Ride Around Kent County

Ride Around Kent County is a road tour that touches each of Kent County's four corners. Estimated at 147 miles, I knew it would be a long day in the saddle, it was sort of a last minute decision, but I had to try it.

My legs, mind and body felt alive and well all the way up to about the 95 mile mark. I was climbing well, decending fast. I found some evenly paced fellow Rapid Wheelmen to spend almost all day with (Susanne, Randy and Jim). Jim later peeled off as he was doing the 100 miler. But Susanne, Randy and I were all pretty well matched.

So the three of us pretty much spent all day taking turns leading pacelines, drafting and making small chit-chat. It wasn't until the stretch headed west that I really started to feel the pain. I kept getting dropped and even the slightest incline sent my speeds sub 10's. My legs were dead, mentally I wasn't with it either. (My self-test for this, is doing math, and I couldn't simply subtract 97 from 147 as I kept coming up with 40 miles left). Until I reached the 107 mark, I realized THEN, I had 40 miles left, and I knew something was happening. Onset of bonk.

It was hot out. 91 degrees to be exact. Garmin says 95. I don't function well in hot weather anyways, but I couldn't understand my issues. I had taken all the nutrition I normally would on long rides and had fought off two weak headaches (onset of dehydration) by taking on more fluids. So I knew to keep that up. I had eaten all the crap gels and chews I could, and it got to the point where drinking didn't taste good either. There was no coming out of this funk.

I think I was simply overheated and out of gas. It pained me to have to send everyone off and get a ride back with the SAG (thanks "SAG Matt" for the ride), but I knew feeling as bad as I was, I would not be able to survive the continuous heat, the varied up and down of Fruit Ridge Road....all into a headwind. I may have been able to complete the ride, however, it would have ruined my day, night and probably my Sunday. As it was, today (Sunday), I was still feeling the effects up until around noon. Just braindead, feeling like I had gotten hammered the night before. Unable to come up with simple words, easy to get agitated and dizzy when standing up quickly. Weird.

While I was getting a ride in the SAG wagon, we had to stop and pick up a young kid named Chris. Chris has severely bonked, he later said he stopped at an intersection with his group and went to put his feet down and immediately fell over and couldn't get back up. He actually hardly remembers it. When we arrived, we saw him laying under a shade tree, drinking from a glass of water presumably from the house he was laying in front of. He sat up to talk to us and was barely speaking, his face caked in salt he had lost in sweating. He was unable to open the door to the truck, so we had to help him in. Matt explained to him really slowly that he was going to take his bike and put it in the back and he should sit down. All he said was "okay", "uh-huh". He was really slow, and stared at us like he was drunk. He later came out of it somewhat, but he was in bad shape. All I could do was think to myself, "this could have been me in another 1.5 hours".

Anyways, 114 miles is my longest ever, and I did get to reach all 4 corners of Kent County. But next time, I'll hope to complete the ride. And mother nature: next time, please, please be cooler.

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