Wow, what a great weekend for riding. I could not complain one bit about the weather. Friday night I headed up to Damon’s to crash and get half way to the starting point for Saturday’s ride. Well, that was my excuse anyway. It was not really 1/2 way, but it was closer. It also helped that Damon was going to ride too, so we could share the trip. I also needed to hang out with him since it has been so long since I have done so.
Friday night was great. Huge bonfire and company to chill with and get ready for the ride. The lack of sleep for the week and the time I went to bed didn’t start out the ride on a good note. Damon set his alarm for the wrong time and for some reason my phone was in my pocket. I guess I was afraid it was going to fall off the bed and the dogs were going to eat it. The problem with the location of the phone was the fact that it muted my alarm more then normal and we didn’t get up as planned. After we were up and moving, we got everything ready as fast as we could and headed out the door.
We were not real late, but too late to see most of the group leave the parking lot. By the time get were fully ready we were already 30 minutes behind everyone else. Not too far down the road a rider caught us and as he was passing I was told that he looked like my pace and I should hop on. So, wanting to get a good ride in I did just that. Mike was great to ride with. Being an ICS team member helped me feel like I knew him more then just a few seconds. We cruised way faster then I should have been going, but I was hanging and wanted to stay as long as I could. I knew that if I had to fall off the back I could always recover some by the time Damon hooked back up.
Well I can not complain one bit about Mike. He kept waiting for me at the top of all the hills to make sure he didn’t drop me. I could ride with him on everything except the hills. I already knew that I didn’t have my climbing legs that I normally have. Some of those hills were by far the steepest and hardest hills that I have road up. That should have been one heck of a jump start to my climbing training. Now I just need to hit the woods more.
Over all I rode good all day. We ended up averaging something like 16.5 mph. Not that great, but considering the climbing involved and how chicken I was to really let it all out on the down hills, it is not that bad a pace. We ended up climbing over 6000′ of elevation for 106 miles. Great rest stops and good road markings. This is on the must do list for next year. The only thing I want to do different is first of all, plan ahead more and get some more climbing in and secondly, make it to the start before everyone leaves so I can see how long I can hang with the fast group.
I really need to get a copy of the map so I can head back up there and do parts of the loop again some time.