|The alarm went off at 4 am (YIKES!) and we were on the road by 5:00 am to get to the start in time.
We arrived, we had something to eat, and then we set up the bicycles. While we were doing that the rest arrived.
6 of us started the ride, and within a matter of seconds, 4 of them took off the front never to be seen again. My father and I rode together more or less to Drumheller (~140 kms) and then I headed off and did the rest of the ride solo.
The first 75 kms or so were into a wind, with a bit of a misty drizzle, the rest was hilly.
I was doing really well all the way to Drumheller. The terrain wasn't bad; I was maintaining a reasonable speed despite the wind; and since I was riding through an area where I used to live many, many years ago, I was trying to recognize something/anything so I spent a lot of time looking around, and thinking about my life back then.
But when I got to Drumheller, I got kind of turned around and ended up spending about an hour there when I really don't think I needed to. However, it is an interesting area - Alberta's badlands - and I got some photos - one is of a dinosaur hovering over Machak!!
|I was given the impression that there was one massive climb out of Drumheller and that the rest of the way was pretty much flat and easy. Plus there the wind would be from behind. There was a climb out of Drumheller, but nothing too daunting, it reminded me very much of the hill I climb on my way home from work every time I commute by bicycle. In fact, I was sort of chuckling to myself that those commutes were paying off!! . . . . . But the 40 million smaller hills after that got a little daunting. I don't know about this whole hill thing ... there's something to say for good ol' Manitoba flattness!! The road was also very narrow and pretty rough, so I was dodging potholes all the time.||
|I'm not sure why, but my back spasmed, like it did on the PBP, and then my shoulders spasmed, and then my IT band in my right leg
did something very uncomfortable and unpleasant, then the IT band in my left leg decided it wasn't going to let my right leg have all the
fun, so it did the same thing. I took Vitamin I and it helped the back and shoulders, but the legs still felt very odd. I have no idea what
that was all about!! I've never had all that happen on a little 300K before.
I also desperately craved salt the whole time I was out there. I usually alternate between sweet and salt when I eat on long rides, but by the time I reached Drumheller, I was eating salty food at every stop. I put away a bag of potato chips, a hamburger and fries at McDs, a bag of salted Almonds, and a bag of Doritos. Usually ONE of those satisfies my salt intake for a ride.
With about 50 kms to go, darkness fell and I was out there all alone at night ... and I don't like that. Of course, the typical night time thing happened ... I was motoring along at top speed, and getting absolutely nowhere. Sometimes these rides seem to take forever at night.
But just to liven things up a bit, all of a sudden out of the darkness, there was a HUGE white dog in the ditch coming after me ... I picked up speed then heard a different tone of a bark ... something deeper. There were TWO of them, and I couldn't see the second one. Plus the second one only barked twice so I couldn't even place where it was from the barking. Two dogs scare me much worse than just one because when there's two, they are pack hunting, and they are sneaky! I would have loved to have seen my computer just then ... I think the speed I reached is something like what I want to do on my time trials!! I was shaking so hard pedalling was difficult when I'd outdistanced them.
Then just when I had calmed down a bit, I heard a rustling sort of sound coming from the other side of the road, and when I glanced over there was another HUGE white dog right there by my leg. It had snuck up on me!! I let out an involuntary scream that would have woken the dead ... and the dog stopped dead in its tracks! After that I was sprinting at every little rustle.
By the time I finally got in, I had NOTHING left in my legs. I was utterly drained!! Nothing like doing a whole series of intervals at the end of a 300K!!!
I ordered some food, and just as it was being served to me I came so very close to throwing up. I felt *so* sick!! But I think that's my fault. I had hardly eaten in the last 60 kms, plus I put in quite a bit of effort outsprinting dogs (real and imaginary), and I think I was well into a bonk.
I did eat and started to feel a bit better, then I spent the next couple hours dozing in the car waiting for Cadillac who arrived with about 15 minutes to spare.
308 kms (The ride was about 304, but I did a bit extra in Drumheller, and also in a little town called Standard)
14:42 ride time
16:55 total time
When I stepped on the scale this morning (or afternoon, actually) I discovered that I had lost 4 lbs!
My quads and IT bands are also very stiff. I'll have to do some stretching today I think.