It was a beautiful day for HHH, not hotter ‘n hell at all this year, but the south wind got up earlier than I would have liked. I took off at a 22 mph pace with a paceline of tandems and recumbents, but by mile 20, I couldn’t hang any more and fell back. By mile 65, I had really hit the wall, and by mile 80, I was hardly moving at all. The only riders I was passing at that point were the ones stopped at rest stops that I pedaled by.
I only made one five minute stop at mile 70, and finished the 101.7 miles in 5:42. I wasn’t very happy with that time; I’ve ridden HHH faster twice. I thought I was stronger than that this year. Last month, I had finished the 70 miles of hills at Goatneck with an 18 mph average, and thought I could do much better than that on the flatter HHH route, but couldn’t do it, ending up with the same 18 mph average.
I guess it’s all relative, though. Shortly after I first started riding, I decided that my biggest goal was to some day do a 6 hour century, and I wondered if I ever could. Now, I’m an almost 60 year old lung cancer survivor, and complaining because I can’t do a 5 hour century. I probably shouldn’t complain.
I rode down with DJ, and the trip was a blast. I always love the consumer bike show at the convention center, even though I never buy much. And cutting up with old friends at the community center gym is always fun, as well as meeting new recumbent people (email me, Andy; I’d really like to have your regular commentary on the forum).
I was passed by a lot of recumbents that I didn’t know. For those who don’t know me, I was on a black Corsa with HED wheels, and was wearing a red Bacchetta jersey. As always, I had a blast at HHH.
Here’s the gym at the Lamar Baptist Church community center where we “camped out”. That’s me in the gray Lungevity t-shirt.
Getting ready to roll out in the morning. That’s me, #2362, with friend Greg in white behind me.
The pre-dawn ride to the start. That’s me out front.
Sitting with 14,000 other riders, waiting for the start.
Friend Paul Brown and I. Paul took the rest of these photos, but handed the camera off for this one.
And we’re off, with the local tv camera crew above us.
Tooling along at 24 mph at mile 7.
Mile 11 at 31 mph. Did I mention that we started out too fast?
Delicious looking stuff at one of the rest stops. The food wasn’t bad, either.
The wind is up, now. And the paceline is long gone.
Rolling along, 20 miles from the middle of nowhere.
Friend, and fellow cancer survivor, DJ Boyd.