I said I wouldn't do it this year but then a week out I felt a bit of fomo (fear of missing out) and started regretting not registering. Oh well. This even sells out months in advance. Low and behold you put that out in the universe and someone somewhere delivers. A friend of a friend was selling an entry literally 5 days before so I snapped it up.
If you read my last two years I haven't had the best time doing this. First year was absolute misery. Last year was an effort to not just fall over and go to sleep due to lack of energy from a rogue illness just days before. I just re-read those two blog posts and the first year was stellar commentary.
I woke up the morning of the event this year giddy for a change. I was riding with two of my friends and the goal was laid out ahead. The goal of "let's just have fun".
Liz and Pete. You'd almost think we were out for a chill Sunday ride on a dirt road with a strange picture of NOBODY else around!
It has been a very dry spring and typically this race is known for it's muddy, wet mayhem. So there was almost no mud to be found. It was very unusual. In fact the biggest problem was dust and not mud. The grossness of dirt road was apparent when I got home and blew my nose. We all had dirt on our teeth.
I found myself mostly just chasing Pete and telling him to wait up. This was the majority of the ride. Nothing but dust because it was so dry.
I never get flats.. until I get a flat. :(
Not long after that I got a flat. Well, a "mostly flat". My rear tire had me contemplating if I should try to top it up with my CO2 or just replace the whole tube. It was about half empty. I went with replacing the whole tube just to be safe. BUT, this cost us another 10 minutes or so. Maybe 15.. I don't fix flats in minutes.
The only almost injury I had was getting nailed in the cooter by my bike saddle after hitting a pothole I didn't see. I did say out loud to anyone around me that "I didn't need that vagina anyway".
My personal shining glory was being able to ride up the stupid final hill. The last two years I did the walk of shame. Ryan kept telling me I could ride it but I had been traumatized. So the entire duration of the race all I wanted was to ride up that fucking hill and it had been bothering me. Turns out it's not a hard hill at all. Go figure. First year was awful and last year I wasn't well. What posed the problems this time was all the cyclists around me going so slow and not having the common courtesy to share the road.
I was pretty chuffed with myself for riding up that hill. Actually, I felt pretty strong the majority of the time and was never really riding at my max. capacity for a change.
Liz coming through the finish line with her usual shit eating grin just a little demeaned after getting ass kicked by that hill.
What's even better is the next day Liz said, "I think this is the first time I've ridden with you and you hadn't had to stop for blood sugar issues." She was totally right and it was a reality check from an outside perspective of someone who has spent a lot of time on a bike with me. When we hit dirt road sections I would hang back to test my BG while riding and catch up again. I finished almost all my water. I had a plan of eating only dates and bananas and no sugary shit. I began with a date early on in the ride so as to stay on top of it. I took zero insulin the whole ride and sipped some Skratch. The only time I went almost low was with 15km left to go. I dropped down to 4.4mmol/l (80mg/dl) and that's when I ate two glucose tabs and a few shot blocks (there goes my goal to not eat sugary crap). 4 hours out there with a banana, and a few dates aside from that almost low fix. I felt great the whole time.
This was a total diabetes win. For a change. It's very rare.
All and all it was actually a pleasant day!