B2B 2013 - The Bike Part II

My first energy dip hit me at mile 60. I was expecting a left turn that would offer some wind relief....and it didn't happen. The breeze wasn't bad, but it wasn't calm either. It blew that day between 5 - 15 mph. It blew from the north (which meant I was against it for 25+ miles) until about 1:00pm and then switched to a westward wind in mid-afternoon (which meant I had a nice cross wind for the ride back to town). 

Even though I'd done this ride dozens of times, I simply miscalculated the left turn. We took a hard left instead of a left turn and the breeze still felt like a headwind.


Plus, I felt a little nudge on the left side of my back about midway down - my lowest lats. I was feeling hungry and worried about my pace . I took off one glove and couldn't get it back on and I couldn't get to my peanut butter in my back pocket. Frustration. Irritation. Could this be the dreaded dip that everyone warned against?It's too soon to be feeling like this!  Agh! I was fretting again. 

Once I turned left on Highway 210, my attitude improved. Instead of peanut butter, I ate a Salted Caramel Gu (best invention ever). I passed a sign with Erica as a pirate and me as a mermaid and exclaimed: THAT's ME! to no one. I passed Sir Cluckenberry and a lot of South of the Border-themed signs for the next aid station. 

Sir Cluckenberry on Hwy 210. From a Photo Earlier this Summer.

Miles 60 to 80 - a little over an hour - were the most boring. I sang songs out loud and played Alphabet Rock Band game (bands or artists from a-to-z) - not out loud. I played the Alphabet Motivational Word Game (motivational words from a-to-z)and count to 100 in french game. I read the quotes on my aero bottle: 

the quality of being determined to do or achieve something; firmness of purpose.  
to successfully deal with and gain control of a difficult situation :: defeat :: triumph :: win :: prevail :: surmount

I played leap frog with a girl who had an AWESOME helmet with sparkly red white and blue dots on the back.  
I caught up with Erica on Highway 53 which was the WORST part of the bike course. It is a miles and miles of duh-dunt, duh-dunt, duh-dunt - caused by a joint sealant repair job. 

I sang Phil Collins to her as I passed: Taaaaaake, Take me Home! I sang.  A private joke because she loves Phil and I do not! She was not very jovial, though. What's going on? I asked. Her technology had failed and her stomach was cramping. Her back was fine but she was struggling. She had to keep slowing up to sit up and find a comfortable posture. We played leap frog for several miles with Captain America (the girl with the red, white and blue sparkly helmet). She asked me at one point - have you been singing the whole ride? Yes, I thought.  haven't you?
I was surprised to see Dad and Joyce at mile 82ish and I was surprised NOT to see Anna there! She was with them, but I completely missed her because I was hamming it up for the camera and enjoying the onlookers with their excellent cowbells.

After that turn, I headed into the wind. I had one concern from here back to town - to get enough calories and liquid in before mile 108. I had one bottle of nutrition left and I poured it into my aero bottle. I tossed both of my back bottles at the next aid station and picked up a plain water. On Blueberry Road, headed east again, I hit another patch of sealant repair and felt a water bottle launch from behind. I got a little worried. I was actually fine - but that bottle was insurance. I immediately felt parched. I had water in my aero bottle - 30 ounces of water to be exact - but it was loaded with orange Amino Vital. What if I needed plain!? I thought my thoughts (ie. became intentional about my thinking) and talked myself off the ledge of worry. 

Turns out, there was one more aid station. I could see it coming for a mile on Hwy 421. I emptied half of my aero bottle and secured it in less than one minute. I grabbed one bottle from a volunteer and stuck it in my back holster. I tightened the fastener and reached for another bottle from the next volunteer. I emptied that second one into the aero container and tossed it - landed within an inch of the trash can. Boo-yah!

I knew I had it from there! I drank icey cold plain-ish water for the rest of the trip. My calories came from a diluted mix of Amino Vital and my last Salted Caramel Gu. Did I mention it's the best one ever? It also has caffeine, so I saved it for last to get my mind right for the Isabel Holmes Bridge.


I think my biggest fear all day was the bridge - and it turned out to be not so bad after all. In 2012, the race organizers had used a system of rubber floor mats across the drawbridge grating. It was more frightening than the grating itself: it was only a foot wide and moved. There were volunteers standing on the road kicking the mats back into place. The mats were coned off and riders were left with two bike widths of a lane to navigate.  In 2013, they changed all that and gave us a full lane and no mats. It was a little nerve-wracking, but I didn't fish tail and it was all over in less than a minute.  

View from the Isabel Holmes Bridge.

I made the exit off the ramp and could already hear the crowds at the convention cnter. I pulled my feet out of my shoes and rode with them on top of my shoes and headed to transition. My longest ride ever was nearly finished - in 6:34:00!