Today was the last Saturday Cannon Cruise of the year. It was a Cross and Mountain Bike special. Fifteen men saddled up on what was a glorious morning. Perfect temp. Clear skies, full-on sun.
The first main climb, several guys were already whining about before we even got started. Once we hit that hill about 4 miles in, it hurt. And really bad. One guy turned around and went home.
This turned out to be the single most-hard ride I've done all year long. In total, almost 2500 feet of climbing. There were two groups (A&B). The A's being the fast guys (mainly) on cross bikes - and guys on the Wheelmen race team. They were fast too. The B group (the one I was in) consisted mainly of the usual people I ride with on Saturday's. Medium to advanced riders, enthusiasts, not racers.
What a fun time! However, the hills were KILLER. Lots of them. Paved, dirt, gravel. At times I was decending down a dirt/bumpy hill at 30+mph, then on the next uphill, BARELY 4mph. It was tough. Some climbs were long. I learned though, that in order to not get dropped, I would have to pedal and fly downhill and then carry that momentum as fast as I could uphill and recover somewhere after that. Sometimes there was no recovery. People would keep passing me, but then I'd blow by them on the next hill.
At one point, I was so sick of hills, MARAVOLO showed up. I was in 7th place out of 7 riders, going down a giant hill. I geared up in the big ring, top cog and pedaled my @$$ off all the way down and UP the hill in the same top gear, standing (I have a 27 speeda). Guys later caught up with me and saw how possessed I was and offered to give me King of the Mountain bonus points (like in the TDF). HA
We did 42.3 miles. The A group did about 10 more. We almost finished at the same time. Everyone had a blast. It was super tough, but there many made mention of making this special event an annual thing - next time with a pony-keg at the finish.
You'll have to click on the Garmin map to see both the extreme fluctuation in speeds and elevations. Crazy.