Sunday, July 5, 2009

Tour de Payne Ride Report

At 4:00 AM my alarm went off and I asked myself for the hundredth time why I was going to Stillwater with Scott to ride 105 miles. However, my training plan said I needed to ride 5 hours on Saturday, so I might as well have some company (but I was pretty sure I wouldn't be able to keep up with Scott at this distance).

As Scott and I approached Stillwater it became clear that we would get rained on during our ride. Little did we know that it would rain on us the entire ride. We stopped at the McDonald's on the highway where we ran into several BOT riders who were looking at the radar and a massive red/yellow/green cloud covering the state. Ignoring the warning signs, we pushed on to Stillwater.

As we registered for the ride, we ran into Monty. I had not seen Monty since he left on his vacation several months ago, so it was nice to see him again and I was thankful that there would be at least one more person taking pulls during the ride.

Before the ride could start, the rain really started to fall. Lots of people decided not to start and many others began to rethink their plans for the day. Scott and I decided that we would start the ride with the knowledge that we could turn along the way and make it shorter if need be.

When the ride started, it was obvious people were in a hurry to get going. We started out at about 25 MPH and the lead group was soon whittled down to just a few. After 30 miles it was down to Scott, Monty, "Yellow Jersey Guy with the Schwinn from NWA" (you Cat 5's know who I am talking about), and me. The rain never let up, but we were already wet and making good time, so we pushed on past the 100k turn-off.

It rained on us the whole time, but this was probably a blessing as it kept the temperature down. The route was undulating and twisty and felt as if you were always going up or down and into the wind, but never had the wind to your back or a nice flat straightaway. Despite the constant rain and the road grime, we pushed on for the entire 105 miles. In the end we did 105 miles in 4 hours and 50 minutes (100 miles in 4:34) while averaging 21.7 MPH and burning 2475 calories. Not a bad way to get in some good training.

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