Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Horrible and Hilly

Kristin before the race


Karen pumping up a hill in aero

Post-race Viking Goulash

Saturday’s Horribly Hilly bike ride was just that—horrible and hilly. It was also very windy and warm. At one point, Karen’s bike computer was showing a reading of 95 degrees. On one hand I was thankful for the wind, but it did make for a nasty headwind.

After taking a two year hiatus from the HHH ride, it was tough to get back out on those hills. It’s hard to remain optimistic when you have a pretty good sense of what lies ahead. And those hills definitely gave me a beating. It’s never good when you approach a hill and see half the riders off their bikes walking them up, and the other half weaving back and forth, desperately holding onto forward momentum. Karen is a very strong person and athlete, but only thirty miles into the race, even she was seriously doubting her ability to finish the 200k.

So Karen and I now agree that perhaps it was a blessing that we took a wrong turn at some point during the second stage (~ the 50 mile point). I’ve always found the course markings extremely confusing for this ride, and somehow we got off the 200k loop, and onto the 100k course. By the time we realized, we were quite a ways off course and needed to decide between going back and adding at least 50k to our 200k ride, or being satisfied with a missed stage and a day’s total of 150k (about 80 miles).

Along with another set of gentlemen who were facing the same predicament, we chose the latter, which made for a more enjoyable experience. Afterwards I was even more pleased with our decision, since it started hailing and storming just as I sat down to enjoy my post-race viking goulash. Needless to say, I was very glad at that point to be off my bike. Sometimes things do happen for a reason.

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