Sunday, June 05, 2005

Fletcher Flyer

I left the house at 6 am to go ride in a bicycle event in North Carolina called the Fletcher Flyer. They had a big crowd, and I had to park in overflow parking and then go back to overflow parking to put stuff in my car after I registered, so I got off a little after the start. I tried to catch up, figuring there would be some slower groups, but that only worked for a little while when a big group missed a turn.

Initially the weather was cool and beautiful, but it got really hot. The high was supposedly 85, but it felt hotter than that on the road. I ate peanut butter and jelly or banana and peanut butter at each rest stop and drank a full water bottle between most rest stops (12 to 15 miles) and took a couple of salt capsules. There were times I was miserably hot but at 25 miles (2 hours) I decided I would continue with the metric century route instead of switching to the 50 mile route but slow down to more of a touring pace instead of pushing myself. Then I began to enjoy the scenery and be less bothered by the heat.

I was pretty well alone for the next 14 miles, but at the 39 mile rest stop the lead pack doing the 100 mile route passed me, which was fun to watch. Then I saw more bicycles on the road, but didn't ride with anyone. It wasn't as much fun as the triathlon.

It took me about 5 1/2 hours to do 63.4 miles with a cumulative vertical gain of 3037 feet. The same club puts on a ride called the Hilly Hellacious Hundred, with 8035 feet of vertical gain in the 100 mile route and 5097 in the metric century. Today's ride is supposedly their flattest possible route, but outside of Asheville North Carolina that isn't very flat. No long climbs, anyway.

Summer is suddenly here. Yesterday was also a beautiful sunny day and I got a sunburn on the back of my shoulders just from swimming for 45 minutes in the lake about 1 pm. During the swim was the only time my shoulders were exposed.

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