2012 Hotter ‘N Hell Hundred

In spite of the fact that my left shoulder had been sliced and diced on two weeks ago, I headed down to Wichita Falls yesterday, and this morning I rode the 100 mile route of the Hotter ‘N Hell Hundred. This trip is always a blast, the ride down with DJ, camping at the church community center, visiting with everyone there, the bike show at the convention center, the ride to the start early in the morning, and all the rest.

I usually enjoy the ride a lot too, but I can’t say that this year’s ride will be remembered as one of my favorites. The highlight of the ride was definitely the ride through Sheppard Air Force Base. The 100 mile route had never gone through it before this year, and I’d never ridden anything except the 100 mile route, so I’d never been through Sheppard on HHH day. It’s pretty special having all those airmen cheering for you as you ride through.

Overall though, I have to give a thumbs down to the new route. The new turn south at mile 15 takes you to some rolling hills on high ground that really catch the wind (and the south wind was howling today). Then, when you finally turn north and get a great tail wind, the road gets so rough that you can’t take advantage of it. The 100k and 100 mile routes splitting so early broke up the paceline I was in, the remaining riders in it on the 100 mile route soon broke up, and I could never find a paceline that I fit well in after that.

By the time I reached Electra and rejoined the old route, I had stayed out in the wind by myself way too much, and would pay the price for it later. I made a 2 minute stop at mile 60. I took a quick nature break, but the stop was really more to give my aching shoulder and toes a quick break. I really hit the wall at mile 70, plus had GI issues that made my stop there even longer, never recovered very much, and was barely moving by the time I finished. That last 18 miles straight into the wind was brutal. But I did finish. I’m going to call that a victory on this day that I felt more like the bug than the windshield.

I finished in 6:14 (my second slowest time ever at HHH). My on the bike time was 5:52, so I stopped for a total of 22 minutes. That’s much more off the bike time than I usually do at HHH, but it was the only way I thought I could finish today. It looked like lots of riders were struggling in the wind at HHH today, though, so I was in good company.

HHH 100 mile route.

FWBA Alvarado Adventure

I took off at 7:30 this morning to ride the FWBA Alvarado Adventure club ride. I had intentions of doing the 84 mile route, but that didn’t quite work out.

This route starts at the Alvarado High School and goes southwest to Sand Flat at mile 18, then on to Rio Vista at mile 30. The 84 mile route then does an 18 mile loop to the west before returning to the Rio Vista store, then does a more southerly loop through Grandview before returning to Alvarado.

I fell off the back of the A group after a few miles, but at around mile 12, an A group rider struck a dog. The rider was able to continue, the dog hobbled away on three legs, and the delay was enough that the A and B groups reunited, and we all rode together to Rio Vista.

It was a long stop, and figuring that most riders would turn around there and do the 68 mile route, 4 of us took off and continued on to do the 84 mile route. After we arrived back in Rio Vista, a good size group came in shortly behind us, so we waited for them and all took off together toward Grandview. I guess the cloudy day had everyone wanting to do more miles than usual. I’ve never seen this large a group doing an over 80 mile route on an FWBA ride.

A few miles into this leg of the ride, I found myself a little ways in front of the group, kicked up to a little more brisk pace, and never saw the group again. By the time I got to Grandview, there were storms to be seen off to the north and south. I decided to skip the Grandview stop, and take a shorter route back to the start than the club route called for. I managed to finish without getting rained on, and ended up with 75.7 miles.

I felt better than I figured I would, considering it’s only 8 days after my shoulder surgery. This is a fairly flat, low traffic route, and I like these roads. I’ll do this route again when the club rides it.

Modified version of the 84 mile Alvarado Adventure route.

FWBA Rusty Chain Gang Ramble

I took off from home this morning on the Corsa, rode to the start, and joined the Rusty Chain Gang Ramble club ride. I rode a fairly easy pace and cut off the route at Sundance Circle. I ended up with 37.2 miles.

Don’t tell my doctor. It’s been four days since he sliced and diced on my left shoulder.