At the beginning of last week we attempted to do the bike ride to get familiar with the terrain. I was in for a shocker. We had practiced before that going down the riverbed for 40 miles, which had very little elevation, and this ride had 2154 feet of elevation gain over the course. I wound up after 7 miles having a panic attack going up the hill. I wanted to keep going but my sweet husband was concerned since my blood pressure had been high this week- so he pretended he couldn't make it and had us turn around.
Through discussion Jason thought it best we do the short 9.5 mile course rather then the 33 mile course. So feeling defeated I agreed to doing that.
The morning of the event we put ourselves in the very back since we were not very confident in our riding skills, and didn't want to crash into anyone lol. There were all kinds of people there. Big, small, young and old. So I was beginning to feel more confident that we could do it.
There was a guy there that had a boombox with him, so Jason and I said we would try to keep up with that guy, cuz he had some great riding tunes playing.
We were the very last wave of people to go and the beginning of the course was cake, and the music was playing- no hills came- and the turnoff for the easy course was near. The guys boombox was playing "eye of the tiger"- how could I not attempt the big course! So I told Jason I thought I could make it- so we continued on. The hills came and I wondered why I would make such a mistake. Our bikes were definitely not geared for these hills. Riding up I felt like I was dying- my muscles were buckling underneath me- my lungs were hurting from heavy breathing, I had a painful stitch on my side. The bike was hardly moving! That's what bothered me the most- so slow and so tedious- I decided I needed to finish- even if I had to walk up the hills. So that's what I did. The hills were steep and very long- but I walked them. For sure we would be last- but it didn't matter- as long as we finished. The boom box guy had longed passed us- so I had depend on my own inner monologue to push me through- telling myself this is the hard part- the easier parts just ahead.
Some other bikers who I'm sure probably started an hour after us came by and told us to keep up the good work. I knew there was 16 miles of climbing so I kept watching my bike computer to see when We were finally close to that.
The bikes were awesome on flat ground and downward slopes and as soon as we started hitting that we began to gain speed and life was good again. We hit the first rest stop and got a free water bottle and the best orange I ever had in my entire life.
We only had a few more big hills left before we finally have more decending then asscending battles. We began to hear the boombox guy ahead with his friend. They had stopped to help a lady who's chain broke. We all talked briefly and they said they would catch up with us and bring the music with them! So we continued on and saw a guy with a flat tire. Jason had been tediously collecting all the materials and gizmo's for such an occasion- so he got to try out his tiny little air canister- I cant believe that little thing can pump up a tire- but alas it did. The guy thanked us and we continued on... We hit another hill which I looked onto in dread. I peddled as far as my legs and breath would allow and then I walked it the rest of the way up. Boom box guy passed us and urged us onward. We eventually caught back up with him and went the the whole rest of the course which had minimal hills to report. It felt awesome! The descending. There was a point where I was going 35mph down the hill. Frightening, but awesome! We all finished the course together- but all the vendors were gone! lol We had food tickets- but those guys were long gone. I was just so happy to have finished. I did something I didn't think I could do and proud for it. Even though I'm sure we were one of the last people out of the course, it doesn't matter. We made friends with the boombox guy and his friend, and they told us about other events they went on and invited us to ride with them next time.
Jason kept telling me how proud he was of me. He's such a sweetheart. I'm lucky to have him pushing me and being there for me.
Overall such a fun event and I'm looking forward to the next one!