Tuesday, September 15, 2009
Lesson to all... Don't trust idiots...
Well after realizing that a couple of the choices I made for my ride yesterday to deviate from the published rides on Mapmyride.com didn't turn out to be quite such smart choices, I decided for my ride today that I would follow the roads that were used in many of the rides posted. Well, you can't win for trying they say. I started off down the same path as yesterday, with the sharp initial descent, but instead of turning toward the town of Wheeling at the base, I headed NE, up the first climb of the day, a 1.1 mile 4.4% grade. Nothing too terrible, although the grade did hit up to 9% on two occassions, but for the most part it was just a spin fest to the top. I then started the descent, a nice trip down on smooth pavement but turned at the wrong place losing all my momentum before the second climb. Luckily, while this was the longest climb of the day, it was also the easiest, only keeping 2.7% grade, although just about at the top I got chased by a huge dog causing me to stop at the steepest section, a 19% grade. Trying to get started after that was fun, but I did it and then quickly started the second descent, this a fairly steep trip down on fairly rough pavement. Here is where the idiots on mapmyride got me. So I am now about 7 miles from the hotel, behind me are three dogs that wanted a piece of me and the road that multiple people told me to turn on, even those who commented on their rides, turns out to be GRAVEL!!! What are these guys smoking? Thank GOD again for the GPS. I looked at the map, quickly rerouted and cut across, in effect shortenting my ride by about 8 miles. This cut me through a nice smooth valley where I was able to get the speed up again and get into a rhythm and start to really feel good before hitting the 3rd, and by far the worst, climb of my entire trip. This was out Cherry Hill Rd and Table Top Ln, which combined amounted to a 1.2 mile, avg 7% grade, where instead of the typical peaks and valleys to burn you and then give you a break, it just stayed at a constant 6-9% the entire way up. By my estimations this would have been rated at about a Cat 3 climb. I then started the next couple miles of rolling hills, hitting the highest elevation of the day, 1271 ft up, before dropping into a nice slow descent before starting the final climb back up to the hotel. This is where for some reason the GPS crapped out on me and I restarted it and for some reason it didn't restart time even though it displayed the map again. Not sure what happened, but overall it missed about 2.6 miles of the end of the ride, which stinks because I was solid the whole way up, unlike yesterday. Anyway, I averaged somewhere around 16.5 mph for the ride, not too shabby for a coastal rider! When I got back I even went out for a few hours of soccer with some of the other guys here for the conference and despite it being my first time playing since grade school I scored twice!
This year, like last year, I will be riding for Mary Payton's Miracle - My friend Steve Kogos from Trigators informed me that his friend Joe's daughter, Mary Payton, was diagnosed a number of years back with Late Infantile Batten Disease. This is a disease with no cure, however, there are special experimental (and extremely expensive) treatments which have shown some significant signs of success! In order to assist with the costly treatments and research, Mary Payton's Miracle was created to raise money to find a cure, hopefully in time to save little Mary Payton as well as the many others affected by this terrible disease!