Just 99 miles to go

Monday, July 11, 2011

Weekend update-7-11 Skymass

Worked in the shop Friday night. I really wanted to just go in there and see if my new shoes had come in yet. They hadn't but I had nothing to do home, so I worked.

Big ride planned for tomowrow so no big riding for today. Did a lap at the Rose.
Went to my moms and mowed her lawn.

The infamous "Skymass" ride which I'd heard so much about.
This is a road ride which is 80 miles long and has 5000+ feet of climbing.
I left the house at 6:45 and met up with the group at 8:50 in Front Royal, VA.
It was Randy, Eric, and 2 friends of Randys. One guy had veins popping out of his calves, this is never a good sign. The other guy was wearing bib shorts.
There I was with my flat pedals, sneakers, and a triple ring up front.
No question as to who everyone would be waiting for today.
We rode to the entrance of skyline drive, paid $8 each to get in, yes even on a bike you gotta pay to ride on this road.
I grilled the guys alot about what was coming up, I knew it was alot of climbing so I really paced myself.
Randy road with me for 10 minutes, than slowly pulled ahead. He said we'd meet up at a gas station in about 22 miles. I said seeya.

I tried thinking about this thing as sections but it was just a plain bitch.
The ride starts with an initial 4 mile climb and there are NO freak'n breaks. It is ALL uphill, not evan a small flat section to recover on. I got a break after 4 miles for about 2 minutes, if that .
Than back to climbing.
This is the kind of climbing I hate. Long straight sections where you can see 1/2 mile ahead.
I think of these as soul crushers.

After 20 miles I get to the end of the "bad" climbing.
A few miles of mostly descending and I meet up with the group at the camp store.
I buy a few gatorades and a cliff bar, for me a small break as the groups been there 15 minutes and we're off.
11 miles of rolling terrain till our next regroup.
Randy slows down a little and I pretty much stick with him to the next re gouping at RT211.
We take the exit ramp down to 211 and see 2 guys waiting.
Weren't we a group of 5?
It seems that one of Randy's friend was riding between the fast guys and the slow guys (me) and missed the exit. How he did that is a mystery. There are very few exits off of skyline drive. How could you miss it?
We've got no cell phone signal so no way to call this guy.
Eric and the fast calf guy go back up to chase him down. From what I understand they flag down a motorist and ask them to watch for him. The motorist did find him and had him turn around.

The 3 of them get back. Since they've been gone, me and randy find out that the road we're supposed to take is closed because of an accident. They're not even letting cyclist walk past the scene.
So we do an about face and go back the way we just came.
All I can think about is that decent I took after 20 miles, I've got to climb.
Rest of the ride went by in a blur except for a few notable items.
-it got hot and I thought I was going to die.
-getting passed and dropped by some members of my group who stopped at the camp store for a break.
-it got hotter and I thought I was going to die again.
-coming down the final 4 mile decent, remembering that it had been a while since I serviced the bearings in my front wheel. (Long time meaning never).

Ended the ride with 66 miles and 6450 feet of climbing.
A hell of a way to bump up my hill training.


ChrisJ said...

Fun ain't it. You haven't seen steep till you've climb Massanuten. I'll let you know next time I head that way. It will be fairly soon.

Tom said...

I think I would have rather had to go over Massanutten and walked than to re-do Skyline back. I prefer to get my pain with over at once.

ChrisJ said...

Yup that grind from the 2nd water stop sucks.....