So, after my comical Franklinton ride last weekend, I got my calendar from my coach, Michelle Grainger. She is having me ramp up to my Desert Camp next month. She is wanting me to ride a 200k+ every weekend in February. Plus, the 200k+ can't be an easy flat 200k, it needs to be pretty hilly. So, that means I need to ride either the Franklinton 200k or my Roosevelt Rough Rider this weekend. I posted the fact that I wanted to ride and the guys jumped on the chance to ride Franklinton again.
Friday night I drove to McComb to spend the night with Butch and his parents. His mom made a spectacular vegetarian chili. Saturday, we got a late start towards Franklinton arriving in the parking lot at the start time of 6:30. With Steve's help, I was able to get myself ready to roll in 15 minutes. Pat, Leroy, Butch, Steve and I pulled out ready for a great day of cycling.
The temps were 10 degrees warmer (high 40s) and I wore my wool gloves instead of my gore gloves and I wore toe covers instead of my thermal shoe booties. The rest of my layers stayed the same as last weekend. Within 3 miles, I took off my wool gloves and changed them to my PI gloves and I took off my jacket and buff. After taking the layers off I felt much better and was able to catch back up to the guys.
We rode without incident to the 40 mile point at the Dry goods store to turn into the headwind. I felt the wind was much harder to ride in this week to last week. Leroy disagreed saying that last week had more gusts. I know I was cycling harder, so maybe that was the difference. Anyway, I stopped a mile or so from the store for a bio break and all the guys passed me. With the headwind, I was never able to catch back up with them. This discouraged me. How can I ride in Arizona and across the US when I can't catch up with my friends that typically ride on the flats? I argued with myself trying not to let the fact that I had been dropped like a hot potato bother me. The guys were waiting for me at the turn, but I needed to stop for a bio break again, so I knew that I would get dropped if I did not take care of my business quickly. Alas, all but Butch passed me as I was pulling up my shorts and sprinting to the bike. The worst part of being a girl riding with guys is that I have to march into the woods to pee and they just barely pull off the road to take care of their business. This easily takes me 5 minutes longer than the guys (waaa, waaa). As Pat and Steve pass me, I yell at them and call them names that would get my mouth washed out with soap had I been caught by my parents! But calling them bad words made me laugh and I was able to continue this stretch with a smile on my face and I tried to treat that portion of the ride as a big training ride. Who needs to be pulled? I am strong enough to make it without sucking on someone elses wheel!
We got to Nick's grocery and once again I hurried to get my stuff together before the guys left. It was getting colder so I put my buff and vest on before heading out with Pat. I kept up with him for the most part until we hit the Gillsburg Church and turned out of the wind. I needed to pee again, so I did not wait on the guys at the info control. This time only Leroy passed me as I was taking care of business. Eventually the guys did catch up and we rode together to Kentwood and for the most part, we rode the entire rest of the way together.
So, I really felt like I was riding strong - especially after the turn at Gillsburg Church and even more so after Kentwood. There were no mechanicals or really even anything funny to report.
We finished with a new course PR - 11 hr 13 min - 58 min better than July 4th. However, my average speed was exactly the same. This bothers me as I am not showing any true improvement. I really hope this changes soon. I know I have to be faster for my cross country ride.
127 miles; 9:22 ride time; 11:13 total time; 13.5 mph ave; ave cad 81, max 107; ave HR 147 max 167; spent 8 hrs in HR 135-166; climbing 5001 ft (in July the monitor had 4500).