Before we get into it, Brendan is doing something really cool. Check it out.
With heavy rains for the past couple of days and one more day of rain expected on Saturday, the organizers decided on Friday to postpone the ride until Sunday. Kudos to them. If the ride had happened on Saturday, the rate of DNF would have skyrocketed.
Since I had Saturday free, it was warm and there was lots to do in the yard, I worked in the yard. Cutting wood, chopping wood, hanging house wrap etc. Not resting. If this had been a race I would have taken more time to rest and be ready.
Sunday we woke up to clear skies. It was chilly, upper 30's and windy. We loaded up and headed to Dupont State Forest. For some reason my stomach was having issues. I'm not sure if I was nervous about trying my liquid nutrition plan or what, but it was not cooperating. I was ready to bag that ride if I started feeling any worse.
With a reminder that "this was NOT a race" the Pisgah Area Sorba President said to have a nice ride and we were off. I took off, several people followed and I reminded everybody that this was NOT a race. I was gonna have some fun. I was in the lead as we crested the first climb and I yelled back " I'm not racing!!". Then down the hill a quarter of a mile and....oops...missed the first turn and took about 10 people with me. Haha!! I'm glad it was not a race. I turned around, made a couple of passes, caught the leaders and realised that I was going too fast. I let them go.
I slowed down to a pace that I ended up keeping for the rest of the day: steady. High cadence, low power, just spinning.
The course was a combination of mud, hard packed sand, rock and water...lots of water. We got to go through three river crossings, two knee deep and one thigh deep complete with safety ropes.
After the first two hours of riding, my stomach started to settle, and I was feeling pretty good. The scenery was beautiful. Never having ridden here, it was like I was somewhere far away.
After three hours, I was feeling good. Up to this point I had only had liquid nutrition and I was still feeling fine. I saw Rhonda and Jubal at mile thirty and bummed half of a pb&j. It tasted good and sat well in my stomach. My hunch was that I was getting just barely not enough calories. But since I was feeling fine, I stuck to my plan.
I rode most of the day alone. Every time I got to a rest stop, Wes was just leaving. I could not catch him though, he stayed just ahead...all the way to the end.
I got to the last rest stop with 5 miles to go. I asked several times if was really only 5 miles to go!! They assured me that yes, it was only 5 miles. They asked what I needed and mentioned that they had sweet tea. I said" You have sweet tea!!!???" Like it was something rare. I could not wrap my head around the fact that they had sweet tea. I was a bit fatigued. So, instead of try to process it, I took off.
With about 3 miles to go, I took a wrong turn and added another 2 miles and about 400-500 ft of climbing, no joke, it was steep and took me up the ridge. I could see down to where I wanted to be. Man, that hurt.
When I got back to the parking lot, I expected to have that extreme hunger that I usually get immediately, but it was not there. I credit the liquid diet that I had. I am looking forward to trying it out again next weekend at the 6 hrs of Warrior Creek. After discussing the details with Namrita, she informed me that I still need additional calories and electrolytes. Good info, that's what I had suspected, but it was good to have confirmed by someone who knows what they are talking about!!
5hr 45 minutes, 46 miles, feeling good at the end. The ride was a success for me.
Have a great day.