Sunday, June 10, 2007

June 10th Sunday ride go the distance Cope Chugs a small beer

A small group of riders assembled for today’s ride.
Theresa Smit was the lone female rider and elected to ride solo. She also elected to increase the distance of her ride to 40 miles. She rode strong against the head winds with no one to draft. She covered the 40 miles at a 14 mph average. WELL DONE.

The others in attendance were Coach Dotson, Steve Cope, and Kevin Smit. This group had two strong riders and one old out of shape heavyset man on a lightweight go fast bike. This group elected to ride the standard route in a clockwise fashion with options to increase the mileage from 40 to 58 miles depending on how everyone felt. Coach and Steve did all the work from the front of the draft line with Kevin doing everything he could to draft as long and as tight behind the leaders as safely as possible.

As the group rode west on Horton Pond we saw Tim Travitz riding hard by himself coming at us in the opposite direction. A nod of the head and a short wave of the left hand provided all the acknowledgment needed between the two groups of riders.
It was also along this stretch that Steve Cope was sharing the fact that his in-laws were in town (which is one reason he was on the ride). His in-laws had arrived late the night before and brought Steve a large Stine of freshly brewed beer from a micro brewery in Virginia. Steve struggled with drinking it on the spot or waiting to consume it at a later time. He invisioned the next days bike ride if he chose to drink it right then and there. The thought of how painful the ride would be had him showing restraint. He elected to put the stine in the refrig and ride the next day with visions of the brew dancing in his head.

You can see the joy this stine brought Steve by looking at the pictures at the end of this write up.

The group decided to extend the ride by going straight at the intersection of Farrington road and Martha Chapel. This long stretch was straight into the wind with again Steve and Coach pulling the pack at speeds of 21 + mph.

Left onto Lystra and left at the fork onto Jack Bennett. The group turned left onto Big Woods to ride strong on the rolling hills that unfolded as they charged along not falling below 21 mph until the turn around at Highway 64.

Kevin was still doing his best to draft behind the workhorses that pulled nonstop at race pace speeds. The group backtracked to the intersection of Farrington and Martha Chapel where they turned left onto Martha Chapel. The odometer announced 36 miles completed at 18.2 mph average. Kevin was falling apart at this point in the ride with Steve Cope and Coach now warmed up and ready to ride hard.

Kevin worked harder than ever just to keep the gap between him and the others from becoming something that could be measured in yards vs tenths of miles. This did not last long. The slow steady climb away from lake Jordan took its toll on Kevin as he steadily lost yards, which turned into tenths of miles.

Steve and Coach were found waiting at the intersection of 751 and Martha Chapel. Kevin informed them that he had officially Bonked and was going to limp back to the start. He described to the others the route he had planed that would provide the 50 miles the group was looking to complete. It included the long run on Luther with the left turn on Yates Store. This would take the group down Up-Chuck in the opposite direction. A right turn onto Carpenter Church Fire Station Road, on past Green Hope High School, and on in on High House.
With these set of instructions the group splintered with Steve and Coach excited to be turned loose for their remaining 10 miles of speed play.

Kevin rode on as best he could, head down, rpms falling below his normal 95+ rpms, and doing all he could to maintain 13 mph. Both water bottles consumed Kevin could feel his eyes rolling into the back of his head. The temptation to stop and rest was strong. The knowledge that stopping would mean his in ability to start again for more than an hour. Kevin has bonked enough times to know that once he stops he becomes faint and requires at least an hour to cool and hydrate before recovery. With that knowledge he labored on to ensure recovered could be completed in the safety of the restaurant and that no one would be worried about what happened to him.

With the ride over each rider compared notes.
Steve and Coach finished the 50 mile ride maintaining the 18 mph average.
They missed all the turns that Kevin has described and still found themselves safe at the start/finish.

Kevin with his slowed pace the last 15 miles still averaged 16 miles per hour for the 50 miles.

Theresa had an amazing ride covering her 40 miles solo – no one to draft and protect her from the head winds and averaged 14 mph. Well done.

Steve's consolation prize for a hard long ride.