The Rain ride has come and gone for another year. No matter how much you ride or think you are ready for it, it is still a long day on the bike. One could not ask for better weather for this years ride. Last year we were welcomed with rainy cold weather for the first 75 miles or so. This year some thought it was a little on the cold side, but I don’t think it was that bad. The weather said it was going to get down to the lowest in a long time. I don’t know what it actually got down to, but it was not as cold in the morning as I thought it would be. I still wore arm warmers, but no jacket or long pants for me. I did see several people wearing one or the other and some both.
I don’t think that we started as close to the front as we did last year, but we were not that far back. We were on our own power for most of the first miles unlike last year tying in to several groups and really putting the hammer down. We still were making good time and had some good muscle to pull us along.
The plan we had was the same as last year. We were going to by pass the first rest area at mile 40 and go to the second one at mile 66. We pulled in to the second rest area and checked out the parking lot looking for our sag. But, we had a little panic on our face as it seemed that we could not find it. Well, after a phone call we figured out that they were not there and running late due to someone missing a turn. We took inventory of our fluids and food and decided to tell them to go ahead and drive to the lunch stop and headed back on our way.
I was starting to feel it a little as we were getting close to the stop. I wanted to eat some more of a bar, but I thought we were almost there and didn’t want to fill up on a bar so I had room for some better food. Turns out that we were a little farther out then I thought and it would not have hurt me to eat more. It really does not matter because we all made it in one piece.
Lunch was very welcome and it was good to get off of the seat a little bit. I don’t think I have ever rode 91 miles with out some kind of a break in there, so that was good for me. We tried to limit our time at the stop and make our way down the road as soon as we could. We felt a little sluggest after the stop and we were trying to push through that. That section from the lunch stop until we got back on to 40 was the toughest part of the ride to that point. When we headed north we were riding in to a head wind. This is probably the part that kept us from averaging a faster speed overall.
We finally made a quick stop at the gas station as we returned to US4o for some quick bathroom breaks and fuel. I was feeling much better after this point and the group started to ride a little better then we had been. Down the road a little ways, we ended up trying on to a fast group that was being controlled by a big group of Nebo Ridge riders. That was a blast riding with them. We were crusing 30+ for awhile. Since we were breaking up our group for guys that could not get on or didn’t stay on, I figured I better pull out and sit up. This pace would also blow me up for the hills that are near the end. Most of us re-grouped and made our way down the road. We figured we would pull off at the last rest stop for a quick stop and let the remaining riders to catch up to us. Well, it turns out that they kept going on past the rest stop. I am not sure if they were mad that we left them a little or they just didn’t want to get off of the bike. Since the sag van was not close to the road, it took a minute for us to get back on the road.
After this rest area I was feeling very good. I am not sure what I did at that stop, but I wish that I could do it more often. I thought I was pulling along at 20 or 21 and when I finally looked down I was running 25 mph. That was not all bad, but I pulled for a real long time since I was feeling good. I think that this added up in my legs as we got closer to the end. It was getting real long the closer we got. I don’t know if it was the hills that we started to climb or just the fact that we were 145+ miles in to a ride. Probably a little of both.
We finished as strong as I could h0pe and ended up cutting 1 hour off of the time we did last year. The finish time was between 8.5 hours and 8.75 hours. I am not exactlly sure since all I could think of at that point was to get off the bike and find some food. I hope they have the results posted soon so I can see where I finished in the list, but I think it would have to be better then last years finish.
I am not sure if I will do this again next year or not. I did not plan on doing it again this year, but I ended up there. I just wanted to do it and I did. Now I have done it twice. It all depends on who else is wanting to do this ride. I would not have a problem helping some other riders if they are needing it. Only time will tell.