I am sore and hurting. Not from a crash but from being so out of shape for an event. Including the time I stayed in Pennsylvania after my father died, I was two weeks without a bike ride leading up to the Jeremiah Bishop Alpine Loop Gran Fondo. If that wasn’t bad enough, yesterday I refereed a couple of soccer matches – something I haven’t done since April or May. My legs were sore going in.
Maybe it was a culmination of things. During my dad’s final days I did three all-nighter’s with him, one time staying awake 42 straight hours and sleeping just two in 62 hours. Last night we went to go to link spondylolisthesis anatomy fluoxetine blood sugar viagra online store canada https://www.arohaphilanthropies.org/heal/clomid-results/96/ go to site danelectro free speech the college application essay free pdf essay on visionary leadership click here viapro without prescription define short essay format https://academicminute.org/paraphrasing/case-study-research-on-language-learning-and-use/3/ viagra over the counter in melbourne discount real viagra viagra heart bibtex types thesis resume example community service cuales son los efectos de cialis cialis super active wikipedia what does it mean when cialis doesn work writing a 4 page essay source url https://haloworldwide.org/research/susan-sontag-essays/8/ compare and contrast essays for https://homemods.org/usc/honesty-and-integrity-essay/46/ https://bakeorbreak.com/rxstore/cialis-and-no-xplode/17/ how to write an abstract for a research paper example list keywords resume compare contrast essay write introduction https://www.rmhc-reno.org/project/dedicate-dissertation-memory/25/ see url Andrew’s hockey game and I didn’t get to sleep until 1:30 a.m. and was up at 4:45 a.m. Clearly I was suffering from not enough rest.
I arrived in Harrisonburg and went to the front of the line as a prostate cancer survivor and supporter of the Prostate Cancer Awareness Project. There I met Joe Dombrowski, of Cannondale-Drapec for perhaps, the fourth straight year. I was able to ask him about contracts for next year for Ben King and Phil Gaimon. He said Ben has (or will have) a contract. He doesn’t know about Phil. It’s a tough business.
I also met Jeremiah Bishop at the start. His wife, Erin, came over and gave me a hug. Neither of us knew if I would make the start today. Robert Hess, of the Prostate Cancer Awareness Project, also came over to greet me.
We rolled out at 8:00 a.m. It was a ceremonial roll out. Two miles in as we turned off US 33 onto Eversole Road I was briefly at the front. I did not position myself here and did not want to be here. My legs felt like crap and I wanted to ride easy with no pressure, certainly not wheel to wheel with the main peleton. When I saw a safe place to exit I bailed out and let the main group pass.
I also had a reason to doing that. My heart rate monitor wasn’t reading and I wanted to see how high it was as I was pushing it. I adjusted it and it was recorded 35. Then it was zero. Guess the battery is shot.
When I jumped on I was pretty much at the end of the Alpine Loop and Century riders. The timed section of the Shenandoah mountain climb seemed to start at a different location than in the past (I didn’t ride this route last year). When I passed the bridge over Dry Run I started my timer.
On the climb I passed some (eight) and was passed by some (seven). In the past in this position (near the end of the main group) I did much better. Crossing the top I looked at my time and knew it was bad. RidewithGPS has a segment for this climb and confirmed what I knew: This was the worst of my five timed climbs on this route.
Going over the top was sweet. I can still get down the mountain pretty fast. I passed many and was passed by no one. My top speed was 46 mph. Would have liked higher but it was a technical descent. I blew by the first aid station and joined up with a line of riders in the valley. It wasn’t really a pace line because one guy was doing all the pulling and there were six or seven of us getting a free ride. And he didn’t mind.
The second climb was Reddish Knob. Like the first, it was my worst time recorded except for the first year when it was a dirt climb. So worst on pavement. But a good descent.
Leaving the third aid station I came to the moment of truth. I had been thinking all day I would skip the 27 mile loop and ride on home making it a 77 mile day. I came to the loop. I turned onto it.
The loop was nice but I was all alone. I stopped for a picture then was passed by three women. I first thought about joining them but that may have been creepy and I was worried I would not keep up. I let them go. I was passed by a guy who told me to grab his wheel. I declined and then as he pulled away I caught up to him I told him my dad died last week and this was a day for me to just ride by myself. He understood.
Then I came to it. The John Deere tractor. My dad’s favorite. He loved his Chevrolet, John Deere, and Arnold Palmer. And I would learn later that Arnie died today.
The loop ended at the same aid station (#3). A brief stop and I was off to ride the last segment. And there was a timed climb on Mole Hill. I told the guy at the timing station I hated him. (I was kidding, of course. I think.)
The day was cloudy and cool, around 60 degrees, all day. It never warmed up. I wore arm warmers and needed them, except for the climbs in which I sweated my butt off. At the end, I saw Robert again, but still not feeling great, headed for home. I even skipped the meal.
It was a day of suffering. I think the circumstances leading up to it made it much worse than it should have been. But a bad day on a bike is better than a good day on the couch.