Sunday, May 18, 2008

Bunyan's 2 Bob's (Riding) Reflections

Today was a gorgeous day. Of course it was. It was the day after hurricane Bob screamed through the plains of SE South Dakota/NE Nebraska hindering our first (hopefully annual) Bunyan's to Bob's Bike Ride.

I was one of three who braved the gravel route and the only mountain biker to try to make it back home into the brutal wind (albeit by road this time). One thing reared it's ugly head on this trip: Too much mountain biking usually takes it's toll on my back. The inability to stand much while climbing on gravel forced me to hammer up the hills using my legs and putting my weight down hard to keep good contact.

Now understand that I love the challenge and my tree trunk thighs can climb with the best of them. However there is an underlying issue that always comes up. My back almost always tightens up with lots of tough climbing. However, I felt great when I hit Martinsburg. Of course that was with the wind. That ever increasing wind. Probably 15-20 on the way down. That quickly became 25-40 on the way home.

The other mountain bikers cut out for the trip home so I decided to hang with the road bikes on the way home. That was fine. Until Ponca. Then even that sucked. We tried our best to stay in a pace line for the 11 miles to Newcastle at about 11-13 mph. I made it about six and then I tried to drop to the rear of the paceline as my quads and back both were screaming. I hung on for another mile or two but a couple of small climbs did me in. Who would have known that my 45 psi mountain bike tires were no match for 100-120 psi skinny road tires? Instead of trying to make myself more miserable by clinging onto the tail end of the line, I let myself drop off.

Of course, that proved equally as fatal. I actually shifted into my granny gears. On a mountain bike. On the road. There is a first time for everything. 4-6 mph. Brutal. About 2.5-3 miles away from Newcastle it quit being any kind of fun. My back now hurt so bad that turning the cranks just sucked. I unclipped and called Laura to meet me in Newcastle to pick me up. She had 15 miles of driving including driving across Vermillion. I had 2.5-3 miles of biking. I beat her by about five minutes. It just wasn't pretty.

It was a bad day of cycling. It's been a bad year of cycling. And you know what? I still love it and would do it again in a heartbeat. I had a great deal of fun which you will hear about in the second part of B2B Reflection. The awesome "social" part of the ride.

Here is the ride data from the gravel route. 2330 feet of climbing. Not bad for 26 miles. My computer also showed a max of 42.6 cannonballing down one of the hills and the garmin only showed 38.4. It was a white knuckle downhill. I probably should have hit the brakes more as there was some soft silty dirt/grave at the bottom and I fishtailed a little at about 35 mph. It was a good thing my HR monitor was not hooked up at that point. There would have been a spike.

Bob's (Martinsburg) to Newcastle. As you see, the road cyclists missed out on some serious fun.


eDLoNNiE said...

Great job K-BiLLy! I really want to make it up next year. The gravel route sounds fun (if fun means suffering).

Anonymous said...

Ha ha, the road people didn't miss any "fun" at all! I made over 42 mph on a downhill going to Bobs', and climbed that same hill into the screaming wind at 4 mph!
It was a fun day though, can't wait for next year!

hellimat said...

Saturday was a great adventure (looking back on it). It didn't feel so great slogging up those hills at 4mph.

I ended up with horribly red arms-- I didn't sunscreen because I didn't think we'd be out all afternoon pedaling home.

I'll be along for the ride to brooking on the 31st.