Longhorn Prevew, aka 'The ride that wasn't meant to be'
Due to awful weather last weekend, we postponed our lovely 56 mile Longhorn route preview bike ride to this past weekend. I, although nervous about it, was READY (or so I thought!) to give it my best shot. My goal was to finish feeling great and to finish averaging about 16.5 mph. Slow, but steady and good enough for my legs to feel “OK” on the half marathon afterwards (woof!)
After a rather restless night (would rather not go into WHY right now, but it was a valid, work-related reason!) I head out with a teammate and take my time getting ready. Everything looks great, I have enough water, Chamois Crème, snacks, etc…and that’s where the fun ends. Right off the bat, we get lost. Then I hit a crack in the road JUST big enough to fit my little 650c tire. Oh man, we were pacelining too, so when I hit it, certainly I thought “There goes my collarbone” and “I hope the girl behind me steers left.” I managed (by a huge miracle and catlike reflexs) to roll out of the crack, remain upright and ONLY manage a flat tire.
Normally, a flat tire isn’t the end of the world. However, after carefully and recarefully checking and then almost freaking out, I realize I lost EVERYTHING in my toolbag with the exception of a spare tube, patch kit and a singular tire lever. Goodbye, sweet and expensive ’18 in one (plus bottle opener!!!) multi-tool to the stars’…luckily, the girl behind me was able to signal to the group to stop, and a fellow by the name of JP (I believe!) helped me out with a spare Co2. Man, close call there. Had I been alone (which I usually AM on these longer rides), it would have been a long wait for a sag ride home…
Luckily I had my cell phone, although some how a little later in the ride, I also dropped that AND my bike computer!!!! Then, add to the craziness and madness of the morning, I lost almost all of my water. That’s right, on a course that only has one gas station for over 50 miles, I went from 4 bottles to 2!!! Ughhh…the ride that was not meant to be. And add there that we got lost 2 other times…ANNNNNNNNND this all happened within 20 miles of the start!!!!!
Luckily, (yet again), I did catch up with random other folks (including the Emerge team) and finished the ride out without any other major incidences, but not before I got chased by one of the hugest dogs I have ever seen, UPHILL for ½ mile at the very very end of the ride!!!!!!! Ughhh, can I ever catch a break!?!
So I finished the ride finally, being so glad to be done that I almost threw my bike down. I guess it’s better everything (AND I MEAN EVERYTHING) happened today. So I guess that means I will have the best 70.3 race ever now! (Or at least, I SHOULD!) glad training is almost over. A month is left and I am ready to do this thing NOW!