I gave a 96% effort on the ride.

I am riding the Assault on Mt Mitchell again this year. It is a 100 mile ride from Spartanburg SC to the top of Mount Mitchell on the Blue Ridge Parkway in NC. With it looming just weeks away, I needed to get in a 100 mile training ride over the weekend. So, I mapped it out from my in laws house at Lake Keowee to my house in Greer. The ride is about 60 miles, so I would need to build in a detour to get the extra 40 miles. Therefore, I decided to alter my route over the infamous Ceaser's Head, and send myself through Flat Rock, right near the Carl Sandburg home before returning home.

View 101 mile ride from Lake Keowee to Greer, SC 29651 in a larger map

This was a great plan on paper, but it was less than perfect in real life. The day started by my front tire exploding a flat, when I sat my apparently-too-fat-butt down on the seat to take off. Now I was down to having no spare tube, and hadn't even left the driveway. The rolling hills on Highway 11 took a much greater toll on me than I had expected, although the beautiful day kept my spirits high. I reached the base of Ceaser's Head 30 miles in a little more winded than I would like.

I groaned my way to the the State park at the top. I needed to stop and buy some Gatorade, granola bars, and rest. I also drank a Pepsi on the suggestion of another rider there, and it did seem to rejuvenate me quite well. I rolled over the backside of the mountain freezing cold because of the sweat I had built up on the ascent. In time I would be sweating again.

After that, I spent the rest of the day talking my self into continuing the ride. I had totally wore myself out in the climb. I still had 70 miles to go, and I didn't feel like being on the bike at all. For this reason, I would never recommend to anyone to do a 100 mile ride solo. It just messes with your head way too much. After a stop in Flat Rock, and a 5 hour energy shot, my spirits began to improve. Then I reached Callahan Mountain followed by Pack's Mountain just a few minutes later soon after passing the 70 miles in mark.

I was spent. again I argued with myself about quitting. I rolled along painfully, trying to maintain a 18 mph pace on the flat and 10 mph on the climbs. I was miserable. Finally, at 96 miles I gave in. I quit, and threw in the towel. I called Erin to come and get me. I called her with only 4 miles to go. I just didn't want to do it. I am convinced I could have finished, but I had lost all desire to continue. When the desire is gone... what's the point? There is a life lesson in there somewhere, although I am not sure that I want to talk about it right now. You know, the life lesson about giving 110% effort every time? Today I settled for 96%

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous11:33 PM

    I would have to say that everyone should try a 100 mile ride solo -- there's satisfaction in planning it out, adjusting, and making it home; even it it requires asking for help.