Sunday, June 1, 2008

Go James Go!

In three Tours de Cure, I've now ridden 265 miles. (Actually a little more, but we'll go with the official numbers). That's impressive.

So. Another century yesterday. Not to put too fine a point on it ... I. Kicked. Ass.

I'd been watching the weather for a while, and the outlook was glum about a week ago, and got glummer. Rain, wind, more rain, chance of thunderstorms. By this morning the forecast was for WSW winds of 9-15 mph, rain, and a high of 68. I started the day wearing shorts, tights, a long-sleeved base shirt, and a jersey over that. I considered a jacket -- with the wind and the rain, I was chilly -- but I decided to tough it out, hoping that I'd warm up.

The ride started at about 7:05, and we set off under light rain. I was in the lead group, going fast -- for the first 7 miles or so, we were averaging about 21. Then, as I came around a corner fast, the bike slid out from under me. It happened here -- coming up Harlod, turning left on Pletcher. The road was smooth, and with the water on it, it was slick. I went down hard, landing on my left hip. I was pretty close to the front of the pack, so I immediately had about 30 cyclists speed by, saying, "You OK? You OK? Hey, you OK? You alright?"


I retrieved my lost waterbottle, put my chain back on, got my bearings, straightened my handlebars, and got back on the bike. My thumb was bleeding (I still don't know how that happened), and I'd lost the lead pack. Not "lost", exactly -- I could see them -- but they remained about a minute ahead of me. I tried to catch up. For about ten minutes, I tried to catch up, but they remained tantalizingly out of reach. Eventually, I gave up and resigned myself to a slower pace. I slogged on to the next rest stop, where I got my thumb patched up and met some guys who were riding at a good pace. We set off. The wind was at our backs, the sun had come out, and it had turned into a nice morning. The 50 mile mark came quickly... and then we turned into the wind.

The wind was BRUTAL. Sometimes a headwind, sometimes a crosswind, but pretty constant for the second half of the ride. At the last rest stop, I set off with a guy who had also been in the lead group and seen me go down ... he'd been waiting on a repair and was eager to get going. I did the last 9 miles FAST, really putting the hammer down. I arrived back at Niagara County Community College at 1:45 PM.

Final stats:
Total time: 6 hours, 40 minutes.
Ride time: 5 hours, 32 minutes.
Miles: 101.8
Average speed: 18.3
Max speed: 38
Average HR: 159
Max HR: 188

After a good night's sleep, the thumb is doing well; the hip is still a little swollen, but (oddly) not bruised yet. Plans for today? Not much. Resting, recuperating, sitting quietly on my right side. Hey, and I don't know how much longer, but my Tour de Cure site is still open for donations...

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