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· i worship Mr T
5,535 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
The alarm goes off nearly giving me a coronary in the process. Not going to bother taking my morning HR since it must be at least 220 bpm from the shock. Classical music. I open my eyes. It's dark. I close my eyes. I open my eyes. Still dark. I sigh.
When did I become such a freak that I think that it is not only rational but reasonable to get up at 4 am on a Saturday to go ride a bike?
I get up. Should I shower? No, I should go back to bed like a normal person. I decide to shower. Maybe it will fool my body into thinking it is time to be upright and moving.
I get dressed, make & drink a protein shake, & load my water bottles into my cooler. My bike and bag are by the door ready to go.

It's so quiet & peaceful in my neighborhood at this hour. I can hear only crickets. Maybe I should get up this early more often. Yeah…right.
Do I have everything? I look around the car: cooler, bag, front wheel, shoes, helmet, gloves. I start my car and roll down the quiet street.

The plan is to meet up with my friend David at his house, consolidate into one car, and head up to Summerville, GA for the Chattooga Century. The ride has 5 possible routes: 15, 30, 62, 100, and 125 mile options. Because David & I share the same masochistic tendency we have both decided to do the full 125 miles. Nevermind the fact that my longest ride ever is 104 miles and my longest ride this year is 65 miles. I think I read somewhere that whatever distance you train at you are capeable of doing twice that. Or maybe I made that up.

My cell rings. It's David. He has been up since 3:30 with a fever & an ear infection. He still wants to do the ride but we need to find a 24-hr pharmacy so he can fill his prescription for ear drops. Ok dude, you win the KOM title (King of the Masochists, that is).

The prescription is filled, David has an earful of antibiotics and cotton, and we are on the road. Given that we have an hour & ¾ drive ahead of us it doesn't look like we will be starting at 8. The ride doesn't officially start until 9 but it was recommended that anyone doing the 125 mile option start early.

My cell rings again. It's my friend Marc, "Are you up?" [Me] "Well, my eyes are open and I'm not in bed anymore, so I guess that means I'm up." [Marc] "We're on the road. We'll meet you in the parking lot." (Yes, all of my friends are freaks that get up at 4am on Saturday to ride.)

The parking lot of Chattooga high school is filled with cars and cyclists. We register & get our t-shirts. They say that there are approximately 200 people registered. About 40 will be doing the 125 mi option. People are rolling out of the parking lot in dribs and drabs. I guess there is no mass start planned.
We find Marc and Dayna and the rest of the crowd.

Get dressed. Arm warmers or no arm warmers? That is the question. It's bordering on chilly, ~67* (a veritable freeze after 2 solid weeks of morning temps in the low 80's). I decide against the arm warmers. I'll warm up on the road and besides, arm warmers would look stupid with my sleeveless jersey. :rolleyes:

We roll out of the high school parking lot in a group of about 10. David realizes that we have no map and turns back. The rest of the group puts the hammer down and suddenly we are doing 25mph. WHERE'S THE FIRE?! Sheesh, people. Ever heard of warm-up?! Marc and I drop back to wait for David.

Miles 1-25
I've never ridden in this part of GA before. It is beautiful!! Old, old mtns, rolling hills, farm country.

We're riding in the valleys. We pass cows munching & fields of soybean & corn.

how now, brown cow? ('course, the cows we saw were black & white not brown)

We go through little podunk towns that are hardly more than wide places in the road - blink & you'll miss 'em - where it seems like the primary Saturday morning activity is to sell your belongings on your front lawn! It's like yard sale central in every town. At one yard sale they are selling LEGS!!!

Hey! I could probably use a set of those. But it is early in the ride and I'm not sure where I'd keep an extra set of legs until I need them.

Marc, David & I cruise along enjoying the scenery and the beautiful weather. We are moving at a decent clip, reeling in other riders who started before us. I am guessing that it will take me & David somewhere between 7-7.5 hrs (total, including sag stops) to finish the 125 miles. Marc has opted for a shorter day and is onlydoing the century option. Sissy! ;)

We roll pass the 1st SAG stop at the 15 mile mark. There's no reason to stop and we continue on.

Mile 30 - 1.5 hrs
At about 30 mi we hit the 2nd SAG and make a quick stop to refill bottles and grab food. I inhale 3 fig newtons and grab a banana which I later impress myself by eating while riding no-handed. Ok, so it's not that impressive a trick but it was a unique experience for me to eat a banana at 20 mph with the peel blowing in the wind. Usually I can't chew gum and walk without falling down or walking into a wall.

~50 miles - 3 hrs
The next SAG stop is at about the 50 mile point. Here we catch up to the hammer heads we let go to wait for David and the map. As well as Dayna and some of the girls who started earlier. We roll out of the SAG as a group of about 20. Two miles down the road the century riders turn off and the loonies doing the long option continue straight toward the one big climb of the day: Lookout Mtn.

With the century riders gone our group of 20 has been whittled down to 3: me, David, and a new guy, Ronnie. We have about 7 miles of rolling countryside before we hit the base of Lookout Mtn. Lookout is a short, but steep climb - maybe 2 miles long from the first pitch but the final mile averages 11%!!!

58 miles
WOW!! 11% is STEEP. David has gone ahead of me (he's running a 12x23 at the back) as has Ronnie, but Ronnie is still in my sights and I am closing the gap. I am riding a slow steady pace trying to keep my HR down. I come around a bend to find Ronnie standing next to his bike. "Cramp?" I ask. He nods. I continue on. Holy cow this is steep!!! My speed has dropped to a snail-like 4.3 mph. I look up and see the top of the road and the sky. Oh! That's it? It's over?! The climb took me 11 minutes. David is circling at the top. He beat me by about a minute and ½ . We turn around and head back down, encouraging Ronnie as we pass.

~60 miles
We are back at the bottom. There is a little store. We stop to refill our bottles. Ronnie catches back up to us. We roll on.

Ahead of us are 2 guys wearing matching team kits. They are moving at a good pace. I look back at David and Ronnie and say 'lets see if we can't catch on with them'. We bridge the gap and now we have a nice 5 person pace line moving at about 22 mph. The guy in front peels off and drops to the back. A few minutes later the next guy pulls off. "Nice pull" I say. He looks at me and says "We expect no less from you." Alrightie-then I think. You want pull? I'll show you pull!! ;)

Because I make a horrible draft I do my pull sitting up. 10 minutes, 23 mph. I pull off and drop back. Later the same guy who told me they expect no less says to me "What was up with that monster pull? We're you trying to kill us all?!' Hehehehe. Be careful what you ask for. :D

Miles 75-109 - 6.5 hrs
Our group of 5 is working great together. David and I are averaging just over 18 mph for the whole ride and if we keep it up for the last leg we will finish in about 7:15 (well under 7 hrs for our ride time). We pull into the last SAG stop at a little church. I would kill for a Coke, but all they have is water & gatorade. I see a girl drinking a soda. "Where did you get that?!?" She says she found it in the fridge in the church. She is convinced she is now going to hell for stealing a soda from a church. She gets her ride mates to share the soda so she will have company in hell. To assuage her guilt she decides to put a dollar in the empty can and return it to the fridge. I drink gatorade (only because there isn't another soda).

Our two friends in the matching team kits decide to take a longer rest and tell us they will see us back at the finish.

Dave, Ronnie & I roll out for the last 15 miles. Our legs hurt, our butts hurt, there is no position that is comfortable, but we are in the final stretch!

Mile 110 - 118
My lungs have decided that they've had enough and out of the blue I have an asthma attack. One minute I can breath, the next minute it's like I'm try to suck air through one of those little straws you get to stir your coffee. It hurts to breath! I pull out my inhaler but can barely inhale enough to get any benefit from it. I have dropped off the back of the guys but they see the gap and slow down. I catch back up to the guys but can't get much more out than "asthma" as an explanation for the sudden decline in my speed. I use my inhaler 4 or 5 more times. My HR shoots up but at least now I'm getting enough O2 in so that my legs aren't cramping anymore. The guys pull me along at about 16 mph.

Mile 119
David's tire is losing air. He stops to add air.

Mile 122
David's tire is losing air again. He stops to add more air again (he's hoping he can make it to the finish without having to change the tube) and the guys we'd left at the last SAG catch up and ask what happened. "Asthma attack and a flat". Our group of 5 is back together.

Miles 122 - 124.6
David is riding as fast as he can in the hopes that he can make it back to the car before his tire is completely flat. My breathing has improved slightly and I am watching our time tick closer and closer to 7:30. Ronnie and one of the guys drops off the back. I hop onto the other guys wheel and we move along, trading short pulls at about 18 mph. I begin to wonder how close we are when suddenly, there is HS right in front of us! Another 100 meters & a right turn and we are done!!

124.6 miles (exactly what the ride map said it would be)
ave spd: 18 mph
approximate elevation gained: 4000'
total time including stops: 7:34 (which is close enough to 7.5 for me!)
actual ride time: 6:59

My compliments to the Chattooga High School booster club for putting on a fantastic ride. I had a blast. :)


· grasso e lento
410 Posts
You need a support team girl

Really, when I read your reports I think; did she chew her leg off this time to finish the ride/race... BTW... How is the bee in the butt problem ;)


· i worship Mr T
5,535 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·

Carter Taylor said:
that is the only reason I enter events, to keep my wardrobe up to date.
Great report, I really enjoyed it!
thanks Carter! actually i got a dress out of this event - all they had left in t-shirts when i registered was size L or XL.. even with a wash in boiling water i can still belt my size L and wear it like a dress. heheheheeh

rt <-----has more t-shirts than my drawers can handle

· i worship Mr T
5,535 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·

Dude said:
Really, when I read your reports I think; did she chew her leg off this time to finish the ride/race... BTW... How is the bee in the butt problem ;)

that was funny. :D i keep hoping for an uneventful event....but then, what would i write about?!

rt (completely recovered from the bee-in-the-butt incident ;))
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