Well, I am home and hopefully rested. It was a great weekend with my first double century in gosh, who knows how long.
The weekend started Thursday night, of course. I was getting my stuff ready for my Friday ride and when I went out to air up my tires, I had another flat. This is the second surprise "flat in the garage" flat in 3 days - one in front one in back. Since I have had 2 flats in as many weeks on the front tire I decided to change the tire. I hate putting on new tires and with much gnashing of teeth, got the new tire and tube on the rim. By the time I had all my stuff together, it was 11:30. When the alarm went off, I just went back to sleep. Over sleeping is bad because of the heat. So I had to cut 25 miles off my planned ride to get home and showered before leaving for Pat's.
Arrived at Pat's in time for dinner and went to the Tacoria with Pat and Cindy. It is a small local authentic Mexican restaurant with really cheesy enchiladas. When we got back, Pat and I discussed the merits of taking links out of my chain so I could use my 11/28 wheel instead of my 11/32. He believed that the chain would be fine. So I changed the back wheel to the 11/28 and rode it up the block and all seemed to work fine. Off to bed.
4 am came pretty fast, but I was up and ready to ride by 5. Pat and I were just going to do a "fast" 100k before the 200k that would start at 2:30. At 5 am the temperature was in the 70's but the humidity was oppressive. It felt much hotter already compared to 6 am in Ridgeland. Getting on to the levy, the overflowing Mississippi was very evident. I love riding the levy when the Mississippi is high because it brings the most wonderful water fowl - birds you would normally never see. The ride out to Crab Trap was uneventful as was the ride back. We finished the ride in 4 hours and 50 min. I retired to Pat's "cassita" - the apartment in his back yard for a shower and a nap. 61 miles down, 140 to go.
At 1 pm, Pat and I headed out to Audubon Park to meet the others. We would have 3 new randos on this ride and one person doing his second brevet, Ebon. Each of the guys had cycling experience of various degrees. Mark from Lafayette, has completed several double centuries out in California, Jeff T from NOLA is more of a racer or club rider around the NOLA area, and Jeff H "the Juggler" is a commuter who builds his own bikes. Both Jeffs had never ridden more than about 75 miles at once before this ride. Also rounding out the crew was Steve and Doug.
At 2 pm it was very hot - road temp was 110 actual was 95. I was starting the ride a little sluggish, but I knew just to keep my ride at a moderate speed and let the new guys exercise their testosterone. The guys always try to ride out too fast. I know Ebon and Jeff H would be slower as their cycling was more of the touring variety and not the "go fast" variety. It was very hot on the levy and as the bends in the river changed directions, so did the winds. At times we seemed to have a crosswind and others a head wind. It seemed heavier than the single digit winds predicted. I like headwinds in the heat as they keep you cooler than a tailwind. The heat was taking an early toll on the guys - both Doug and Ebon were out of water in the first 20 miles so we pulled off the levy to stop at a gas station for ice and water. Not long after this stop, Ebon decided to turn back as he had been sick and was already bonking. Doug came up behind me on this section and asked if I had poured water over my head or was I just sweating heavy. I was just sweating heavy - my hair was dripping like a leaky faucet. The group continued to the detour around the spillway on Hwy 61. I don't like Hwy 61, but it is the only way when the spillway is flooded. We sprinted the 4-5 miles of that section and I was ready to slow it down back on river road. The group stayed together loosely to LaPlace. At this point, I have ridden 50 miles without a bio break. I drink a V8 an make myself "go".