Hotter ‘N Hell Hundred

I don’t know what others thought of the Lamar Church facility, at which several of us slept, but it worked out very well for me; I enjoyed it. I had a feeling that doing a 100 mile ride with bronchitis wasn’t going to be easy, and I was right. I figured I would hit the wall sooner than usual, and that’s exactly what happened.

I felt great at the start, and Paul and I kept a pretty fast pace to mile 30, where we stopped. I had loaded up two Camelbaks, and two bottles of mix, figuring to keep my stops brief, few, and far between, and when Paul seemed like he was staying at mile 30 for a while, I went on and left, figuring he would catch me soon enough. I fell in with a fast group, until they all stopped just before Hell’s Gate, and I kept going.

I passed Hell’s Gate before 10:00 am, still having over a 21 mph average, but almost as soon as I turned against the wind there, I hit the wall, and by mile 60, I was just turning pedals the rest of the ride, nothing more. At mile 63, Greg passed me, and this started a trend that lasted the rest of the ride: Paul and Greg kept passing me, again and again. They were the hares, I was the tortoise. They would zoom by, but stop at the rest stops. I just kept going.

I made my only other stop at mile 80, and stayed longer than I had wanted to. I was pretty cratered, needed to fill a Camelbak, needed to mix another bottle, and needed a bit of solid food to keep my stomach settled. I ate half a granola bar. Greg pulled into the stop right after me, and laid down on one of the cots. I stepped up and gave him my best Mark Metcalfe motivational speech to keep going, but I don’t think he appreciated it.

I fought leg cramps on and off the last 40 miles of the ride. Stopping pedaling made them really bad; I had to find the right pedaling stroke to keep going, and I could not let my heart rate stay up in the 160′s for long, without cramping. I’m not sure what caused the leg cramps. I was well hydrated, and had downed plenty of calories and electrolytes. It may have been plain old muscle exhaustion, helped along by the fast early pace, and my bronchitis.

My total miles were 101.8. Total time was 5:34. On the bike time was 5:16 with a 19.3 mph average. Not as good as I had hoped for, but under the circumstances, I won’t complain. This ride is one of those that is a grand adventure; it has to be done to be appreciated. I’ll be back.

Margaritaville.
Margaritaville

Hell’s Gate.
Hell's Gate

The spaghetti dinner.
Spaghetti Dinner

Behind Paul in the morning sun.
behind Paul

Drafting the tandems.
drafting

Paul at the end.
Paul at the end

Nimbus Tailbox / Tailsock

As tall as the Nimbus is, it will never be the fastest bike around, but I wanted to make it more aerodynamic, and I’m planning on making a bodysock for it for winter riding. The first step in improving its aerodynamics was the used Windwrap fairing I picked up last month. Next, here’s the tailbox I finished for it, today. It’s fabric covered coroplast. (Does that handlebar look familiar, Nelson?)
Tailbox
I had bought a closeout tailsock from Terracycle, to use in the summer, and for a pattern for the back half of the bodysock I plan on making. I decided to make the tailbox to go under the tailsock (and later, the bodysock), rather than making a frame for that. Here’s the tailsock over the tailbox.
tailsock
Just for a “before and after” comparison, here’s the bike the day I brought it home last year.
frame

Rio Vista Rumble 200K permanent

It was a good turnout for this permanent. A group of 25 or so rolled out of Lynn Creek Marina this morning at 7:00 am. This route first runs south from Joe Pool Lake to Venus. I was surprised at how bad these roads have become. I rode these roads quite a bit last year, and they did not have as many gravel spots, and holes as they do now.

From Venus, the route turns west, going through Rio Vista, then turning south through Blum, and taking a more southerly route back through Maypearl and Midlothian. I ended up with a group of five strong riders, which included Val and Robin, Shellene, Clay, and Sharon. As expected, it was hot and humid, with a pretty stiff southwest wind that we fought until we made the turn at Blum.

I felt great most of the way, but the pace of this group took its toll, and I seemed to hit the wall between Maypearl and Midlothian, at about mile 105. About this same time, Sharon, seeing that she was going to have her best 200k time, by quite a bit, picked up the pace. This strung out the group a bit, and I could no longer match the pace, and was dropped. I kept the group in sight most of the time, and on one downhill just south of Midlothian, actually made brief contact with the group again. But, I could not stay with the group, and by the time the group turned from the Hwy 67 service road onto Lake Ridge Parkway, I was a good half mile behind.

I just typed the magic phrase: “Lake Ridge Parkway”. Going down these big hills, I blasted past the entire group. The gas tank was pretty much still empty, so predictably, the group caught me on the flat part of Lake Ridge. Val proceded to lecture me on how uncool it was to drop the group. I was like “HUH???” I never did manage to understand why it was ok for a rider to pick up the pace at mile 105 and drop me, but not ok for me to pass the group at mile 120, knowing they would catch me shortly afterward, so I wasn’t a happy camper at the end.

I ended up with 125.6 miles and 3600 feet of climbing. My on the bike average was 17.0 mph. Official ride time was 8:06.

Rio Vista Rumble route