Well, I finished! Actually, ‘We’ finished. My friend, Eve, and I both rode it and both finished in fine fashion.
We started at 5:30am with temp of 50 degrees F and a slight breeze. I was dressed for the cool weather and was comfortable. Long fingered gloves, light weight tights, shoe toe-covers and a GoLite super light-weight pull-over wind shell. After about 30-40 minutes of riding, I had warmed up enough to shed the wind shell and was left riding in a GoLite super light, long-sleeved base layer and my Blue Sky Velo short-sleeved jersey. On E-Rock, you start climbing almost immediately. Lots of folks seemed to get caught up in taking off fast — having done this ride several times and knowing how long 100 miles is, I was careful to pace myself early and kept an eye on my perceived exertion and my HR. Early on, I had a feeling it was going to be a good day. The pedaling was not labored and I could just tell that I had enough ‘gas in the tank’ to go the distance…. as long as I didn’t put the pedal to the metal.
For the most part, I did all my own work. I joined two pacelines for about 3-4 minutes each. Too many folks who really had no clue what they were doing so I decided that I’d be happier (and safer!) if I just rode by myself. Rarely did I power up the hills or push to the point of being winded. There were a few exceptions on the ‘Rollies’ wherre I got out of the saddle and powered to the top instead of settling into a ‘spin’.
Unfortunately my Garmin didn’t get charged up last night…so I only have two hours of Strava data. After that, my backup ‘analog’ computer (Vetta C16) was the only data source left. Before the Garmin pooped out though, I did seem to experience either faulty equipment or an episode of tachycardia My HR jumped to the upper 170’s – 190 and stayed there for quite some time. Funny thing is, I have a vague recollection of it doing that on the E-Rock before. Isn’t that bizzare! My pulse did seem to be a bit racey but my perceived level of exertion at the time (and as I backed off to try to get it to drop back into a normal range) was a 3 or 4 on a scale of 1-10. Finally, I pulled over to take off my long tights and I guess I was there long enough for my HR to drop as it was down to 130’s when I got back on the bike. …. may have also just caused the equipment failure to right itself. I didn’t feel weird so I’m not concerned, but the Strava data for that short period is rather misleading! My riding time was 6 hrs 18 minutes. My total time was probably 15-20 minutes more than that. I’m pretty sure that is my fastest Elephant Rock yet. In 2010 (right before I started my trip across country), I completed the ride in 6 hrs 34 min (total time 7 hrs 14 min).
My body held up well. My muscles didn’t cramp at all nor did they give me reason to think they might. My left glute/hip/low back ‘barked’ a little at about the 30 mile mark but I backed off a bit and did some on-bike stretching and relaxing. Within a few minutes, the ‘barking’ stopped and it didn’t start up again. My quads were tired when I got done — but I expected that. Tomorrow morning will be the real test for them. I’ll know more as soon as I try to walk downstairs!
Mentally I was solid today. When looking up ahead and seeing a steep hill or series of large climbs up ‘Rollies’, they all seemed very doable. There was never doubt or thoughts of “Oh crap, not another hill!” I drank like a fish and ate like a … ??? … well, let’s just say it felt like I was constantly eating. I went thru 3 packages of Shot Blocks (6 blocks ea), and 1/2 of a PB&honey sandwich round that I made up ahead of time and brought along. I only stopped at two rest stops — one I didn’t even go into the food/Porta-potty area, I stayed at the road and watched for my riding partner. Half way thru the ride, I did stop at the rest stop and got my 2 water bottles refilled and picked up a small chocolate chip cookie and a packet of 6 PB crackers. They are something I can dig out of my pocket and eat while rolling (perfected that on my cross country trip). I was able to skip a later stop by getting ice water from one of the support vehicles that was setup at a stop sign (fast and handy!). In total, I had 6-7 bottles of liquid – 3 CytoMax Performance and 3+ water while riding. When I got done, I (in short order) drank two more bottles of water and one of Cytomax Recovery (balanced recovery w/ 350 cals). They served a “BBQ” – but I didn’t eat much of that. Just didn’t appeal to me. Had a normal dinner tonight.
I feel better about the prospect of two centuries on the BTC now. At least I can say my longest ride is 100 miles …. instead of 45 miles!