Saturday, April 11, 2009

Michael Challenge

I really would like to do a few races this year that require endurance. I’ve been trying to ride long on the weekends and it has been slowly kicking my butt. The 1st attemp was following Scott Luikart where he pretty much destroyed Mark Sclater and I in only 65 miles.

The 2nd attempt was last weekend where I tried to do a hilly Atwood Lake ride on the single speed. Everything went fine until I climbed New Cumberland hill. I didn’t think you could pedal that slow and not fall over. 71 miles later, I finished not feeling too bad.

Today was a totally different story though. The 1st week was Scott killing me, last week the hills, this week it was Mother nature and her blowhard ways. The day started off bad from the beginning as my chain kinked a ½ mile from home. I could have fixed it but went home and replaced it instead. Now I am late and hauling but trying tog et to Bolivar by 9am. Made it on time and headed south with the group. I haven’t spent that much time fighting winds in a long time. The trip down south was pretty spirited as Bob D and Mike took pulls in the high 20’s and sometimes 30mph. I only took my pulls at 25mph and for a good reason. The tail wind we were enjoying was going to turn into the devils breath on the way back.

We left Newcomerstown and headed north and just as suspected, it was a sufferama. I pulled as long and often as I could to build on my endurance hoping for 2 things, workout and keep the cooking so we weren‘t out there all day. The plan almost backfired as 2 of the riders joining me started to hit the wall with 10 miles to their cars. Luckily we were near where I wanted to split off so Chuck waited for the stragglers while I headed home.

I could feel the energy slowly leaving me and the miles started to take longer and longer. I tried to think about racing the KTM but that only made me pedal faster and make things worse. For some reason when I think about racing the motorcycle I get a little tense or hyper depending on what I am doing.

Strasburg, 15 miles to go, 4 climbs along the way, I praying for a limping truck I can draft, no luck, they’re all flying. 10 miles to go, I’m in Stark County and climbing the longest climb before home. The hill is blocking the wind so it is easier than the open flats, still sucks. I’m finally over the 3rd hill, thank God I didn’t ride the single speed!!

Things are looking grim. I keep reaching for my phone but resist the urge. I opt out for the towpath trail and bypass the final climb up Warmington. My legs are cramped, my butt is burning, my back and kidney area aches, still 3 miles to go. Praying for rednecks on 4 wheelers to shot me and stop the misery. I finish off my 4th water bottle and 4th granola bar and 2nd goo pack was downed a few miles ago. ARGH, I forgot by going this was I still had to climb both sections of Walnut!!

97 miles and I finally reach the garage but I am afraid to unclip thinking my leg would collapse upon standing. All goes well and I am able to collapse in the bathtub where I slept for a ½ hour.

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