Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Wilderness Road Ride

Saturday I rode the Wilderness Road Ride with John King. It was part of a weekend "Cycling Double-Header" that included Mountains of Misery on Sunday. The analogy I kept thinking of was the kiddie roller coaster (Saturday) and the big-time loop-d-loop rollercoaster (Sunday).

The WRR goes on part of Daniel Boone's Wilderness Trail (hence the name) and there are options to do 14, 29, 38, 58, and 78 mile routes. I picked the 58 which would be my longest ride to date. I arranged to do it with a fellow triathlete, John King, who I like to think I am roughly compatible in terms of cycling strength, but honestly, he edges me out. I was glad for the company AND the navigation help, since we know my habits with that sort of thing.

They give you a direction sheet and the roads are spray painted with symbols to indicate turns. The signs were great and we had no real problems.

So at 7 am, under a heavy fog, we set out. I had to keep wiping the moisture from my glasses. We rode to about mile 20 and stopped...mainly to decaffeinate (OK, pee!). I quickly realized how great these aid stations were - homemade baked goods, PB&J sandwiches, fruit, cookies....it was just a rolling buffet!! Well that was the first, and LAST stop I enjoyed on that trip. John thought, and I did not argue, that we should make it a respectable workout and hammer it out. So we whizzed by stops 2, 3, 4, 5...and I waved hello to the volunteers as we went!

Honestly, I was glad to have a bit of a push for a working ride. John led for the majority of the ride, but I did take the front for some. And I confess to drafting shamelessly off of him a few times when I needed to back off. There were some nice climbs, but only on one occasion did my legs complain loudly.

For the main 3 hours we averaged 16.8 MPH and avg HR of 147, not bad.

The route was scenic and gorgeous and took us through sites and towns I'm sure few have seen. What an experience! And for the first time, I rode with NO hands..briefly, but still I did it. The reason for my no-handed pedalling was that without making food stops, I got pretty hungry, and my only option was the wrapped granola bars in my jersey pocket. I needed two hands to get the packages open , so hunger trumped my fear of riding without hands!

I felt great the rest of the day and managed to keep moving and shift pretty quickly into "mom mode". I had to make food to take to an afternoon soccer party and get everyone there at 4:00. By about 8 pm, I was toast, and by 8:30 I was fast asleep!!

The next morning, I felt perfect, like I had never done a thing. That was fortunate, because I was scheduled to work aid station #5 at the famed "Mountains of Misery" century and double-metric ride the next morning.