What a beautiful day for a ride! Clear skies, moderate temperatures most of the morning and a great finish at the Shiner Brewery.
This was my fourth GASP ride (and my third finish). Four years ago I had only been riding my Musashi a couple of months and I tried my first GASP ride but pooped out at 88 miles with cramps.
- 2014 : Bacchetta TiAero 7:14 elasped time (10 mph headwind whole way)
- 2013 : Musashi 6:22 elasped time (10 mph tailwind)
- 2012 : Optima Baron 7:41 minutes (really wiped out at end)
- 2011 : Musashi DNF after 88 miles
I really like this ride. It has a lot of fast riders, but also a good mixture of other speed riders so that you are always riding with or near someone.
I was really wanting to ride the Lightning F-40 this year but my wife had other commitments and I would have had to ferry the bike back in an 18 wheeler tractor trailer with all the other bikes and I was very concerned about the fairing getting crushed in the melee. So instead this year I rode the Bacchetta TiAero.
I now have five rides on the TiAero for about 230 total miles.
Since I had the new Garmin VIRB video camera I decided to start out in the middle of the packet and film the mass start and how a recumbent does vs uprights on a fast smooth downhill out of town ride. I knew that the first 4 or 5 miles where going to be very recumbent friendly and thought that I could catch the leaders by the time the first significant uphill comes along.
Here is a video clip showing the mass start. It is a little long at 12 minutes but I’ll be passing about 1,000 riders in the first four minutes and almost pass the lead pack before they kicked it up a notch when I saw me catching them.
Of course I started way too fast and later in the ride I paid the price.
Here you can see my average speed and heart rate for the 101.5 miles.
I expended quite a bit of energy catching the lead pack and averaged over 20 mile per hour for the first hour. On the TiAero no less. Once I backed off the effort the next 55 miles were a pretty nice easy pace enjoying the beautiful day and gorgeous countryside. You can see on the chart that around mile 80 the dehydration got to me because my speed went way down and my heart rate went up and stayed up even though I was easy peddling.
GASP is always a very well supported ride and this year was no exception.
My first stop was at mile marker 30 rest stop #2. Water out, water in, and back on the road again.
Next stop was the 50 mile half way point, rest stop #3, and the start of the 1/2 GASP Whizzerville Hall. They serve pizza here for lunch so the place was packet. I topped off my water again and then quickly headed back out on the road.
I skipped rest stop #4 but had to stop at #5 mile 73 Elm Grove Church. Rested some, filled up with water and headed out again. I must have stayed to long because shortly after leaving the rest stop I started to cramp up. By not the temperature had been in the mid-80s for quite awhile and I probably had not been drinking enough. While climbing a moderately long hill I could feel my left leg start to cramp at the inner quad. I managed to unclip and get off the bike before a hard cramp hit my left leg quad. My massage therapist had showed me a technique for grabbing the knotted muscle and squeezing just enough while gently pushing and pulling the muscle towards the attaching tendons to get it to release. This worked like a champ. I quickly released the muscle, took a couple of endurolytes, and walked another 200 yards to the top of the hill. For the next twenty five miles it was easy peddle time.
I stopped at both the next rest stops #6 and #7. Number 7 has ice! So I filled my camelbak up with ice and water and tried to make it the last 8 miles into Shiner. I ended up walking another hill even though it wasn’t very long or steep - I was just too wore out. I probably ended up walking a total of 500 yards which isn’t too much compared to riding 101.5 miles.
Here is the last two minutes of riding, finally arriving at the Shiner Brewery. By now everybody is just glad to be finishing.
Hmmm, this was a hard fought medal.
The headwinds this year were 10 mph and constant. The whole ride was almost entirely directly into the wind. I had signed up for the 3:30 bus back to Austin so I ended up being on a very tight schedule to make it to Shiner before the bus left. I got into Shiner around 2:14 pm, so a little over an hour before the bus was due to leave. By the time I got my backpack and the TiAero packed up and on the tractor trailer back to Austin I only had around 40 minutes left.
The line for the showers was really long so I had to make a choice: 1) relax, have a beer and some brats, or 2) spend the whole time waiting in the hot sun so that I can quickly take a shower before getting on the bus. Well, it was beer and brats time. I did sneak behind the shower trailers and took a ‘wet towel sponge bath’ and put on a clean shirt before getting on the bus.
The bus ride back turned out to be interesting. Due to a flat tire on the bus the ride back from Shiner to Austin took four hours. Lets see - 7 hours to bike to Shiner - 4 hours to bus back. Sure was glad once we arrived back in Austin.
An finally all the numbers:
Next weekend is Run & Ride the Chisholm Trail Parkway http://ctprunride.org
Definitely on the F-40 for this one!