Friday, June 19, 2009

Tour de Rock

2009 CARTI Tour de Rock

The Tour de Rock went off last Saturday and, after having decided to ride 50 or 62 miles, I immediately wimped out and signed up for the hundred miles. I saw friend David Wonn at the packet pick up and asked him what he was riding, as if there was a question with this endurance machine.

"The hundred. Might as well get your money's worth." David says.

"Yeah, me too", I says.

To myself, I said, "Damn, why did I say that!?"

I'm not put off by knocking out 100 miles, but my most recent century was the Ture de Cure, which took place back in April over some of the same geography, and was an exercise in pain for me. It's table flat and on that day we were a group of six facing 20-25 mile an hour winds and a wicked pace laid down by David and his merry band of Iron People.

Ouchie! I was determined to have more fun on this ride and did, for the most part. We rolled out of town in a BIG pack of probably 80-100 riders. I stayed close to the front until we cleared the River Trail and hit the road, not wanting to get caught in any crashes or back-ups. As we headed out of town, I drifted back until I accounted for David, Jo, Jmar, Mike Collier and a bunch of other friends. After a time of riding the yo-yo that is the back of a big pack, we had enough and moved to the front. The ride was fast and variations in speed in a group like this, which takes it's toll anyway, and is exaggerated in the back. The move up also allowed me to miss the squirrel-o-matic (It slices! It dices! It's a wheel with bladed spokes!) and the crash that took Mike down.To shorten the story, I hung with the ever-dwindling pack until about mile 78. We were cruising pretty comfortably after surviving a few splits, and then somebody got into their aero bars on the front and pushed me right out of my comfort zone. Done! Friend Charlie came off right after I did, so we rode in together, crossing the line at 4hrs 35 min. My fastest century but, damn, I wanted to come in with the pack, which dwindled to about six by the finish. Good job, guys!! Next time!

Thanks to David Holsted and his crew. They had over 1000 riders, raised a bunch of money and put on a first class event. (One suggestion: The food could use some improvement. Meat and beans sit a little heavy after 100 miles on a hot day. At least dig up some cole slaw.)
Thanks to Garver Engineers for sponsoring Diane and I as part of a big group of Team Garver riders.

The Ups and Downs

All week long, I'd felt like crap on the bike and kind of dreaded this ride. On Saturday, my legs felt great (well, for about 80 miles!). I'm analytical about such things, but all I can point to is a day off, good hydration and nutrition plans, and a Friday night quad session with my massage stick.

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