Sunday, October 16, 2011
Saturday morning, Kim was early. Roaring to go. Oh Kimmy.
After driving past Elkhorn she commented, "There aren't very many hills." Oh Kimmy.
She let me borrow some knee warmers. I realized I forgot my skull cap as soon as the race started. Brrrr... Probably why I'm sick today.
The first 20 miles was pretty easy. Joe the San Jose noticed the distinct gravel tracks of bikes where missing at one point so retraced and got back on track. Not a big deal. Probably less than a quarter mile mistake. For most of the beginning we could follow the string of riders and follow wheel tracks in the gravel. But after this offing, our group mostly looked for the tracks at intersections.
I got to the drop off zone at about noon. I had some food and changed jerseys, ditched some warm clothes and refilled the camelback. Kim was still roaring to go. Before we took off she had to comment on my choice of sunscreen. Apparently it did not accentuate my skin tone. Today my skin tone is Neopolitan (chocolate, pink and vanilla).
Ride ride ride, dirt dirt dirt, gravel gravel gravel and dust dust dust. (sorry mr. farmer)
We pass a tornado siren and I wonder who is around to even hear that thing if it goes off. There were some really isolated and quiet sections to this course. Kimmy saw the same siren and would tell me what she was thinking later on the trip.
Ride ride ride... we would yo-yo with a couple other guys riding. One was the course organizer and the other we will call Matt or Brad. Or just "guy."
We stopped just before turning on the co rd 26. Looking at our sheet, only 9 miles to go. "That sure went fast." Kim was already talking about where to eat afterward naming sammich shops. Oh Kimmy.
Turns out this was our first turn onto 26. We still have 17 miles to go. That doesn't sound too bad... if only the wind would die down.
Nope, we finally get to the homestretch with only 10 miles to go. Oh, it's paved? We cross a highway and then back to gravel. I imagine like we're heading back from Princeton. Just make it over this big hill and coast to the finish.
Okay, make it over this next hill. Okay, next hill. Okay, next hill... next hill... next, next, next... When I say hill, I'm talking short but steep hills. I'm in my lowest gear thinking to myself, "This is a pretty slow escalator." I pretty much keep my eyes to my front wheel looking for some kind of gripping line through the gravel. There's a line to the left but I'm not going to follow that near the apex.
At the top I look back to see if my compatriots are around. Nope, just the wind and the hills. Kim was running out of water and cramping up. I made it to the finish and saw a truck leaving to retrace the course. I asked them if they had water. They looked at me funny as if, "Why would people need water?" I started to worry that maybe Kim was stuck on the side of the road cramped up. Nope, she pops out onto Pawnee road not far behind me. She finishes and looks just as fresh as at the beginning. Oh Kimmy.
I, on the other hand, was beat. One more mile of hills probably would have dropped me. My legs felt like they were going to pop. I kept trying to stay under the stress limit but I didn't have any calories in them. I got motion sickness in the car, that or drinking a bottle of water too fast at the finish. On the plus side, I was able to eat and sleep after the ride. Something I couldn't do after GW. Was this tougher? Hmmmm... overall, no. Was it more brutal? Hmmmm... yes, after 95 miles, that 8 mile stretch of rollers into the wind was not kind.
Anyway, JackRabbit 2011, checked off. 9:23:11