I headed out to Venus, Tx this morning to join Stephen, Mark M, Debbie, Richard, and Daniel on the Elm Mott Trot 200k. We rolled out of Venus at 7:30 am against a stiff south wind. This route is an out and back, with the first half pretty much all southbound, so you get a tailwind on the return leg.
Mark did most of the pulling against the wind, with Stephen also taking some turns. I was trying hard to stay with the group on the outbound leg, rather than have to ride alone against the wind. The pace was just about too much for me though, and I finally fell off the group a couple of miles before we reached Elm Mott.
I was feeling pretty wiped out at the Elm Mott control, with another 64 miles to go, much sooner than you want to hit the wall, but I have a history of being able to finish these rides by just easing up and riding an easier pace for a few hours after I get into trouble, so I was still optimistic about being able to finish.
I plainly wasn’t the only one blown up by the pace, as Richard fell off the back even before I did as we rode north back to Venus. I was by myself soon enough, as well, long before we reached the next control at Malone at mile 85. I had intentions of just falling back and riding with Richard, but when I talked to him at the Malone control, he said he was just going to take his time all the way back, so I left the Malone control just behind the group.
I was soon all alone again, and rode that way until around mile 104, when Daniel came riding up from behind. He had stopped for a nature break, it turned out, and I had passed him without even knowing it. When we arrived at Maypearl at mile 117, Mark, Stephen, and Debbie were waiting, so we stopped for just a moment and rejoined them.
I finished the ride in 9:11, with 128 miles, and a 15.7 mph on the bike average, and was as wiped out as I ever have been after a ride. I hate slowing down faster riders, and with Daniel, then Mark, Stephen, and Debbie waiting for me, I felt compelled to do my best not to slow them down any more than I absolutely had to, so I really gave it all I had for those last miles.
I’m feeling pretty cratered this evening, but I know this is the kind of ride that will help me get stronger again on these long rides, so I’m pretty pleased with the effort, if not the results. Thanks for hosting the ride, Stephen! Great ride, everyone!
Elm Mott Trot route.