Wednesday, March 25, 2009
The windiest day so far
Oh what a DAY this was. 90 miles. Yesterday, the 74 mile day, seemed like NOTHING in comparison. The first 40 miles were fine. Just to give you a sense of what is good and what is bad riding, we were thrilled today to GET to ride on the highway. The frontage road was surfaced in Chip Seal which is very rough and not fun at all. The interstate was smooth and the shoulder, wide. Bliss! AND we had a westerly tailwind. Tra la. Off we went.
Well, at mile 40 we left the interstate and headed south. The tailwind became a cross wind and, as happens, picked up speed. NOT so much fun. At all. AND the surface was chip seal. ARGH. We poked along and poked along and sank into the lunch stop at mile 40. At that point it still didn't seem bad. But after lunch the wind picked up even more and then it got really hard. We had 45 miles of riding still to go and a big wind, strong enough to almost blow us over at times.
The paceline blew apart and we separated. Sherry went on ahead. Jan followed. I hung back with Connie. The miles crept by. We all know what the slowest speed possible is for each of us. For me it is about 2 miles per hour. At times that was my speed. Horrible. I really did not think it possible that any of those miles would pass. But they did. Somehow. I sang MORE motivational songs, over and over and over and over. I thought of everyone I know who is having a hard time and said, "Well at least I'm HERE instead of in the hospital." But even that didn't' do much except help another few tenths of a mile elapse.
We did finally make it to the top of the pass. A 14 mile climb. In the wind. On Chip Seal.
And then we rode down. And now we are at a very nice Lodge that is a part of the Texas Park system. Very nice place.
Tex and Tom Harrison, who lived in Asheville and ran Complements to the Chef, now live here and I've just returned from dinner with them. Tomorrow I will be on their public radio station so I need to go to sleep.
Tomorrow is a day off. YAY!!!! I'm very sore.