What a wonderful day - 101.7 miles, 109.4 high temperature, 3,519 calories, great company on the ride and beautiful scenery.
Friday afternoon I headed to Fort Worth to spend the night at Alexis and Greg’s so that bright and early Saturday Greg and I could drive over to Mansfield for the start of the Lynn Creek Marina Century 162k RUSA Populaire.
This would be my second RUSA ride - and as it turns out - great practice for the Hotter N’ Hell later this year in the middle of August.
Saturday morning Greg and I arrive at the start fresh and ready to ride. Here is Greg getting ready to ride. The sun was just rising and the day was looking beautiful.
Everybody else assembling for the start. Here is Steven Hazelton (left) and Debbie Breaud (right), the rider in the middle was on the 255k route and I did not get his name. I think there were about 10 riders on the 100 miler (160k).
The route was really hard for me in the velomobile. The first five miles was basically coasting slightly downhill on very smooth roads and a couple of stop lights. Wanting to stay with the group I was riding the brakes a lot to keep the speed down.
But then at mile 5 the climbing started and just never seemed to stop. Greg waited for me several times at turns to make sure I did not get in any bonus miles (thanks Greg!).
There was one steep hill climb I’m now calling “Leg press hill”. I crawled up the last 30 yards of that hill leg pressing the peddles only able to turn the cranks about 20 rpm. It was all I could do to not start rolling backwards. There was a second hill just like that one but I was a little smarter and got out of the velo and walk the final 40 yards up it.
The first control (and rest stop) at mile 30 in Maypearl could not come soon enough. By now it was 9:30 am and the sun was starting to burn through the early morning cloud cover. From here on out the sun’s intensity would be constantly increasing hitting 100 degrees just before noon and a high of 109 on the pavement by 1 pm.
At the second control (Waxahachie) Debbie Breaud (RAAM Finisher!) has her picture taken with the Quest. Notice at this point in the ride she is still all smiles. Even though I’m trying to smile it probably still looks like a grimace. The heat was getting pretty fierce.
We probably spent three hours riding in temperatures over 100. I was not prepared and around mile 90 had to pull off the side of the road into some shade to get relief from the sun. Greg left me use his homemade tube-sock coolers which helped tremendously. After several minutes of cool down I was ready to start riding again - but at a much slower pace.
Eventually we got to the last 10 miles of the ride which was a big downhill then mostly flat to the finish. Still it was all I could do to finish in the terrific heat.
Good planning on the Steven’s part to end the ride at a What-a-Burger. AIR CONDITIONING!!! Greg and I must have sat in the heat sucking down liquids for the next hour while I cooled down from the ride. No dehydration, but I did have heat rash on the tops of my thighs.
Over the next few weeks I’m going to have to work on my techniques for riding in the heat.
All in all, I really enjoyed the ride. I’d do it again in a heart beat. Although, I will have better heat control techniques next time.