My second attempt to complete a metric, and my last chance to ride a metric prior to the MS150. I was starting to get a little nervous that I wasn't going to be able to finish the 75 per day of the MS150. And then Dawn's trainer told her (so she told me) that we really shouldn't ride 62 miles the weekend before the MS150; instead we should do a nice medium distance ride. So we did the 40. It was fabulous! The sun was shining, the sky was blue, and I was asmilin'! Before we headed out I was a little concerned about all the hills I had heard about. But let me tell you, they were great! I mean some of them were a real pain to get up, but the downhills made it all worth while. It was 40 miles of exhilerating ups and downs. YOU HAVE TO DO THIS RIDE NEXT YEAR. Plus, you get 2 free beers at German Fest when the ride is over. Whoo hoo!!!
The Greater Dallas Bicyclists hold an annual rally in Lancaster, TX where they give out socks instead of T-shirts. Socks!! How fabulous. Clearly I needed to attend this ride. Ok, now I have my socks. I will never do this ride again. I read the reviews on Bicycle Stuff from last year that talked about the wind and cold. I thought, eh, some years are like that. It goes through the Bluebonnet Trail, for goodness sake, it's gonna KICK ASS! And it did, but sadly, the ass that was kicked was my own.
I was supposed to do my first metric on this ride, and I was a little nervous because I was riding solo, having been abandoned not only by Marco Polo (yep Marc - if you fail to come up with a nickname, one is assigned to you. Thanks, Penutty!), but also by all The Lesbians. Harumph. But I kept myself psyched up. After all, I have done 52 by myself and that was fine. And I started feeling even better about it when I got to the starting line and they had people grouped not only by distance, but also by speed. (FYI - I was in the casual 62 miler group. casual = 16 mph or less. Where is the lazy 62 miler group. B/c lazy = 14 mph or less. hehe) But seriously, I thought this was perfect because surely there would be people to ride with in the group. uh oh...there are only about 15 people in this group. Where are all the people??? Crap! I wonder if I have enough clothing on...it's cold. Maybe I have too much on...maybe it will warm up. Oh, we're starting. Go casual 62 2milers! We ROCK!
Mind you, it's freezing. It's about 40 degrees, which is practically arctic winter in Texas. My clothes are not made for anything below 50 degrees with no wind and lots of sunshine. Please see the sunny day here:
Doesn't that look like a wonderful day for a bike ride?? You know you wish you were there. If I felt like making the picture superbig, you could see the really excited look on my face ad then you would wish you had been there even more! But I digress.
Despite the cold, the ride really wasn't that bad to start with. I was cruising along at a really good speed. This should have been a warning sign to me...wind at your back. But nope, I was too busy congratulating myself that despite the cold, despite my aloneness, I was going to ROCK and KICK ASS all over this metric. uh huh. Yep. I'm stupid.
We went through the Bluebonnet Trail, which was just amazing with bluebonnets all over the freaking place. I mean it was a kodak moment after a kodak moment everywhere you looked. Except, I don't have any pics. LOL. I was too busy being impressed with myself. (That's a Potter trait, by the way. So I come by it honestly, at least. Even Baad Kitty has absorbed it after being a Potter for so long.)
At mile 20 I stop for the rest stop and my herd of people were all kinda chatting and bitching about the cold and then I was trying to decide if I wanted to do the 40 instead of the 62, b/c it was getting colder and colder rather than warming up. And NO ONE in my herd was doing the 62. Somewhere I lost the other tiny number of people in my starting group. They all either were too slow or too fast or they decided to do teh 40 (mostly that one). I didn't want to get out there completely alone I was thinking. And then someone pointed out that we had been riding with the wind at our back and it was straight into the wind from this point on. Good grief. Decision made. 40 it was! Or so I thought...
The wind kicked up and the tempertature dropped. The wind was so bad that I was struggling to go 6 mph on the flats, in my absolute lowest gear. People were getting picked up by SAG right and left. Most of the SAG vehicles were completely full. I briefly considered stopping one, but really, I was only 8 miles from teh finish at this point. What's 8 miles? That's nothing. But then I started doing the math. If I am only going 6 mph and I am suffering every second of it, that means I've got almost another hour and a half of misery. Then I saw one stop to pick up a rider about 100 yards ahead of me. I kicked my speed up as hard as I could (7.5 mph, thank you very much) and chased down that SAG. Pride gone. It froze 10 miles back. Embarassment gone. It got blown away. They loaded 4 of us and our bikes into the back of a small pickup truck and hauled us in. It was so bad that people were asking for SAG with less than 5 miles to go. I have never seen that before. The SAG told us that the winds were 30 mph steady, with gusts up to 38. Yikes!
So that's how my first metric turned into my first SAG. Well, at least it was a first. That's something, right?
Oh yeah - while I might not have kicked ass or rocked, the socks from GDB sure do!