Texas Canine Ambush   
 Ride Stats
Distance: 99.75 miles Altitude Gain: 8,342 ft Avg Speed: 15.88 mph
Route: Wilderness Ride Avg Grade: 0 % Max Grade: 0 %
Max HR: 156 bpm Avg HR: 126 bpm Terrain: Road: Steep
Bike: custom built Cipollini RB800 Road Club: Schuyler County Cycling Club
Weather Conditions: Sunny 72 F WSW wind @ 3 mph
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 Wilderness Ride
Today was a mountain century starting in Radford, VA with eight thousand plus feet of climbing. The weather, unlike the last two years, looked ideal for riding. There were five courses of varying length to ride and around two hundred riders showed up. I had two goals for the day-climb well and make the cut-off in time. This year they added a three and a half hour cut off at the fifty-five-mile mark. It doesn't seem too bad but with a couple of stops for snacks it requires over sixteen plus average. Not too bad except the first third of the century has the two major climbs in it. The ride has a total of sixteen rated climbs plus a few other non-rated thrown in. Check-in was scheduled to open at 06:45, but fortunately it opened up early. A good number of riders were already heading out as I was signing in. I was able to get out of the parking lot by 07:00. The ride starts at a park along a river and immediately starts climbing. The first climb for me is the nastiest as it has a good chuck over upper teen grade. Saw a rider up the road climbing at a solid pace and thought if I could catch him, it would give me someone to ride with. Tried to make an effort but legs weren't cooperating and was not feeling very good overall. I really didn't gain anything on him for a mile or two but as the grade started to relax a little, I was able to catch up to him. First five miles though were only at a thirteen mile an hour pace, which was not a great start. I picked up the pace as the course got more rolling and was able to catch up to two more riders. I started slamming the little rollers to keep the speed up and now had three riders in tow. The guys were all younger but weren't really climbers. Thought I might drop them, but they hung on well. They would be nice to have along once the two big climbs were out of the way and pacelines would be practical. Got through the next ten miles with the average above twenty that got the overall average back above sixteen. Lost my group after the first downhill when they stopped at the rest stop at fifteen miles. Rode the second major climb alone and saw no one ahead of me. The climb was two or three miles at eight percent with an occasional steeper section. Got into a good rhythm and felt good on the climb. Stopped at the first rest stop on Pilot Mountain and where there were a dozen riders. Some were heading out as I arrived. Grabbed some crackers and started back out for more climbing on a loop around the top of the mountain. Started to catch a group when I dropped my chain after it started jumping about my cassette. Put it back on and started back up when I was caught by a group of climbers, they ran out of steam as they went by, and I was able to pull ahead by the top of the climb. I passed me again on a downgrade, and I dropped back into draft mode for a bit. Talked with one of the riders that I had ridden with three years ago on this course. After a couple of rollers, it appeared I would be able to hang with these guys without busting a gut and it looked good for making the cut off in time. And just as quickly as I became comfortable and optimistic I had a blowout of my rear tire. Swapped out a tube but couldn't locate what had caused the flat and that was a bit disconcerting. Pumped the tire up with my handpump and got enough air in it that I wouldn't be bouncing but not nearly as much as I would have liked. So went from feeling great to having a soft tire and my hands covered with chain grease. Didn't think the ten minutes I spent repairing the tire was going to help my chances of making the cutoff in time. Had the wind taken out of my sails and just kind of rode slowly hoping I hadn't missed something stuck in the tire that would puncture my new tube. Coasted the downhill off the mountain and got back onto a section that merged all the different length courses, so I started to see and catch up to more riders. The next few climbs were fairly easy after the big ones as they were usually three to five percent grades. Got back into a groove and was able to make the cut off with seven minutes to spare. Pretty much rode alone for the rest of the day though I was catching the walking dead the last few miles. After the fifty-five-mile cutoff there was a series of three cruel twelve percent long rollers that caused some suffering, but after that it was mostly highway climbs. The last twelve miles is mostly downhill and felt good again by the finish. I had a good day on the bike excluding the flat and riding with a soft tire for seventy-five miles. Climbed well and rode strong at the end. Great course with lots of scenery.

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Lifetime: 101,506 mi
Member No. 37801
Member since: Dec 2009
Home: Montour Falls, NY 
custom built Cipollini RB800
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Schuyler County Cycling Club

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