Saturday, November 04, 2006

Ride Report: Tour de Tugaloo

I hadn't done this organized ride before, but I had ridden part of the route with the Cyberspinners. That was actually misleading--the whole metric century is a lot hillier than the part we rode.

It took me a lot longer to get there than I expected; the directions said turn just after crossing the border into Georgia but what I hadn't understood was that it was another 15 miles from that point to Yonah Dam. Only about 15 people started on time at 8 am, and I wasn't sorry to be starting late because it was so cold--in the low 30s. I had put some warmer clothing in my car but I bravely went with my original plan: buff, wool base layer shirt with a windproof vest over it, bike shorts with lightweight tights over them, wool socks and shoe covers over my bike shoes, and a pair of very light glove liners under fingerless gloves. I was very cold when I first started out, but when my fingers began to warm up after about 10 minutes I decided I had made the right choices. At the first rest stop I readusted my buff headband style instead of hood style. When it got warmer in the afternoon I took off the glove liners but I only unzipped my vest a little.

The first hour and a half to the first rest stop I wasn't really enjoying myself. It was up and down hill and on the downhills I was struggling to be able to see because the cold air was making my eyes water. The cold was making me hungry even faster than usual and almost 20 miles to the first rest stop was far. A whole peanut butter and banana sandwich and some orange quarters at the rest stop improved my view of life, though after a very hilly section I decided to take the advice not to go the last little bit of an out and back which had a particularly steep hill on the back. Going back the out and back section of the route seemed a whole lot shorter.

The next rest stop had homemade brownies and then there was a lovely flat section along the river, and I began to thoroughly enjoy myself. At the next rest stop someone was trying to help a rider whose rear derailer had failed. He asked if anyone had an Allen wrench and I was the only one who did. He commented that the only woman in the group was the one who had tools. The next section had some steep hills, but also lovely fairly flat sections along a ridge and then along the river again. I was pleased to notice that my time for 50 miles was very close to 4 hours (riding time, not counting rest stops) even on such a hilly course. It makes me want to do the island ride at FestiVelo again--a flat century. The last five miles was flat and fast and I still felt good.

Total: 61.6 miles in 4 hours 54 minutes riding time, some 2500 calories burned.

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