Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Raven Rock Ramble

I was asked which I enjoyed more during the 105 miles, the wind, the heat or the hills?

Well I started with my team, the Spiritual Spinners, at we rode to the first rest stop together. That was a nice section. We made a good pace line into the wind and picked up a few riders. It is nice to ride in a line with people you are familiar with. Most of them were riding a shorter route and we went our own way from there.

I rode the next section solo. There were a few downwind sections but mostly headwind. I didn't see anyone else until I got to the second rest stop. I talked a small group into waiting a couple of minutes. I drank, ate, and filled up my bottles. I left with a small group.

We had a lot of headwind and it was nice to have some company. There had been a few hills up to this point, but in this section I found I was actually fairly strong on the hills. But I was working to stay with the group on the flats and downhill. Still we pressed on and even rode along Broadway and to the next rest stop. Here I had my first bad sign from the heat. As I tried to bend my leg to swing it off the bike I got a cramp. I ended up laying the bike down and stepping over it.

I refueled, stretched and left with 5 other riders. We rode somewhat together but I started to loose contact. I could feel some more cramps and had to ease off but I was able to keep going. I caught up at the last rest stop. I again refueled and stretched. I was moving pretty good when I started on the final leg. It was on Old US 1 in an area I have ridden several times. It is mostly rolling hills. I has making pretty good progress. I caught and passed a couple of riders, but after a while I started feeling the ramps coming back. By pedaling very smooth and just spinning I was able to make it to the turn towards the finish. From there I stopped a few times to clear a cramp. It usually just took 30 seconds or so. I was passing another rider who was walking some, but if I stopped for a cramp he passed me back. In the end I was able to keep going and passed him for good.

I rode into Harris Wake County Park to the finish. I enjoyed an ice cream sandwich and plenty to drink before riding the mile or so back to my car. The ride home was uneventful, but once I got home I had trouble bending my legs enough to get out of the car. The cramps were back. I finally made it inside and some rest, plenty of water and finishing off my Shot Blocks cleared up any cramping feeling by bedtime.

The next few days I felt pretty good and the only real soreness I had was from some sun burn and the muscles that had been cramping.

I still enjoyed the ride. I am going to come up with a better hydration and electrolyte plan for the next ride.

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