The ABB staff pretty much had us all freaked out with their advice for today: "Stay within your comfort zone." "Stop a few times on the ascent." (no problem there); "Stop a few times on the descent." (really, on the descent?); and the truly menacing "Hydrate or die."
Today's ride included a 7-mile climb going over Teton Pass with grades 10-13% which came after 80 miles of riding, so we were already tired. Add to that the anxiety and anticipation of the terrifying ascent and descent they kept warning us about. Whether they would admit it or not, I think everyone was a bit tense.
I found that in the steepest parts of the climb I could walk 3.1mph or pedal a grinding 4.7mph. I walked probably 1/4 mile. It was a lot safer---no chance of tipping over because I couldn't clip out of my pedals fast enough. (Yes, I've done that).
Even after having made it to the top of the climb, our work wasn't over. We still had the dreaded descent they had repeatedly cautioned us about. After we caught our breath and gathered our wits (also a recommendation) we started down the technical 10% downhill grade descent. It was like being shot out of a cannon. We gained speed so quickly it became frightening real fast. We stopped a couple of times to let our rims cool down. While we were waiting, we looked back and here comes Cecil, one of the recumbent bicycle riders and he's taking the entire lane. He had a car in front of him and three or four cars behind him. Wearing a big grin, Cecil was ZOOMING!
We watched in horror as we were sure he was going to be killed when he came to the next curve. There was no flying dust or screeching tires. He made it!
After we stood marveling and discussing how absolutely dangerous it was, suddenly our horror turned to awe. Cecil was instantly elevated to rock star status. It was awesome! Turns out he was going 54mph!
By the way, Cecil is 67 years old.
For my quilting pals.
Crossing the Snake River
Sign of the Day:
Hello, Wyoming! It's good to see you.