Ha!  That’s not a word you say.

My goal for this summer of riding was no goal.  I wasn’t going to train for centuries, raise funds; just ride for the enjoyment of it.  But as a result, my riding has suffered.  I have have improved my climbing and speed slightly.  That’s merely as a natural result of continuing riding and pushing the commuter beast.  Plus I have ended up riding by myself a lot.

I have been cogitating on riding the Bicycle Ride Across Wilson County, a ride associated with our county fair.  It’s a smallish ride, with principally riders from the Middle Tennessee area.  So Friday evening, I packed my gear into my bike cube and loaded and secured the bike into the back of my little pick up truck.  My reasoning was that if everything was ready to go, I would be much less likely to blow the ride off.

So I got out of bed on Saturday morning, ate, dressed and headed for the fairgrounds.  There was a good turnout for the ride.  Probably in the neighborhood of 80-100 riders.  After registering, getting my number pinned on (note to self, put extra safety pins in the cube), and hitting the portapotty, I picked a starting spot near the front.  While waiting for the start, I had a chat with a guy on a fixie.  I had a laugh at how streamlined his bike looked, while mine is covered with junk.  My bars alone have a computer, a holder with a can of Halt, and a little bag for my cellphone.  He did have one brake, at least.

We were off.  The first part of the ride was through an area I ride frequently.  So I knew about the early climbs, but I didn’t account for warmup.  Normally I ride to there from my house adding an extra 2-3 miles.  But today I really wasn’t warmed up well before the climbs.  This resulted in an alarming kick to my heart rate.  Discretion being whatever, I stopped at the top of a hill to let that come back down.

BTW, I forgot to hit the start button on the computer, so I missed about a mile of recording.

The route headed due east on past where I would normally take a turn.  That meant I will get to hit some new roads.  After we climbed a couple more hills we turned off onto Bell Road.  It’s a nice windy, rolly country road.  Being unfamiliar with it, I missed my chance on what could have been a nice descent.  But I ended up laughing with a guy who had done the same thing.

Coming to the first rest stop, I really didn’t need to stop.  I did anyway to get some clean water poured on me.  I talked to some people who had ridden the HOW100 last year, as did I.  They were talking about how the longer route, that they didn’t do, was supposed to have been brutal.  I got to tell them that it was.

We headed on our way to Watertown.  I stopped and had a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.  There I had to decide whether to go on the 50 mile route or the 30.  If I went the 50 I would be riding an old, familiar route.  The 30 would take me through some new roads in the rabbit warren of country roads between Lebanon and Watertown.  Since the early climbs had taken something out of me, I opted for the 30.

I headed out of town and the next turn was the road by the Stardust Drive-in Theatre.  I’ve been wanting to go there and watch a movie.  It turned out that lots of riders missed this turn and ended up coming back on the highway.  That’s a nice ride in itself, but much shorter and flatter that the actual route.

After a bit I came up on two young men, late high school or early college.  They were both riding vintage steel.  Very pretty.  I told them I was going to hang on their wheels for a bit as I was an old lady and I needed the rest.  They laughed and took it well and I asked them about their bikes. 

I came upon the final rest stop and was tempted to stop for a banana.  I like bananas.  But I didn’t need to stop so waved and went on.

We all wound back around through the countryside until we came back to our original route retracing the last couple of miles to the start.  We ended up with a pick up truck with West Virginia plates carrying an older couple in our midst.  Everyone was trying to wave them through, but they were fascinated with all the people in lycra on bikes and were smiling and waving.  I wish all motorists were the same.

As I pulled into the fairgrounds, I was a little disturbed by all the people who were there ahead of me.  But I soon realized that a lot of them were people who missed that turn and ended up riding a shorter route.  I would not be surprised if half the riders missed it.

I’m going to put the elevation and grade charts in my flickr account.  They are bitmap files so I don’t think I can put them in my post.


~ by susancyclist on August 17, 2008.

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