I rode in The Goat Ride today. It was based out of Brown County State Park and featured a lot of Brown County hills. I had wanted to do all four routes offered for a total of 116 miles and to be the first woman to do so. However, I decided fairly early that I didn't want to do the 12-mile Firecracker ride, but thought I may still make it a century and do the other three loops. Alas, the 90-degree weather and my sore knee limited me to the two longer loops, The Witch and The Big Bear.
Distance: 44.544 miles
Average Speed: 14.0 mph
Max Speed: 32.8 mph
Witch is right! I'm not ashamed to say that I walked up Boltinghouse hill with it's 24% grade. And even walking up it was painful! However, at the top, a church was playing its bells, which was quite lovely.
This route was pretty nice otherwise. South Shore Dr by Lake Lemon is beautiful and I may add that to some of my rides in the future.
This is a picture of a railroad line that I first rode under and then viewed across the lake. It was really cool.
I also saw a woman and her son from my church. They were riding a different loop, but had stopped at the same store as me. We chatted for a bit while we rehydrated and I ate a fudge round. Mostly about the routes we'd done so far and the MRT trip.
The only bad thing about this route (other than Boltinghouse hill!) was that there were no public restrooms and I had to pee about 3 miles after leaving the park. So this ride was doubly painful for me!
Overall though, I feel that I did pretty well on The Witch.
When I made it back to the park, they had lunch going. I had a hot dog topped with BBQ, some mac and cheese, a banana, and some cantaloupe/watermelon fruit salad. They had lots of other foods too. It was a good spread.
The Big Bear
Time: 1:04:24 (~3 hours)
Distance: 12.665 miles (34 miles)
Average Speed: 11.8 mph (???)
Max Speed: 33.6 mph (???)
I had reset my cycle computer at lunch so that I could get the breakdown of the different loops. However, for reasons unclear to me, it decided to stop working ~13 miles into my second loop. For the life of me, I couldn't get it to read, even though it seemed as if it should be operable. So who knows what kind of numbers I had on this loop.
I really need a new cycle computer. I may move it to the top spot on my birthday list.
I didn't walk any hills on this ride, but I did get really, really hot and had to stop on one of them for a good while. The noon hour is not meant for being in the sun!
The big climb, Bear Wallow Hill, was difficult but manageable. I actually found the "rollers" near Sweetwater and Cordry Lakes to be pretty tough. They were quite steep and just kept getting larger. It was constant up and down. It made me pretty tired and really thirsty and warm water just wasn't cutting it. I kept waiting on a store to appear because I really wanted a Coke. Then, after (what felt like) miles and miles, this appeared:
I think I heard angels singing. I stopped and put my $1.25 in and pushed the Coke button... and got root beer. I don't really like root beer, but this was the best damn root beer I've ever had.
Then I continued on until I got to the dams along the lakes. These were awesome. I was pretty tempted to go for a swim. Lots of people at the beaches and on boats and the water looked quite inviting. The hills on the other side were pretty impressive too. I think it made all that hard work worth the effort.
I saw lots of farms, mostly corn, but just had to stop for a picture of this barn.
Finally, I stopped at an awesome country store where I got a banana to eat in their lovely shade. I talked to a couple other cyclists who were doing the Baby Bear route and had stopped there as well.
I feel that I was a little sluggish on this second ride, mostly due to heat, but it was a very nice ride.
Overall, I'm glad I did this ride. I'm sad I didn't make the 116 Mile Club, or even make it a century, but I'm mostly sad because I really wanted to do the Baby Bear! I'll definitely go back and ride that route too. :)
Finally, here's the completion coins I got for The Witch and The Big Bear.