Bike 4:32:56  162.04 km (1:41 / km) +439m 1:40 / km
Hotter'n Hell 100
For next time:
Eat: Min 1 cliff bar and 2 packs of cliff blocks
Drink: 2 stops mandatory and 6 bottles. Carry a real bottle that can fit in the cage as a third.
Arrival: 0545 at 6th St exit
Chip time = 4:33:22, the difference being the one short stop I made to fill my bottles. I screeched to a halt in front of a girl with a pitcher of blue stuff, filled, took off again.
125/3358 : finishers
15/356: M 50-55
These are skewed stats though. If you don't but your number with the timing chip on in exactly the place they want it, they won't give you a time. Some folks just don't bother. After all, it's technically an "endurance ride" and not a race.
Arrived at 0545. No wait at the 6th street exit and easy to find parking. This as opposed to last year when we arrived at 0600 and had issues with both. Thus, 5:45 it will be in the future. Requires leaving Bowie at 0500.
Hurricane Harvey in the gulf brought us clouds, medium NE wind and humidity. I was lulled into not drinking enough. The sun came out for the last 35 or so miles. It wasn't nearly as hot as in the past but I will still sweating buckets.
Moved ahead of my Scorchers corral at the start along with a whole bunch of people who really shouldn't have been up that far. Reasonably safe start. It wasn't long before I hooked up with about a dozen folks from Charlie's Bicycle Factory. They were kind enough to lead the group and rotate among themselves. By the time the pulled off at the mile 33 rest stop I think there was another dozen + folks behind me who had been along for the ride and pulled off with them. It took a half mile for the next group to catch back up with me.
During Charlie peloton time there was one accident ahead of us. Didn't see it but the bike was on the ground and the guy back up. A good 70% of the route is chip seal asphalt that along with being slow and hand numbing would really suck to take a spill on.
There was one young guy on a tri bike who was a bit of a spaz. At one point he tried moving up on the inside and I couldn't resist not saying something, "Dude! Don't do it! You can't ride up on the inside like that." He eased off and proceeded to hear a couple more lessons from some guys behind me. He eventually moved to the outside, sprinted off, only to be seen on the side of the road messing with his bike about 10 min later.
Coming up to hills is always a little tricky because the front slows the back compresses. The guy in front of me stood up and moved left into my front wheel. Perhaps I moved right a bit too. There was some rubbing and wobbling on my part. My left foot was then hit by the front wheel of a guy behind me. Luckily, I kept my tire side down.
After the Charlie group pulled off at 33ish, we had another good group. When we were coming to the 50mile station I had a quandary. Do I fill my bottles now and loose the group, or hang with them and hope they fill at the next one. I choose the former.
My HR tells the rest of the story. Splits 17 and below my HR was generally less than 14. After that 150 and above.
Sometimes there would be two of us, like the Kevin from Madison, other times there would be four, once around the mile 80 aid station we were up to a dozen but then guys pulled off and we were small again. I ended up with at the pointy end quite a bit. Once we were heading south the group split and I was in the slower half. We ended up with 4 guys working together. We'd catch someone who would join us, and then lose someone else. While I could ride steady-hard, I lost any sort of punchiness. The head winds seeped my energy.
Almost from the beginning there was another "free lancer" like myself in all my groups. Name was Joe and he said he also road around WRL alot. In contrast to my longer steady pulls he cut put in stronger but shorter pulls. I don't think he took a break the whole ride. He had to pee at approx mile 60 but didn't want to get stuck solo so just kept at it. Tough guy.
I was very happy to start heading west. Just the bit of tailwind was enough to let me keep my speed up. I ended up taking a bit more than my share of pulls at the front. I didn't mind but it caught up with me. About 8km from the finish when we move to Harding St I started cramping in both legs but particularly my right. I could ride steady at an OK speed but I couldn't push. The guys I had been with for 30+ miles were very supportive and encouraging but while willpower can overcome fatigue, it is generally no help with cramping. I rode steady tempo the rest of the way in.
I was a bit foggy headed for a couple of hours. Drank and drank with no output for a good 10 hours. Rookie mistake.
That concludes the main part of the cycling season. Believe it or not, it's time to get out the roller skis.