Monday, June 30, 2008

2008 MS 87 Bike Ride

I've been waiting for the Zazoosh photos before posting about Saturday's ride but decided I should at least publish the story and add the pictures when they become available. Speaking of which, I have high hopes that they will turn out great. How could they not given that we were sporting two of the best looking jerseys on the road. You see, Cami and I both chose to wear our Fat Cyclist jerseys instead of those we had received from our team - Lifetime Fitness. Based on the comments it seemed that people really liked them, my favorite being directed to Cami by a guy who remarked, "You're not fat!" I was a little offended that he didn't say the same thing to me, as I assumed his silence implied that I was. Of course, he also may have been trying out a new pick up line and didn't realize until he rolled past me that the two of us were together, at which point he was too embarrassed to open his mouth again!

Astute readers will have realized that the official distances for the 2008 MS Best Dam Bike Ride were 40, 75 and 100 miles. Cami and I, however, completed 87 miles. Based on how the 100 mile route was configured I wouldn't be surprised if we weren't the only people who cut it a bit short. As the 75 and 100 mile routes diverged, we decided to go for 100. However, after two consecutive stretches of extended, uninspiring, straight road we found ourselves at Rest Stop 5/6. By now it was getting hot, and my stomach, which had bothered me since we started, was really starting to react poorly to food. Basically I felt like puking after eating anything other than bananas. So besides a Sprite and Larabar I forced down at the lunch stop, from this point on I ate nothing but bananas. And it was at this point that we decided to skip the short out-and-back section and continue towards the finish. You can see the "lollipop" section of the route in the upper-left corner of the map that we missed.

Prior to embarking on the century-specific route the temperature had been cool, scenery green and varied, roads varied and smooth. We also rode much of this section with Dion, a friend and co-worker. This was his first experience with an organized ride and he put in a strong effort, finishing the 40 mile route in under 3 hours. He also scored big in the donation category, raising more than $500 for the fight against MS. His parents live in Logan so we were able to sleep at their house Friday night and return following the ride for a shower, snack and quick nap.

Here's a picture of us before we drove to the start:

After that point it seemed that the road surface deteriorated, the surrounding country appeared dry and parched, and the temperature soared. Looking back I'm not sure if the difference was real or perceived due to my growing discomfort or the heat. Regardless, if I had the chance to do it over I would have forced myself out of bed earlier to make the 7 am start. As it was we ended up leaving closer to 7:45 am which didn't seem like a big deal at the time but once it got hot and we still had a couple of hours remaining we realized our mistake. Luckily I had no difficulty taking in fluids and took full advantage of the Honey Buckets at all but one rest stop. Considering the MS ride had a stop every 10-12 miles it's clear I was able to stay well hydrated! For lunch they had a few different varieties of sandwiches available. Cami chose ham and remarked that it actually tasted pretty good. As I mentioned earlier, I skipped lunch due to my stomach hitting rock bottom at this point. Maybe the Sprite calmed things down but at all subsequent stops I was able to eat bananas with no discomfort and finished the ride feeling pretty good.

As far as our bikes were concerned everything worked great with our only mechanical being a flat rear tire that I suffered not more than 100 yards after leaving the lunch stop. This was my first flat of the year and while it proved somewhat annoying, there was a shady section of lawn just off the road so I was able to change the tube in relative comfort.

Towards the end of the ride I noticed a photographer positioned up ahead on the side of the road. I motioned Cami to ride up beside me and we rolled past him together. To that point Cami had ridden the majority of the distance on my wheel, though whether she was actually close enough to realize any benefit from drafting is debatable. However, once we approached the finish she kicked in the afterburners, shifting up a few gears and hammering out of the saddle after stop signs and lights. It was fun to see and kept me on my toes as I worked to stay with her. I think the surge was due partly to a gal who, as she passed us, yelled "Go Fatty!" to Cami. I'm sure she meant no disrespect by the comment, but it served to energize Cami as she accelerated to stay close to the lady.

We finished with a time of 5:47 which worked out to an average speed of 15 mph for the 87 miles. There was 1,262 feet of elevation gain (according to my Suunto T6) and my average heart rate was 129 (if it wasn't so long it would have made for a nice recovery ride). Cardio wise I felt fantastic. Physically I suffered a bit, with my hands, triceps and sit bones all rebelling after 4 hours. Cami did great. Her contact points were sore too, but given that her longest ride was the Saturday before and just over 3 hours I'd say she did great. In my opinion organizided rides aren't about hammering anyway, if you want to pin it you should be racing. Next year we're talking about skipping the MS ride to avoid fundraising burnout (thanks to my generous friends, family and co-workers I was able to raise $250 for me and $310 for Cami) and do the Cache Valley Century instead.


KanyonKris said...

It's just for fun and charity so no shame cutting it short. A century is pretty trying and if it's hot, you're stomach is not right and you're just not having fun riding, pull the plug.

Anonymous said...

Wow. You do look fat!

You up for some long suffering on Friday and/or Saturday?

There's no road race for me, so I'm going to try to get in a solid 125 miles with 5,000-6,000 feet of climbing.

A carrot to chase and have wait for me up at the top of the climbs would be nice.

UtRider said...

Now that you mention it I do see a little belly beneath my jersey in that picture. I'll need to work on sucking in my gut for future pictures...

This week is going to be a bit crazy for me. Tuesday I'm going to do the Solitude race after work.

Wednesday, if I ride, will probably be a commute to work.

Thursday morning (early) I'm going to ride some (or all) of the Alpine Loop with Kris, my cousin Brian and anybody else (you?) who is interested in coming along. Our thought is to meet at the mouth of AF Canyon at 6:30 am. If I decide to take the day off work I might be tempted into riding the entire loop. Or, dropping down to Sundance and riding back up and over.

Friday I'm going to do a mountain bike ride with my brother who will be in town for the big family event on Saturday. I'm trying to decide between Millcreek, Park City's Mid-Mountain or the Crest/Mill D loop.

Saturday is a big family day which means I probably won't ride.

Cami and I are both planning to do the Big Cottonwood HC next weekend.