Texas Canine Ambush   
 Ride Stats
Distance: 101.17 miles Altitude Gain: 6,964 ft Avg Speed: 16.87 mph
Route: Lancaster Covered Bridge Avg Grade: 0 % Max Grade: 0 %
Max HR: 152 bpm Avg HR: 128 bpm Terrain: Road: Hills
Bike: Litespeed Vortex Road Club: Schuyler County Cycling Club
Weather Conditions: Sunny Humid 80 F S wind @ 5 mph
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 Lancaster Covered Bridge Century
Drove down from yesterday's race in Sunbury.PA yesterday afternoon for today's rolling century. Doug and I rode this course last year, and despite it raining the entire ride, it was a pretty good course. We brought Joe along for this year's festivity. The first forty five miles of the ride is Pennsylvania flat which in actuality is quite rolling. After a lunch\rest stop the route separates from the metric course for a thirty mile plus hill loop with two pretty good climbs. After the climbing loop the century returns to the rest stop and rejoins the metric route and finishes with a few more miles of rolling flats and six or seven covered bridges. There appeared to be well over a thousand riders for this big production. There wasn't a mass start as it was just a show and go. It was hot and muggy already at seven AM when we rolled out of the start after prepping for the ride with some donuts. Didn't plan on doing too much today as I had spent ninety percent of yesterday's race with my heart rate in the red. Actually started out fairly well with the three of us working a fast paceline and averaging in the low twenties for the first hour. Kept debating on dropping off the line, as I was worried about the climbing section coming mid point in the ride, but the draft was so sweet that I kept pace with the boys. We passed well over a hundred riders in the first hour but none of them joined on our line. We finally caught up with a pair of fast riders that were coming out of the first rest stop. We all started popping hills and though we had fun for awhile I decided it wasn't a good choice for me today. I bid the boys goodbye and dropped off to ride alone at a more leisurely pace. As soon as I quit riding a fast pace my body started to feel very poorly with a good deal of stomach distress. I rode steady for the next ten or fifteen miles occasionally catching some slower riders. I Rejoined Joe and Doug at the rest stop for our lunch. Seemed a little early for lunch since it was only a little after nine but the turkey subs went down well despite my upset stomach. Joe and Doug rode off to tackle the hill loop while I lingered around the rest stop hoping to feel a little better. Started the hill loop and caught up with a group of four and rode with them to the base of the first climb. We lost two riders along the way but picked up two others as we headed up the climb. The first climb is pretty much a wall with a couple of miles climb with sixteen percent sections. I suffered royally on the climb as I didn't have the legs to stand nor the gears to spin. I was quickly dropped by three of the other riders that were spinning along on their compact cranks. I was also passed by two young burners that were climbing effortlessly at what appeared to be twice my speed. I really thought I would be just as fast and more comfortable walking but was didn't give in and finally got over the first hill. Two of the riders from my earlier group were waiting at the top for the last rider from our group that from the sounds of his breathing was suffering as much as I was. I caught and passed a woman on the downhill that had spun by me up the hill. I rolled along at a relaxed pace along the bottomland between the first and second climb. It was much easier this year as last year several sections were flooded and the water was deep enough to cover my water bottles in a couple of places. My stomach had settled somewhere along the bottomland, and I was starting to feel quite a bit better. I was passed by my earlier group that had reformed, and they pushed on ahead of me. I wasn't able to latch on as they went by but was able to up my tempo and maintain the gap. When we hit the bottom of the second climb, I was able to catch the group and rode away from all of them except the woman that I had passed on the downhill. She wasn't able to stay with me but dogged me throughout the rest of the second climb. The second climb was called the Flying Hills and wasn't terribly steep. What steep sections there were I was able to stand up on and get over without any problems. Stopped at a rest stop at the crest of the Flying Hills and got water and some welcome GU packs. Had a good fast fun descent down the back side of the climbs before heading back into a few miles of rollers to finish off the hill loop. Got caught by two fast burners that were still snapping the rollers that I was just trying to survive on. I was able to stay with them for a bit but when they motioned for me to take a pull I was unable and unwilling to do so. They pooped me on another small climb and gapped me. I was able to maintain the gap on the flat sections and was actually closing it up, but got caught out by a red light in a small town and that ended my chase. Rolled into the lunch\rest stop and met up with Doug. He had dropped Joe on the first climb and was worried that he had gotten lost since he hadn't shown up at the stop, and I hadn't passed him. We waited for awhile and then rode off together. We were riding along with another rider when we accosted by an angry motorist. He started yelling at us to get out of the road and after passing us started slowing down and stopping in front of us and shouting, "How do you like it?" He soon got bored with harassing us and sped away in a cloud of black smoke. I thought he was probably in for a long stressful day if he stayed on the route and had to pass hundreds of cyclists. We were passed by the woman that had dogged me through the second climbs, and I got on her wheel as she went by. Doug said he was just going to spin it out, and I left him behind. We started to pass riders from the shorter rides and it was not uncommon to see heavyset riders laying or sitting along the road that had succumbed to the heat and humidity. We also passed an ambulance that was treating a woman that had fallen off her bike. She was standing but was applying an icepack to the side of her face. I caught up to the two fast burners that had passed me earlier. One of them was suffering from cramps and told his buddy to go it alone as I passed them. I tried to stay on the faster riders wheel but he was out of my league and would pop me on little climbs. I would occasionally catch back up at intersections before he would pop me again. Eventually he just rode away. I finished fairly strong. I had ridden the first twenty five and last twenty five at a good rate. One of my climbs was third rate but did quite well on the second. Ended up riding better than I had planned on after severely taxing my body yesterday. Found Joe back at the truck. He had missed a turn before the Flying Hills climb and had bypassed it before rejoining the course. By missing the climb he had arrived at the rest stop before Doug. We were happy that mystery was solved and Joe wasn't lost in the wilds of Pennsylvania and we could motor home.

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