Sunday, 24 May
Yesterday was the Lewis and Clark 12/24 hour time trial, which starts and finishes in Hockinson, WA. It features miles along some beautiful scenic rivers (including the Columbia) and the best in-your-face view of Mt. St. Helens I know. The Gorge winds were a nice tailwind (ahhhhh) but that meant headwind on a long stretch through Cougar. Since last year I'd managed to forget how many tough little hills there are, in addition to the main climb over Old Man Pass. The day was sunny but not hot--perfect! The field size at this race had tripled since last year, its first year in existence, so it wasn't quite so lonesome out there. In addition to a detailed cue sheet, all the turns were marked on the road.
Highlights? The view of St. Helens. The Washougal River Road. The dogwoods blooming on the Old Man Pass climb. The vanload of teenage girls that passed me screaming every positive thing they could think of. The fantastic support from the race organizer, his volunteer crew, other riders, and the support crew for those other riders. Have you ever had folks do the wave for you as you ride by? Coming one step closer to successfully managing the mental and physical aspects of riding for 12 hours (still working on the feet).
After the big loop of 140 miles, you fill up the rest of your 12 hours with laps on a 9.6-mile circuit that is mostly not flat. I did 5 of those plus 2 miles. I was pretty spunkless when I started my short laps. After switching my "nutrition" to coke and tortilla chips, I got perkier. No, I'm not advocating junk food for long rides. But I realized that most every other day of the week, I get tired and hungry sometime after 4 pm and my body is just programmed that way. Whether I eat in that period or not, I feel better after that time has passed. Yesterday was no exception. I had taken pretty good care of myself up to that point and was able to "just" pedal through it. But it makes for a tough mental battle.
This morning, the winner of the 24-hour race asked me how many miles I had ridden in the last 10 days. I had to get out a calculator to tote them up when I got home. 812. And I worked every day last week! The riders who do 24-hour races and more don't quite understand why I don't take on something bigger than these piddly little 12-hour TTs. I can't quite tear myself away from dinner at dinnertime and bed at bedtime....
This is such a fun race, and thanks to Glenn for thinking it up and putting it on!