Saturday was to be the big day of the camp. We planned to do 100 miles from Lick Creek to Golconda and back. Unfortunately, the weather was not cooperative. It was rainy and much colder (low 40s) than the day before. We delayed the ride, hoping the weather would improve, but after 30 impatient minutes we finally departed with no change in weather.
I was standing around talking to Jay, who was putting his shoes on, when the group decided to pull out. To our surprise they took off anyway. I waited a minute or so for him to get ready, but by this time the group was well up the road. We chased hard for about 4 miles to catch the group. It was right then we hit the first big hill of the day. My legs were really feeling the previous day’s effort as I slowly made my way up the hill. We stopped to regroup at the top. I was already tired from Friday, I was tired from chasing, I was tired from the first big ass hill. This is not how I wanted to feel 5 miles into a 100 miler.
At this point we all agreed to keep the pace sane and stick together for the first 30 miles, at which point we would reassess the situation. This plan lasted all of 30 seconds. The group spread out again on the rolling hills, and the riders up front were not keen on waiting. I spent the next 15 miles yo-yoing off the back of the group, desperately trying to cling on. I was soaking wet at this point and the brutal North wind chilled me to the bone. We stopped after 20 miles and I knew something had to change. There was no way I could come anywhere close to doing 100 miles at this pace on this terrain in these conditions.
We decided to split up. Six of us would continue another five miles before turning around for a 50 mile ride. Others would continue another 10 miles before turning around for a 60 mile ride. The ride back to lick creek was a bit of a blur. The weather was so nasty and I all I wanted was to be warm and dry. I was not the worst off though, as Ethan was a little underdressed and was shaking and chattering his teeth.
Five miles from the finish Jeff got a flat tire. We stuck around and helped him change it, then headed towards the finish. 300 meters later his tire went flat again. This was at the top of the big hill I mentioned previously and he and I were at the back of the group. Nobody else noticed he had flatted and they continued on their merry way. So Jeff & I stopped to fix his tire. He didn’t have a second spare with him so I gave him mine… except it didn’t fit. Jeff’s wheels have deep (aerodynamic) rims and the valve stem on my spare tire wasn’t long enough to go all the way through. Crap. I called Karl to see if they had returned to Lick Creek yet, but he did not answer. So I left Jeff to go get somebody’s car at the finish. I ran into Karl just past the bottom of the hill. He was waiting to make sure we knew which way to turn. We finished the last four miles together. Then I got into Jeff’s room, found his keys, and drove his truck back to pick him up. Incidentally, this won me the Best Team Support award at our dinner Saturday night.
Since we finished at Lick Creek I didn’t have any clothes or much food with me, and I didn’t have the keys to the car I rode in anyway. Karl was kind enough to offer to let me shower in his room and he lent me a sweatshirt and some jeans to wear. I almost didn’t take him up on the offer because I thought the lead group was only going 10 miles farther so they should have been back any time. I’m very glad I did take him up on the offer because the lead group decided to do the full 100, and they were gone for several more hours.
What an awful day.
Distance: 51.39 miles
Avg Heart Rate: 142
Max Heart Rate: 179
Total Ascent: 1154 feet
Weather: 44˚, rainy
After the ride we headed back to Giant City, caught some Start Trek on TV, and caught a nap. All the Lick Creek people came to the Giant City Lodge for dinner. Saturday’s special was all-you-can-eat fried chicken, which was quite popular. I stuck with my steamed vegetables, rice, mashed potatoes, and corn.
After dinner we quickly realized there was nothing on TV and went to bed even earlier than Friday. This was a tired bunch.