The first 55 miles were uneventful in a good way. I rode through very sunny conditions in the morning as the temps slowly climbed. During this stretched I just rode along, sometimes pushing the pace, other times backing off, and always drinking lots of water. The stop at Chaplin at 45m was particularly nice. The store didn't have dispenser ice, so I bought a bag to fill my bottles up and had a nice, cold Coke. I felt good and refreshed after that and made good time into Willisburg, my lunch stop. It's known for cheeseburgers, so like last year I bought one and ate it under the church picnic structure. Some AC would have been nice, but the restaurant had smokers. And the wait was a bit long. The burger and peanut M&Ms hit the spot, though.
Somewhere after Willisburg, though, the wheels started to loosen. The section from Willisburg to Mackville is basically a 3.5m mild acclivity, and it was during this that I got hot, very hot. I have a feeling, too, that I stopped drinking, I'm not sure. But I got hot and I stopped riding for a bit. I found a shady spot on the side of the road and I stopped and lay down, the first time I can remember doing that at a random spot on the road. After a bit I got up and "hit" the road again, but my spirited pace from the morning-15avg at Willisburg- was long gone and I was descending into a miserable patch. What worried me was that I knew the Mackville to Perryville section was one with lots of steep rollers, a section I suffered last time. This time was probably worse. I took the route behind Perryville Park via Oscar Bradley and Hays Mayes and encountered a couple short, steep uphills I just didn't clear. I walked, in my socks with my fancy road shoes hanging from my brake hoods. Low point. We've all been there.
In Perryville I sent several whiny texts to my cycling brothers and the fam. That helped, I think, a means to clear the mind of negativity. What helped, too, was the Gatorade and ice cream sandwich. After a relatively long stop in Perryville (also working out finding a missing teenager who went to soccer instead of coming home), I ventured into the Perryville/Junction City stretch that hurt so much last year. I took the alternate route via Harberson Rd. down to Parkersville and 300. What looks like a 8.5m uphill stretch became much friendlier due to two factors, CLOUDCOVER from the heat and a TAILWIND, my first of the day. My spirits, or legs at least, lifted a bit and I made JxCity pretty easily, the only real problem being my hands (more later). A chocolate milk and AC rest in Hardees gave me strength for the final push along my parallel 127 stretch. I wasn't powering away here, but I made progress. I bypassed the ice cream again outside of Hustonville for some reason and turned onto Mt. Salem, my last obstacle of the day. Even more strangely, after a day of intense heat and sun I saw darkness growing from the east. It began to sprinkle and then rain. After a triple lightening strike not far ahead of me I knew it was on. Two hours earlier I suffered to survive triple digits and now I was chilly while being buffeted with a hard rain all along the high point of the day at mile 95. From there it was a divebomb into the wet cold until things evened out for my last 10 miles, before arriving at camp around the 10hr mark. A long day in the heat it was.
- I used Chamois Butter liberally and had no chafing at all. The Brooks Swift was quite comfy. BUT the on-going ride gave me a painful spot in the leftish portion of my groin around my pubic bone. I've never had a pain there and never want to again. I'll have to make saddle adjustments or go to a new saddle, bc I'm not risking anything there.
- My hands gave me real problems as the day went. I'm theorizing that the oldish PearlIzumi gloves I used had a seam that ran along the base of my hand and created a pressure point. The alternative is that the Brooks tape and smallish Campy brake hoods created the pressure. I might have been better off glove-less except for the terry portions to wipe sweat. I'm hoping a future long ride sorts this issue out again, b/c it could mean a fit issue that I hadn't encountered on shorter rides.
- My feet legitimately cramped several times in the Specialized road shoes. I longed for my Keen sandals on occasion. That said, here now I would wear them again, I think. Road shoes don't do well when you have to walk steep hills when your legs are fried.
- My rough patch was from 60-72 this time, which is odd b/c that 70-mile segment is one I've ridden plenty of times. Still, I had the requisite rough patch and marshaled through it. I think long rides are fascinating in that respect, the ebbs and flows. I'm thinking that a 200k with a like-minded group would be a fun physiological and psychological adventure, but doable.
- PB sand for breakfast
- 32m Slim Jim in Taylorsville
- 32m-36m Combos
- 45m Coke in Chaplin
- started Nuun bottles in Chaplin and had one Nuun and one standard bottle from there on out
- 55m cheeseburger and peanut M&Ms in Willisburg
- 73m Gatorade and large ice cream sandwich in Perryville
- 85m chocolate milk in JxCity
- 85m-95m Cliffshots
Pics to come later when loaded.