Here is the documented story of my should have been 3-3.5 hour ride that ended up lasting 5.5 hours. This is something that just can’t be made up.
Prequel: 6B46 Run
Woke up at 4:30 am to get ready to run at 5. I chose to keep it at 6 miles today as I had a big ride scheduled for today. Met up with Chad, Ants, and Phil to get the run done. It was nice and cool out and it was a nice relaxed run and I felt pretty good. My right ankle has felt like I sprained it or something, but running today helped to bring it back to feeling normal.
I came home and refueled for my bike ride. Around 9 am I started up.
I ziptied a bottle cage to the underside of my seat to add two more places for water bottles. Working on my nutrition I know that I am a heavy sweater and therefore need to take in more fluids. I added a water bottle to the back along with my big aero bottle up front and a bottle of Sustained Energy on the downtube. I put down some coconut water, Endurolytes, and water before leaving. I had tired legs, but I was finally ready. I have not rode outside since Racine so it has been a while since I have been out in the sunshine. For some reason I don’t quite enjoy riding outdoors as much as riding on my trainer. The events that unfolded today will probably send me back to my trainer.
All set to go I headed out of my driveway to only crash right away. The water bottle under my seat popped out and locked up my chain. Right away I crashed right there in the street in front of a lady walking her dog. This was a sign of things to come. Needless to say I was not happy. I sliced the bottom of my water bottle so I had to go without that one. I drank some more water and started again. My pride was hindered without any additional injuries.
Chapter 1: Miles 1 – 45
My legs were tired. It took about 10 miles to get them loose and going. Around this time I rode in Scott County Park. I rode all over the place getting in around 3-4 miles just cruising. The hills in this park do work my legs in a good way, but probably not smart with 60 more miles to go. I headed out to some familiar roads, but at one point I decided to go a new route thinking I could make one huge loop back home. I made my way to Grand Mound and things really started to go well for me. The heat started to pick up and the sun was hot. At mile 35 I stopped at a gas station to grab a Snickers, Dr. Pepper, and a bottle of water. I also looked at Google Maps on my phone to find a course. I had it all laid out perfectly according to Google Maps. I filled my bottles up. The pop tasted so good, but I did not get much to drink from it because when I took off I did not realize I did not screw my bottle lid on. So, I hit a bump and I was soaked along with my bike and gears. I took a swig and tossed the rest out. I was not going to ride back the 5 miles I covered to find it so I just kept on. I felt great after the short rest and was thinking that things were all downhill and I would finish strong. Then I hit mile 45 and was left with a decision to make….
Chapter 2: A Gravel(Terrible) Decision Using Google Maps(How I Hate You Google Maps)
Google Maps lead me astray. I had to stop to cross 30 which is not an ideal road for bikes. I was not about to ride on that road with cars and semis flying by at 65 mph. Google Maps showed me that I could just cross 30 and I would be good to go. I quickly crossed and to my surprise the road was not paved, but gravel. I stopped and Google Maps told me to just go straight and a paved road was ahead.
There was not paved road. It was just an endless gravel nightmare. After walking about 1.3 miles I decided to just ride it out. I was cooking out in the sun and out of water. I won’t even mention the number of times my chain kept popping off during the gravel nightmare.
|If you find yourself here, scream and have someone pick you up.|
This part does not include all my riding. But I took off riding about 2-3 miles. I was getting quite mad because the gravel was not ideal for my bike. Google Maps was completely wrong it was beyond ridicolous. I kept trying to have faith as I was on roads that nobody even knows exist. After about 3 miles of riding I stopped to check my phone for a map and text Amanda when I realized my phone was missing. My phone popped out of the sleeve and now I had to go back and find my phone. So I backtracked my ride another 3 miles. Of course it was all the way back to where I started riding. Of course I watched a car run my phone over. Of course my ride bike my helmet visor that blocks the sun flies off. Of course my anger was at an all time high and I just wanted to quit and be done. The problem is that nobody would ever find me. I found my phone(not ruined surprisingly) and turned around and rode on. Even though I logged 6 miles I know I logged much more because I did not record it all. After spending about an hour or more on gravel I finally found a paved road. I checked my tires to make sure I did not have a flat and started my ride back towards Bettendorf. I was so far away. I was mentally and physically done at this point. I had gone too long without nutrition or water and at this point I should have already been home and done with this ride.
Chapter 3: To McCausland and Almost Home
After about 5 miles of riding I made it to McCausland and thankfully I had some money left. I grabbed a Gatorade, another Dr. Pepper(since it tasted so good the first time and I lost it), and two big Laffy Taffy’s. I killed the food and during the process dropped the Dr. Pepper and only had a bit left. I took off and knew I had the monster hill in front of me. This hill killed me.
I was hot and I knew at this point I was beyond dehyrdrated. I kept waiting for a sugar kick, but it never happened. I kept on riding knowing I was getting closer and closer to home. My legs started to go as you can see my times drop. I was also to the point where I started to cramp. I had nothing left. It was flat out hot and the wind was going against me. I felt like I had all odds against me during this ride.
With about 5 miles left my body was done. I tried to stand to stretch my legs and I could not do it. They cramped instantly. I just had to sit and ride. I had some hills and riding while only sitting made it tougher. I was in rough shape and knew what was coming my way after Racine. I just prayed I never had to stop. I did stop at Crow Creek Park where I only had two miles left to get home, but I knew my body needed water in the worse way. The last two miles were brutal. I was cramping and cramping hard. I knew I had to get home. I was so close…
Chapter 4: Do I Dare Say I Feel Like Racine All Over Again?
Waiting to get across the street to the final section of Crow Creek where I had .5 mile I had to stop with traffic. With my step down I cramped like never before from my hip/groin down to my shin and calf. I had to hobble off the road as I could ride and cars were behind. I tried to stretch it out and then I started getting very nauseous and dizzy. I just had to get home. With severe cramping I made myself get on my bike and just coast it home. I had one hill left and finally got home. My legs were done. I did make it home and just laid on the floor. I was cramping bad so I took some Endurolytes and water and just laid down and did not move.
Things happen for a reason. I don’t know why this happened, but my whole day was consumed with this ride. I should have been home by 12:30 at the latest and did not get home until 2:40. The sun was brutal and I was stripped of all I had. I weighed 211.6 lbs before the ride and afterwards was at 203.2. 8lbs is not good at all, but the heat got me. I drank and consumed a ton today, but it was not enough.
Pre – coconut water, Endurolytes, water
Sustained Energy every 15 minutes the first two hours. I also had a 30 ounces of water with me on the bike.
Mile 14 – Honey Stinger
Mile 35 – little Dr. Pepper, bottle of water refill, Snickers, Endurolytes
Mile 45-50 – water
Mile 50 – Dr. Pepper, Gatorade, Laffy Taffy
Mile 50 – end – Dr. Pepper
Some things I learned
1. I hate Google Maps
2. I don’t have nutrition figured out as much as I think(I think I would have been ready had I been out for only 3.5 hours)
3. The sun just tears this body up.
4. I am tough for sticking it out and not giving up.
5. My body will take some time to recover.
6. I hope I ready to race in two weeks. This ride really brought into question some things about myself.
I will reflect more when I am back on track. My brain is out of it and has been all afternoon and evening. Man, what a day. Like I said you cannot make this stuff up.