the left turn lane Greg announced he was heading north. RC joined him and then I was alone. Oops...
Within one mile of heading south I was in trouble. I still had food in my pockets but nothing sounded even remotely edible. I guess smart people would force themselves to eat but knew there was a store coming up in a few miles so held out with visions of Coke baring sugar plum ferries dancing in my head.
That was the slowest I have ever ridden along the west shore of Lake Sammamish. Ouch.
Towards the south end of the lake I passed a convenience store on my left but thought there was another one around the corner on my right. What I thought was a store turned out to be a church. Damn.
I looked down and saw I still had half a bottle of Perpetuem so took two big swigs. And it helped! Thank god.
New port sounded about as appealing as a sharp stick in the eye so I hit the trail heading west. By the time I crested the hill I was feeling even better and had another swig. Looking at my bottle there was one left. Ever been on a long ride (or run or whatever) and feel like you need to ration your food? That was me. Big time.
As I hit the bike path to cross the swamp I passed two guys and the glued themselves to my rear wheel all the way across the swamp, Mercer Island and the I-90 bridge. I was riding steady but NOT fast by any stretch of the imagination but it must have made their day. It's times like these when I wish I had my iPod.
I even managed to not keel over climbing the rise on the floating bridge and at the top my two shadows turned north and I went through the tunnel.
Crossing the lid the Bike Polo crowd was hard at it so since the sun was well and truly out I got off my bike and watched for five minutes. Not because I was tried or anything though...
I left the tennis courts with a big smile on my face. The sun was on my back, I had finished the ride and my back had cooperated big time. I savored the last sip of Perpetuem as I cruised home. It was a good day.