Friday, July 22, 2011

Big Sky State Games

Chris finally convinced me to ride the Big Sky State Games this year.  I decided to do the 25 mile race.  I'm not competitive or fast so I thought I'd completely bomb the 40 mile race.  I thought I might do okay with the 25 miler though. 

The race started in Laurel and traveled up Buffalo Trail to Molt and back finishing on a climb.  The race also started on a climb, not a good thing for me.   I warmed up a little before the ride and the group started a little too slow for me so I attacked early.  As I rode past riders that I knew I shouldn't be passing, I got nervous, but I was also on a climb and didn't want to slow down.  My weakest point is cresting a hill.  I work so hard to climb that its hard to transition to the faster pace flats without slowing to catch my breathe.  That's something I need to work on, but it drives me crazy to go slowly up a hill.  On short hills it's usually to my advantage but anything over a half mile and I loose steam before the end.  That's exactly what happened this time.  As I reached the top of the hill, when I should have picked up speed, I watched the majority of the group leave me in the dust and I only overtook a few of them later on, again on climbs.

Because my riding style differs from others, I rode most of the ride alone.  I would hook on to the back of a train on the flats to catch my breath and then try to lead on a climb but I usually ended up dropping everyone and have to ride alone again. 

On the decent, I realized that there was no one ahead of me for mile and no one in my age bracket behind me.  I had no chance of catching up and no one behind me to lose to so I jumped in a group with two women, one, Cheryl, I'd ridden with before.  They helped me on the flats and I pulled them up the hills trying to hold back as much as I could so I wouldn't drop them on the climb.  I lost some time but no one passed me and I was glad for the help and the company. 

I didn't finish strong like I hoped I would, but like I said, I was last in my heat so where's the motivation.  I'm not a racer so I wasn't in it to win it but I did have fun.  Maybe next year I'll be ready for the race.

Congrats to my friends on their medals.
25 Mile Race
Ryan - Gold
Cheryl - Gold
Nash - Silver

40 Mile Race
Chris - Gold
Brenda - Gold
Janet - Gold
Dale - Silver

BTW - Had I ridden the 40 miler, I'd have taken home a Gold by default. 

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Finishing the ride with a bang! (many)

55 Miles

I decided to go for a 4th of July ride before everyone got up.  It wasn't that early since everyone slept in.  Determined to put some miles on, I trucked it up the Molt Road and coasted back down Buffalo Trail and worked my way back home through the country roads between Billings and Laurel.  It was a pleasant, uneventful ride besides the fact that I got lost.  I knew which way I needed to go to get home but my roads kept ending in Ts forcing me to go north or south when I really just wanted to go east.  Finally I found a familiar road that brought me into territory that I've ridden before.  Next time I should map my route.

Just outside of Billings I found a fireworks stand and figured, what the hey, I can stop and get fireworks now and not have to come back out later.  (Plus I could buy them now and beg Sarah's forgiveness later rather than try to convince her that I need fireworks.)  I needed a break anyway.  The headwind was a real drag and after doing fifty miles of hills into the wind (it shifted after I turned to come home) I was pooped.

I logged 55 miles on the ride, and after about an hour of vegetated comatose state, I got back to work on the yard while Sarah went on her bike ride.  Closer to dark we all piled into the car and headed to Laurel for the fireworks.  The girls had a blast, even Evie who cried, screamed and hid from the fireworks while clapping for them.  It was pretty funny.  We set of the fireworks that I bought tonight.  I'm convinced they just don't make them the same as they used to.

15 Miles
Nathan and I got together for a Saturday morning mountain bike ride up on the rims.  I slept in and raced over to meet him.  Still battered from last weeks wreck, I rode cautiously but had a great time.  I even tried the big rock again.  Nathan can clean it every time so I have to try when he is around.  I'm still not used to my disc brakes so I took a couple approaches before I felt comfortable with them, then dropped back behind the seat and went for it.  The problem was, when I tried to get back on my seat, my shorts got stuck and I ran into the bush.  Cleaned the rock but crashed into the bush, pathetic.  Anyway, besides that, I had a great time and am loving my new mountain bike.  Sarah and Spence love their 5 inches of float on the suspension but I'm so used to not really having any that it's a little unnerving still.  I lock it out whenever I don't need it.  But it sure is great on the bumpy sandstone on top of the rims.  I let Nathan ride my bike for a bit while I tried his mountain bike with no suspension.  My wrist where throbbing when we traded back and he dusted me while I slowly jolted myself silly on the rocks.  It makes a huge difference.