Sunday, October 16, 2011

Hilly Hundred Day 2

The Hilly Hundred was such a great event! I had such a good time!

Here is the Day Two route:

Again, ridewithgps lists the elevation gain as 2953 ft, but the info they gave us says 3597. Quite a discrepancy. My Garmin also said 2355.

Speaking of my Forerunner, I did much better managing it today. I still forgot to turn it off at at least one of the rest stops, but overall, I did much better. Here is what Garmin Connect has to say:Hilly Hundred Day 2 by jamadren at Garmin Connect - Details Average Moving Speed of 12.2 mph over 49.71 miles.

I had wanted to compare Forerunner activity to my old cyclecomputer activity, but somehow my cyclecomputer managed to do some reading on the car ride home. So the numbers I got from it aren't right. I did check it at the end though and I averaged 12.8 mph over the 47.1 miles. I will have to do some more testing. :)

The morning started chilly again, but the wind was insane! I heard a lot of people talking about it. Here is a screenshot of the current weather:

That is some serious wind. It was like that pretty much all day.

Here I am at the start line, rocking my new leg warmers and jacket.

I met up with Rachel and Barb and we set off. The ride to the first rest stop was short. It was also a little more crowded than yesterday's ride as we had more stop signs and busy intersections to deal with. I did take a few pictures though. It was a beautiful day out.

At the first rest stop we ran into John and his brother-in-law. It was nice to see another MRT rider, if only briefly. We refueled with apple cider and hit the road again. The ride between Rest Stop 1 and Lunch followed roads that I'm familiar with, Sample, Bottom, Anderson. The big attraction was Bean Blossom Hill. I was worried about Bean Blossom. I've only ever gone down that hill, and it is a lovely downhill. I didn't really understand why anyone would want to go up it. It is both long and steep, but does have built in rest plateaus. Sort of like a stretched out staircase. It is a beautiful, smooth road though that goes through Morgan Monroe State Forest.

I made it up the hill! I did stop on one of the plateaus because I was hot and my jacket was sticking to me, so I took it off. I waited for Rachel and Barb at the top and we cruised downhill to lunch. Apparently the other side of Bean Blossom is just as fun to go down. :)

Lunch was the same as yesterday. The bands at all the rest stops were awesome, but I particularly enjoyed the one at the lunch stop today. It warmed up considerably during lunch (like yesterday) and I stashed my leg warmers and jacket in my rack trunk. Except for the wind, which continued to be brutal and never came from behind (always cross or headwind), this was perfect bike riding weather.

In apparent Hilly Hundred tradition, there was a fairly steep climb right after lunch. I didn't think it was awful. After climbing Bean Blossom, I was convinced I could do anything! I made my way along, up another hill and onto a ridgetop. The views were beautiful, but the wind made for a very exhausting ride. We rode through lots of open farmland with no shelter.

We saw lots of cows and goats and horses. I had to stop to take a picture of these two beautiful horses right by the road. I didn't make this lady move because she cracked me up and had smuggled apples from lunch to feed the horses. She said they do this every year.

Around mile 33 or so, I was starting to feel tired. (TMI approaching, don't be shocked.) I also had gotten my monthly visitor (that's a nice euphemism, right?) and Tylenol just wasn't keeping the cramps at bay so well today. I had gotten a bit ahead of Rachel and Barb so when I saw a church, I pulled over for a little break to see if I could get some of my organs to calm down. I waited for a good while, but I was glad for the break. I took a self portrait while I waited.

Isn't my new mirror awesome?

Rachel and Barb caught up with me and took a little break themselves. Apparently this was a good stopping place. I had thought the last rest stop was before Mt. Tabor, the most notorious hill of the weekend, but it is after it. If I hadn't stopped at the church, I would have been in for quite a rude awakening.

We left the church and after a mile or two, we hit Mt. Tabor. This is a short, but very steep climb. They put a sign at the bottom instructing walkers to stay right. I am sorry to report that I had to join the walkers. I made it about 3/4 of the way up; the end was thisclose, but I was tired from battling the wind and uterine cramps and then two guys practically flew past me with super loud Zipp wheels. I got totally distracted and lost my (little) momentum. I had to put a foot down. I thought I would start back up, but it was next to impossible to get going on that hill once you stop. So I walked the last 100 feet or so to the top and waited on Rachel and Barb. Here are some pictures from the top:

Next year, Mt. Tabor. You're going down! Or at least I hope to make it all the way up.

The last rest stop was in the little town of Stinesville. I was a little scared the Porta Potty was going to fall over. But the chocolate chunk rice krispie treats were awesome. As was the cider. Apple cider on a fall bike ride is the best idea ever. Love it.

The last section was more open farmland, but I ended up riding with a woman from Indianapolis who was very nice and enjoyable to hang with. We talked about random things for a few miles.

And then, I was at the last hill of the Hilly Hundred. Water Tower Hill at mile 46 (cumulative mile 103!). Another short but steep monster. I conquered it. And at the top, these lovely people set up their own unofficial rest stop. I wasn't going to stop because it was so close to the end, but the girl they had advertising on the street yelled, "Free drinks! Free homemade cookies! Free candy corn!" For me, the exact scenario went like this: Free drinks... that's nice. Free homemade cookies... wow! Free candy corn... "STOPPING!" pullover brake brake CANDY CORN!!! These people know how to please!

I took a handful of candy corn while I waited on Rachel and Barb and had a cup of sweet tea (sweet tea in Indiana!). I didn't have a cookie, but everyone was talking about how good they were. I think this was my favorite rest stop of all. It was so nice of these guys to stand out there all day and provide treats to the cyclist. I made sure to sign the guest log and dropped some money in the donation box.

Rachel didn't stop, but Barb got a drink and then we rode the last couple miles back to Edgewood High School. Seth greeted us at the finish line and took our picture.

Overall, I had an absolute blast! The wind was a challenge, but I am really happy I decided to do this ride. I hope to make it a tradition.

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