One of the great things about this race is that is starts literally 1 mile from our house at the local middle school. We swung by to pick Kelley up at 7:40 for the 8:00 am start.
With just a little bit of time for a stretch and the national anthem we were off.
I'm not sure how many riders there were... maybe 300 or so, but we were right in the hustle and bustle even though I intended to start near the back. It turned out being just fine though. I guess I'm a better rider than I think.
We rode at a pretty good clip for the first stretch of the ride. By the time we entered the first rest stop at mile 11, we were averaging right around 17 mph.
Even though none of us really felt like we needed to stop at the 11 mile mark, we still stopped. Kelley wanted to use the facilities and I thought it was best to stretch my body a little and at least eat something. I ate an oreo, an orange quarter. It was worth the stop.
Even though the first 11 miles felt easy, I was a little skeptical that the remaining 40 miles would go as well. I was, however, enjoying the scenery and trying to soak it all in. It was a gorgeous day, albeit hot.
The ride was basically uneventful. We weren't looking to shatter any records so we were taking our time and going at a pace that felt comfortable. I wasn't trying to kill myself. That was until.... I was going up a hill passing 2 slower people and I called out cheerfully, "on your left". The gentlemen of the group heard my call and immediately started pedaling furiously. I was so offended. I mean seriously... who does that? So I showed him. I sped up and pedaled my heart out, being sure to leave him in my dust. Never saw that jerk again!! Ha!
By now we were heading into the 26 mile rest stop and my shoulder was ready for a break. I needed to do some serious stretching. I was also starting to feel a little hungry. This is also the point where the 70 milers split off from the 50 milers. I was VERY glad to be headed right (50 miles) and not left (70 miles).
We filled up our water bottles and were on our way.
The stretch between miles 26 and 42 were a little tougher. The day was really starting to heat up and there was a large portion of the road that was heading directly into the wind. My shoulders, neck, and personal business (yes it is what you think it is) were really starting to hurt. Plus, I was really getting hungry. I thought the rest stop was at mile 40 so when 41 ticked by and then 42 was coming up I started to panic that there wasn't another, but sure enough we rounded a corner and I saw the tents.
I ate a full peanut butter and jelly and another orange quarter and tried some pretty nasty Pickle Juice. I thought it was just a name, but no it was in fact pickle juice. NOT GOOD! I was eager to get out of that rest stop and just be on our way.
Our pace had definitely slowed between miles 26 and 42 and continued to drop over the next 11 miles as well. The course was a little more difficult as the time wore on and of course we were tiring and it was really hot. There really weren't any clouds (none that covered the sun anyway) so there was really no cover from the heat. Typical Texas, but it made me want to be D.O.N.E. done.
Just knowing we were so close to the end really seemed to help because the last miles went by so quickly despite the hills and heat. Before I knew it we were pulling into the finish line. I had successfully ridden 52.9 miles without insult or injury.