Tuesday, February 26, 2008

The hills are alive w/ the sound of ??? Grunting

Mostly living up to it’s name the Chilly Hilly was yesterday and was a great start to bike training this year. Shell, Eileen, Matt and myself took off together on the 9:35 ferry under grey chilly skies. A bit breezy and a few sprinkles here and there – not a good sign.

However, when we rolled off the ferry at the other end, the sun was trying to find it’s way through. Shell and Matt had to make a detour before the start so Eileen and I took off and headed for the hills. HA!

From the start Eileen kept saying” I have to remember this isn’t a race” After we kept passing around the large groups and chasing down anyone breaking away from the groups ; ) this was all in the first 6 miles. We hit some really good pacing up the hills and on what flats there were. The down hills were great, of course, but I didn’t feel like working the downs too hard, too many people and with a later start than the last time Shell and I rode it, the traffic was a bit higher. Although on coasting I still hit 39.5 MPH, little bummed I didn’t hit 40, though it wouldn’t have been hard. Me and the Leanster stopped at the 14 mile stop for about 10 minutes to rewater and grab some snacks, then headed back out. We missed the tiny sign for the main rest stop and just kept on keeping on. MAN can that woman climb hills!!! I felt great for being the second ride of the year, didn’t charge any hills or stress out, cause Eileen was about three bike lengths ahead on most hills ; )

The loose goal for the day was to ride better than the last time, two years ago finished in 2:39, this year worked it hard for a 2:07 finish. Helmet goes off to Eileen who finished closer to 2:02. About 15 yards up the hill at mile 25, I dropped my chain and it jammed between the sprocket and the frame- Grr Arrg!. It took a few to work that out, but I needed the rest and was glad Eileen didn’t wait. I felt good on the last two hills and finished steady and saw the finish just in time, with Eileen waiting there.

It was good to get off the bike and walk around a bit, warning to others looking to ride and have the chili after, get in line as soon as possible. The line took days to get through, but it was so worth it, mmmm chili.

We ate and sat in the sun and I got a text from Shell, they had chain problems and were still at mile 17, oh the horror. So me and Leanster did what anyone in our position would of, - we jumped on our bikes and hunted for a drink. We found a place that over looked the last turn on the route and waited for Shell and Matt to come bursting around the corner, but after a drink and a hour later Shell called and said they were about a hour out. So we hoped the next ferry and headed home and met AK at Chinook's for fish n chips and grilled cheese. I called AK from the ferry to ask for a ride and she started laughing and said “ I was expecting this call” AK rocks for picking our sorry butts up. I won’t mention the death march of a ride from the ferry to Chinook’s with the full on head wind. I was about to abandon the tour if it was a half mile longer.

All in all a pretty great day…

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