Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Hell Week Day 5 - Comfort Zone 2.0

Distance: 91.63 mi
Elevation Gain: 5,912 ft
Speed: 16.8 mph

After a good night's sleep and a rest day as a result of thunderstorms it was good to get back on the bike for some long miles on tough roads. The day started easy and Gary and I sat upfront for awhile chatting and pedaling along some beautiful rolling hills. The farm country out here is just beautiful and makes the miles that much more enjoyable. IT also makes the heinous climbs more bearable when you have a view of several gorgeous valleys after slogging up an ascent and nearly blacking out...

Truth be told, while today's climbs were tough they were not quite as hard as Tour das Hugel back in November. Some tough hills lead up to Skyline, and Skyline itself had a nice steady ascent (12%) followed by some undulations, then a bottomless descent followed by another horrifically steep climb (17%). The whole road was covered in loose gravel, a bit like they'd tried to do chip & seal without the seal.

Gary's Independent Fabrication tried to eat its chain just before the second climb so Tom and I stopped to assist. A quick fix but we all doubled back for a little momentum before we attempted the climb. Following was another steep descent... I dragged the brakes for fear of loose gravel and still nearly hit 50mph. Gary went gonzo and hit 52 or 53mph.

The rest of the ride was just as memorable. We stopped for fluids in a convenience store and dance hall in Welfare, TX then dealt with some more fun climbs heading toward a bat cave. Horse farms, rolling hills, a few steep ascents and a headwind marked the miles. It truly is beautiful in this area of Texas, and nothing like the rest of this flat, lame state. Well, I should ride in East Texas before I pass judgment, and we can ride 11 months out of the year so I really need to not complain.

I feel pretty good following the ride and look forward to tomorrow's route.

Hell Week Day 6 -->

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