Well I can finally say that I have done the Rain ride. It was a long day full of interesting moments. Standing at the starting line with clouds as far as you could see and lightning bolts all across the sky, I knew it would be interesting. The rain started a little before the actual ride started. I am not sure how long it really rained, but I was getting wet for the first 70-75 miles. If it was not raining, the road was really wet and all of the tires were making it feel like it was raining.
We started off with a real nice pace and several riders around to always be able to find groups to hang with. Just past the first rest stop (we did not stop), I was feeling the urge to take a natural break. I was not the only one, but not everyone was stopping. I could start to feel the pace taking it toll on my and figured that we better back off a little if we were going to make the whole thing. This was only 45 miles in to the ride. So the two of us let the group pull away and I started looking for the spot that I was going to pull over. After a quick break, our sag vehicle went by and pulled over to make sure if we needed anything.
After being out on our own for a little bit, there were a few guys that came along so we hopped on to help us on our way. Not too far down the road was the second rest stop. After a little stop we were ready to head back out on the road feeling much better. We settled in with a small group and everything was going good. Crossing 67 there was a rider that was almost a squashed bug. If his buddy would not have yelled at him that a car was coming he would have be a goner. Up the road from there a little ways the road was branching off to the right just down a little grade. The guys in front yelled that there was gravel on the road. We were cruising about 23 mph and the road was a little wet yet. The guy two in front of me slowed down too fast or something and the guy behind him got tangled up in his back wheel. This threw him down right in front of me. I was trying to get out of the path, but his bike kept sliding left and I could not miss it. I ran over the back of this bike and hard telling what else. Next thing I knew I was sliding down the hill and then my head smacked the road real good. After all of the sliding was done, I picked myself up and checked everything out. Nothing was broke, just some road rash a few places. My helmet didn’t look as good as I did, but it was still in one piece so I put it back on with a few more vents installed. The other guy was good, so I said I needed to get back to riding before the pain settled in and I would really hurt.
Not too much farther we rolled in to the lunch stop. This was a much needed stop to re-group. We did end up staying there a lot longer then I wanted to, but some of it was needed. I changed jerseys and socks and took in a good inventory of the damage. After some food I was ready to get back out there. The section after lunch was not easy. We did not see very many groups, so we were cruising along all on our own. We finally ended up meeting up with a group of 4 and tied in with them as long as we could. Eventually we were split and we were out looking for more riders.
This continued on and off for the rest of the ride. We did stop at the last rest stop to top off the bottles and down some much needed food. From there I knew we had just over 1 1/2 hours to make it under the 10 hour mark. Not exactly where I wanted to be, but that was the point I didn’t want to pass. So, we came out of there screaming and tried to make the time. We did hook up with one other guy that we were riding with earlier and we helped each other get to the end. Just before we were at the finish the other guy fell off of the pace that was being put out. Forrest said if he slowed down he just might fall over. So, the hammer was still on and the finish could not come soon enough.
Eventually we did make it up the hills and found the finish. 9 hours and 46 min. after leaving Terre Haute. I was very happy to make it in under the 10 hour mark. I am even happier after looking at some of the stats and seeing that we had an actual ride time of 8 hours and 15 min with an average speed of 20.25 mph. We are now prepared to train a little better, take some time out of the rest stops and finish in the sub 9 hour mark for next year!
Not sure how soon I am ready to get back on the bike, but I better not wait too long with some of the big rides I have planned on the horizon.
See you on the road.