Sunday, March 14, 2010

Part 1

Leakey- Day 1
This freaking hurt! It was awesome! Let’s back track a little bit.
I arrived around 3:00 and went to getting the pop up squared away. I have a good spot, away from the main group of riders but not too far. I just like to space between us. I am evolving as a pop up guy. Not only do I have Christmas lights up but I also now have a clothes line, lawn chairs and a 5 gal water jug. I’m pretty pimp for the campground.
So the pop up is up and rockin’ so I have some down time because I am waiting for Brad and Billy to get here so we can ride before it gets dark. I expected them @ 4 ish.. 4:30, 5:00, 5:30 waiting waiting waiting. Ummmm….where in the hell are these guys? With the down time I moved the pop up, cut my hand, helped a guy fix his bike and utilized my new lawn chair. So 6:00 rolls around and anyone who knows me knows one thing happens @ 6:00 while camping. HAPPY HOUR!!!!!! The second I open a beer here comes Billy and Brad. Oh well…’s happy hour, the sun is setting (looks great) and I am expecting company for the night so I guess missing the ride isn’t a big deal.
So company that I refer to is Suzanne. She’s racing Sat afternoon near here so she came out for the night and I suggested that she stay in the pop up. She was totally into it so good times ahead. Well, she arrives and is starving. No problemo there as I already started dinner. On the menu this evening was Southwestern Chicken, whole wheat pasta with a nice tomato/basil sauce and some spinach. Dinner totally kicked ass as it was delicious and we talked our asses off. A quick visit from Brad and then dish duty. Finally dishes are done and we’re off to the campfire get together. Nothing like good friends, fire and booze. I retire early and Suzanne isn’t too far behind.
Let me say that it was freaking cold last night. I gave Suzanne the space heater and I took the heating pad. I live such the rough life while camping. J
I wake up @ 7:30 to see Suzanne all balled up in her sleeping bag with just a hand sticking out of it. I should have taken a pic. Too funny!!!
After a quick shower and my first breakfast I am ready to get the day started. Too bad no one else was. So I hang around with the boys for a couple of hours as James makes us all waffles. The best freaking waffles of my life. I mean these were unbelievable. They had pecans in them and had some drizzle thing on them. I then covered them in maple syrup. Soooooooo GOOD!!!!
Once finished with breakfast 2 it was off for the ride.
I started the ride with JT, Illiana, Brad and Andreas. The first 4 miles of the ride are very easy. Once at about mi 4 you turn onto Rt 337 and the pain begins. The first hill you come to is the hardest hill of the day. It’s a mile and half long at a decent grade. The only thing you can do is just keep pedaling. You stop and you are done for. Illiana was really worried she wouldn’t make it but she kicked that hills ass. I was very happy to see her get to the top as she was having nightmares about not getting to the top of the hill for a week now.
The first 20 miles are over a “mountain”. The downhill on the back ½ isn’t all that great as it’s all switchbacks so you can never really drop the hammer. This section is very popular with motorcyclists. Great views, lots of twists and turn plus a couple of scenic look outs. There was a guy taking photos around mi 10 on an uphill. I was crushing the hills and just when the guy starts to take my pic JT and Andreas come out of nowhere and pass me. A-holes did it just to mess up my pic. We all had a good laugh about it so no harm no foul. What was cool about the photo guy is that he’s out there on the weekends and he has signs posted for his website. TX??? The name escapes me right now. But he’s takes his pics, posts them on the website and then if you like the pic he took of you he’ll sell it to you. I think it’s a great idea. I’ll be checking out his website as soon as I get some internet and that’s only if I can remember the damn name. Ohhhhh…
We get to downtown Leakey and that’s the first stop. We regroup and decide that Illiana, JT, Hugh and I will continue to Camp Wood, TX as the others will take a shorter route. While we are making the decision the heavy hitters come rolling by. James, Pat and Stephan are on a mission to complete the 130 mi route today. Good lord can they ride. We take off shortly after they pass.
It’s 20 miles to Camp Wood and the route has a seriously long climb that’s long but not majorly steep. Once I hit the hill, Hugh drops off and I am all by myself as Illiana and JT are a little ways back. I just cooking along and I look behind me at about mi 25 and here comes someone. I’m not sure who it is. There were a bunch of people out there racing today. Not sure of the name of the race but from talking to their support teams it was a 6000k race. That’s like 370ish miles. Long freaking day there. So this person finally catches me and it’s my boy Brad. He blows by me just to let me know he is a badass. I already know he’s a better rider than I am so it’s all good. Somehow I catch his wheel. Bike lingo for I get close enough to him to draft. I have been staying away from the drafting because you can’t do it in a tri so why the hell do it while training. But Brad kinda asked me to and after about 2 miles he looks back, I’m still there and he yells, “Logan, hang on til Camp Wood!!” CW is about another 15 miles away and I am slightly concerned that I won’t make it but I was hell bent on giving it a go. I did for about 8 miles then I fell off, bike lingo for not keeping up, on a decent. I have not been very good at going downhill lately as it’s been scaring the hell out of me. Maybe it’s because all the downhills out here are straight down and have hairpin turns. Well, Brad is a good sport so he doubles back to get me to regroup. We talk strategy about how I should draft and what gear I should be in. Good info and off again we went. Finally CW is in sight and that was a relief to me. My back was killing me and I needed a break.
We get to the store (turn around point) and to my surprise there is Pat, James and Stephan. I figured they would have been long gone. It made me feel good to see me catching the top guys on the ride. If it weren’t for Brad I would have never seen them. Gotta love the store in CW. Gatorade, snickers bars and gun ammo. My kinda place. We hang there for about 20 minutes as we wait for the rest of the crew to catch up. That’s the thing with this crew. No matter how fast or slow you are. If we’re friends we’re waiting to make sure everyone is all good. Now when it comes to ride time……bring your legs because you are going to need them. During the downtime it gave me the opportunity to stretch my back out and get in a couple of photos with the guys. 2 snickers bars and a Gatorade later I was ready to go. That’s over 700 calories for those counting at home. I usually stay away from the food during stops but that 700 calories saved my ass today.
Once back on the road, Billy, Brad and myself pulled away just a bit. Again, lots of hill work and holding onto someone’s wheel the best I could. We get back to Leakey Square (mi 60) and it’s time to make the call. Take the same route that we came back which is all hills and 20 miles or go around the heavy hills but add about another 15 miles to the ride. Illiana said that she was going the 20 back and so that’s what we were all going to do.
NOTE: At this time I have had a great ride so far. I felt great as long as I got to stretch my back every once and while. My calorie intake was good and I thought I was hydrated. The next 20 miles were the worst/toughest of the ride for me.
So we take off for the final 20 miles. Again, me, Billy and Brad get out front and we’re taking it a bit easy as we all know that there are some serious hills in our way. I hold on for the first good climb but I know I’m running out of gas in my legs. The second hard climb is where things started going south. Billy pulled off the front and Brad and I stayed back. Brad was telling me how hungry he was and that he was going to take it easy on this hill. This helped me a ton as I was totally slowing down. By the time we got to the top of this hill Illiana had caught up and Brad has now rallied. He’s takes off after he tells me he’s going to reel Billy in. So Illiana and I ride together for a while and she just kept on going as I slowed. I was going up the last hill and usually I would be able to hold 10 to 12 mph and a 60 to 70 cadence, I was now struggling to hold onto 5 mph and my cad had gone down to 35. I was in survival mode. I just kept telling myself that this is the last hill. Towards the top I just wanted to die. I was trying to throw up and at the same time trying to get some Gatorade down my throat. Man did this hurt. I had nothing in the tank and I was 7 miles from home. Mentally I was good but physically I was toast.
Now the last downhill is the same hill we had to climb @ mi 5. Looking down I was so freaking tired and now my head was spinning, I just wanted to be at the bottom. But the bottom was a mile and half away and it was a serious decline and there were, of course, some turns involved. If I were fresh I would have been 75% sure I would be ok but where I was in the ride I was about 5% sure I would make it down this hill and see tomorrow. I am freaking crazy dizzy and I can see the freaking bottom (great view) but I just don’t want to go down this hill.
So I start slowly going down the hill. My hands are cramping because their exhausted because of all the breaking. So here I am going down hill and I look at my computer…… I’m going 7 mph. Holy shit….. I am a mess. Again I feel the need to hurl so somehow I stop on the downhill. I am sooooo close and it’s taking all the energy I have just to stand up. I figure I’m a deadman. I have never walked a downhill but this could be the first, but I realize I can’t even walk so that’s no longer an option.
As I said before, we a re all friends and I mean these people are good people. Here comes JT. He sees me on the side of the road. He can’t really miss me cause I am somehow in the fetal position while still over my bike. The guy freaking saves my ass by stopping and checking on me. This is the same guy from IMAZ 2007 who saw me at mi 108 of the bike and told me to puke and get it over with right after he offered me food. Love stuff like this. LOL. He tells me that it’s totally cool to do what I was doing and he would wait with me until I gathered myself. Good guy right here folks. I finally get some bearings and we take off. I am now up to 12 mph on the downhills…. I’m such a speed demon! We get past the last turn on the downhill and I just stop breaking and say “F it”. If I am going to shit the bed so be it. I just was to die anyway so this will just speed up the process. I actually get up to 44 mph. It took absolutely everything I had not buckle on that hill. Thanks JT…. You saved my ass my friend.
We ride the final easy 4 miles together and talked about how it was the longest 4 miles EVER!! Once back to the campground I make my way to the pop up. I am exhausted but I have to keep moving. I make up a quick Endurox and take off everything except for my bib, jersey and slipped on my flippy floppies. There is a small swimming hole here. It’s maybe 3.5 feet deep but it would serve it’s purpose. I bike down to it, grab my Endurox and just walk into it and sit down. I was smoked and I didn’t give a shit what anyone thought or said. The water was freaking cold and it felt great. Did I mention it was 75 degrees today with only a slight wind. Great day for a ride. JT joins me for the soak and I am slowly starting to feel better.
After a 15 minute soak I go back to the pop up, grab my shower gear and take a hot ass shower. Just awesome!
Today’s ride wasn’t the worst I have had but the ending was the worst I have had. Both mentally and physically, I am stronger because of today’s ride.
Names and shit that I am thinking about.
Brad- You made me a better rider today.
Billy- You make me laugh man. You totally rallied today after blowing up on the first hill. Hats off to you my man.
Illiana- You rocked today. You are going to tear it up at IMFRA.
JT- You’re going to be a father soon. Get drunk now while you still can. Thanks for saving me today.
Pat- I didn’t know that there was an actual gangster pose that has directions to it. Great pic bro.
Bunny (James)- You are the waffle king…hands down…. No one can touch you.
Stephan- How you do what you do when you do it amazes me.
Hillary- Thank baby Jesus you didn’t see me fall apart today. You would have totally called me a wuss. Glad you came out this weekend.
Richelle and Barrett- Thanks for the visit after the ride. I am sooo happy you got me to come out this weekend.
SGV- Good luck racing this weekend and thanks for the Fritos!
2 glasses of wine and I am done for. Bed time.

Sunday will be posted shortly.

1 comment:

Jess said...

really really wish i could have been there...sounds uhm brutal yet amazing!...

i miss w and the pop up!