Logistically it made sense, even if it would be a bit tricky to get three adults, three kids, and three bikes and all our gear from the ole PC to Lexington on Friday night and then on to Georgetown College early the next morning.
Turns out my mom's family reunion was planned for Saturday as well, and I wanted to have the ability to cut out on my own in case I finished up the ride early enough to get back for it.
That, and a few days ago Mandy and I came up with a scheme to have a Triumphant Return Party in honor of our departure for Colorado and subsequent return (to the same house) almost five years later to the day. That fell through but may end up being rescheduled. Anyway, the party idea also caused me to plan on riding the 2013 Horsey Hundred all by myself.
Yes, I realize it was a group event. But short of hanging with Jjefff and Casey I really didn't want to make a social event of it. I'm not a huge fan of bike club shenanigans.
Oh, I'm not going to bash them. For some people it's the perfect kind of social club. Me, I'm just not into social clubs in general, and corporally eschew running with a pack. I think my idea of an ideal social club is more of an accidental coming together of a group of random anarchist cyclists.
Let's face it--I'm not a social butterfly.
The truth is, I'm just a whore for the "free" jersey. The HH was my first of the three requisite century rides to claim my Kentucky Century Challenge jersey.
I'm a big fan of the early start. I got to Georgetown at 6:00am. This had the dual benefit of playing to my inner introvert and also making it difficult to find my way around. There were no signs directing participants to the parking area, and the "Register Here" sign was confusing if you rounded the rec center from the south.
That is my sole complaint with the organization of the ride. Well, maybe I have one more for later. But otherwise the course was marked well, the aid stations were spaced nicely, and the route itself was very enjoyable.
I'm going to say this once (and then elaborate profusely) I went full roadie on this ride. Jersey guy extraordinaire. It was quite the roadie-o.
I went Hammer gel, bib shorts, full zip jersey, clipless pedals, chamois (Cham-Wow!) cream, shaved legs, wrap around shades, bike gloves, CO2 roadie.
Yeah, I said shaved legs. Mandy suggested it. And then I couldn't get the idea out of my head. It was more of a joke than for any practical reason. The notion that shaving your legs for cycling serves any useful purpose is in itself a joke. But the silky smooth feeling of the creamy whiteness of my legs is no joke. I can't stop rubbing them. As a matter of fact I almost caught the chin strap of my helmet half a dozen times in my spokes while on the Horsey trying to cop a feel of my own legs.
The one noticeable effect shaving had on my legs was causing non-aerodynamic goose bumps to form on my legs in the 45F air at 6am.
At 5:49am Ddjefh had texted me and asked:
Are you 20 miles in already?
I didn't see the text, but it becomes relevant later.
By 6:20 I was antsy to get going, for one because I had 104 miles to ride, and secondly because a couple of the clubbers were giving me the hairy eyeball. I think the sheen on my legs intimidated them.
So I was off, all alone, just me and the Dogrunner, on my way to roadie-o glory. Georgetown was quiet as the ole Continentals whispered on the pavement. The farmland on the outskirts was cloaked in tendrils of fog, the sun creeped over the horizon and washed everything in gold.
I covered the miles to Midway in about 50 minutes. That's when I saw Yjeff's relevant text.
In the parking lot rubbing my silky legs.
So I texted him:
Nope. Me and my aerodynamic legs are in Midway.
Along with this photo:
Midway is a cool town. It was still sleeping as I cruised through. The first rest station there in town wasn't set up yet, but I was feeling good and in no need of aid. I pedaled on toward the state Capitol.
When I reached the second aid station at Switzer I was the first rider to have come through. I'd detoured just before to check out the cool covered bridge, hen refueled and topped off my water bottles at the Switzer Ruritan Club. I'm not sure what a "Ruritan" is, but I suspect it has something to do with pale shaved legs.
After Switzer I left out toward Frankfort. I was stoked to finally get to ride through the state Capitol. CVP is a fun MTB outing, but I've spent enough time in and around the town to have developed a desire to flash a jersey on it. Got my wish. It was cool that the route went around the Capitol building. I shed my undershirt in the front steps. The day was finally starting to warm.
On into Millville was interesting and I was feeling good. There was an old abandoned old abandoned distillery between the road and the river. Before the third aid station I was riding to finish at a five hour pace. That would soon change.
I cruised in to Millville and eased into the aid station.
"You're in first place!" they joked as I chewed on a cookie.
"Shaving my legs really paid off!"
We chatted about leg shaving, the weather, and being out front.
"Oh, you're not first anymore," one volunteer pointed over my shoulder as a skinny guy wearing a Crankworks jersey screamed by.
"Where's my bike!" I hollered, spraying cookie everywhere. Two more cyclists came in as I was stuffing my face. I hoped they'd notice my shaved legs and not my gut and be too intimidated to try and pass me. My hopes were dashed.
The first guy in pulled out with me and stamped down on his pedals to break free of my gravitational pull. The other skinnier guy would pass me miles on down the road, but be unable to reach escape velocity for an equal distance as we'd gotten into the four big climb/descents between miles 50 and 70. Skinny Cyclist could float up the hills like a birdie, but then I'd come crashing down on top of him on the far side.
At mile 70 I realized I was slowing and I was suffering. 30+ miles to go seems so far when you've got more than twice that dragging behind you. I felt the early onset of a bonk. In desperation I stopped and choked down another Clif Bar and drank as much water as I could. I'd reached the point where my body decided it needed to focus on moving and not fueling. Digestion services were shutting down for the day.
Take special note of miles 50 to 70
At one point I saw another rider ahead and set to overtaking them. I assumed that I was riding faster as I had came up on them, but was confused because no one else had passed me and it wasn't one of the three riders that had already gotten ahead of me. It was conceivable that someone had started earlier than me, but I just didn't think it had happened. A few minutes went by and I wasn't getting any closer to the cyclist. I was cranking along at a good clip as I was past the worst of the climbing by that point and getting close to Bluegrass Airport. But after initially closing on the rider I then seemed to lose ground. Maybe it wasn't even a HH rider?
Then THEY made a right turn onto a side road. It was a tandem and they were wearing matching jersies. I'd been chasing a tandem. I felt like I did the day I chased the electric assisted recumbent commuting to Golden. I immediately eased off my pace.
My Grail for the day...
Then I plodded on, cognizant of the mild temps and thankful for them, until I reached the aid station at Keeneland. My cyclocomputer showed 87 miles. For the first time on the ride I saw lots of other cyclists.
And here is my second complaint to the organizers of the 2013 Horsey Hundred: other riders. Specifically, other riders that fail to use good common sense whilst riding in a group, though I suspect with some of them I'd have issue if they were riding alone in a field. In fact, some of them appeared to be doing just that, except in the middle of a busy road...chasing butterflies.
The Siamese Triathletes drove me bonkers mad. They had matching jersies, aerobars, and one of them rode the double yellow line except when she was chasing butterflies in the oncoming lane. I couldn't pass them because the two of them occupied the entire lane. After I did finally manage to pass them they immediately sped up to pass me. And then slowed down so I was forced to do the butterfly dance with them all over again. It really wasn't about competition at that point. I was 90 miles in and ready to be done. I was hungry. Doan get between me and a free post-ride buffet. Don't do it!
I wasn't dead on the bike when I got back to Georgetown, but my excitement level had definitely reached its expiration date. I was ready to go home.
After the ride I got the following text from Jgephf:
I did some math. Turns out factoring in my hairy legs I averaged 21.3 mph.
Me: Doesn't count
He shot back:
Oh yeah? Well I'm not gonna shave my legs, I'm gonna nair 'em!
Who wears short shorts? Jeff wears short shorts!
It was a good day on the bike. At first I felt despair going forward to the Mohican. How can I expend the same effort on the mountain bike in a week? Ieff spoke to a guy who's paying a trainer to get him ready for the Mohican. He told the him that he's crazy for riding the HH a week before. The guy's trainer has him doing easy spinning all week.
My original plan was to rest all week and only do some easy riding. Gonna stick to that. Unless I don't.
*names of demon mountain bikers changed to protect...someone