High Mtn Camp:
We woke up a little too early for a Saturday, but Mike had planned a long route and we wanted to get going. We ate breakfast, drank coffee and chatted while we enjoyed the view from the deck. It was already warm at 8am.
I was concerned about riding 75 miles on the road, even though I have done it before. With the high temp forecast to be 90, I did not want to end up on the side of the road with heat exhaustion. So, I formulated a plan. I set my timer to 30 minutes. Every time the timer went I off, I made sure that I had drunk half of a bottle, and ate at least a couple of bites of energy bar or a gel. I also decided to drink only NUUN, instead of a bottle of water and a bottle of sports drink.
Off we went, up 226a, right onto some road and eventually down Crabtree Rd. This is a winding country road that led us down into the valley, west of the Parkway. We crossed 19E and wound up on hwy 80 N. We got on the Burnsville Metric route and went counter clockwise. Through Kona, Bandana , Loafers Glory.
Beep, beep, beep. Drink, eat. I was feeling fine. Sweating well and feeling fine. I led the guys on a wrong turn, and instead of staying on the mellow river rd, we went south on 197 for a nice long climb. I'm glad I like to climb. Mike feels differently about climbing than I do, and Stan, well, he kept making comments about getting in the SAG car. It was a great climb and I got in a groove and rolled on up ahead of the guys.
At the gap, I looked to the right and there was a house with a carport and an elderly couple sitting out there enjoying the view. I pulled up into the driveway and chatted with them while I waited. The Rauluersons. They had been there for a long time (50yrs?). Not too much later, Mike and Stan rode up and we hit the long decent into Burnsville.
It turns out that there was a huge crafts fair going on and it was a bit crazy. Rhonda and Jubal met us at a restaurant, we ate and took off on our bikes while they stayed and looked around.
I realized when we left that I should have asked for water, instead of sweet tea. But, there is nothing I could do about that.
Riding down 19 E, Mike decided to show us a little loop that would get us off of the busy highway for a while. We road several miles up, got to a gap, and looked at the map. The loop was cool and all, but since we had take then second entrance, we were actually headed back towards Burnsville, the opposite direction than we wanted to go. Rather that continue on the loop, we dropped back down the hill and continued on our way.
We went south on Hwy 80, along the river, gently rising up, knowing that soon the gentle slope would turn into a steep climb up to the parkway. At the bottom of the steeper section, I ran out of water. We stopped at a church and used their spigot to fill up. We heard thunder and it started to rain but stopped.
On up to the Parkway, north and back to Little Switzerland. We wound up with 75 miles and 5 hrs of riding. I drank NUUN the entire time, and ate energy bars. I never got that hollow feeling in my core that I usually get. Also, at the end of the ride, I felt differently than I have in the past. Not at all nauseous, but somewhat fresh, tired but fresh!!!!! Yahoo NUUN!!!! I am so sold on that product.
75 miles: 5hrs riding time: 8100 ft of climbing
After a good night's sleep in the fresh mtn air, Mike and I headed down 226A. This is a fun winding road that drops down into the valley on the east side of the Parkway. We did a fun 40 mile loop that took us down into the valley, then back up hwy 80 ( a classic climb) and hit the Parkway back to the house.
40 miles, about 3 hrs, almost 5000 ft of climbing.
Success, I rode for a long time in the heat and felt fine. I'll continue to drink NUUN and eat every 30 minutes. Now I need to try this method on a long mtn bike ride.
Have a great day.