Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Hotter'N Hell Hundred: The rest of the ride

I left off with our riding on a long, lonely road. The trick is to not look up so you won't get discouraged as you look down, down, down the road.

Rest Stop 6 coming up. Only 40 more miles to go.
This guy has it all figured out. He has a wind shield to assist with his aerodynamic posture. But perhaps best of all, he brings his own shade. 
 Edie still being a trooper and leading the way.
 Just like home. Healthy cotton fields dotted the way.
Distance, wind, heat, and humidity start to take their toll. 
 Get in the shade? What shade?
 Green grass will do.
 Surprise, surprise. About mile 63, Edie and I stopped along the road. Up rolled Mark Robinson (Cowboy). Edie had an injured toe that would not stop hurting so she decided to SAG at this point. She was lucky to find a space on the trailer as it was full of riders.
 Any pretense of a shade will do. 
 This shade looked inviting. Somewhere along here I told Mark that I was going to stop and stretch before I had no choice, and that I would see him later. I did, but only at the finish line.
 I think this was mile 70, but who was counting?
 An eon later, I think I approached the mile 80 rest stop.
 I saw Brian under the blue tent. I had teased him that he was to wait for me at the 70, not 80 mile marker. He told me that his heart started racing so he was going to listen to his body and SAG in. I wanted him to continue riding with me as we had only a "short Wednesday ride" to go. He wisely said no, he was going to listen to his body. I should have listened to him and my body--but no. After lying down for a while I hopped back on the bike to finish the ride. 
 For a while, I was lucky enough to draft off this gentleman. We were straight into the 20+ mph wind, and he was a big help. But, when we hit a shady spot along the way, he decided to stop. I thanked him for letting me draft, but I should have stopped with him.
 Approaching Sheppard AFB. I had heard it was less than 10 miles away from the finish line so my spirits rose.
 Sheppard has impressive displays.
Pilots are available to answer questions from riders and visitors.
And then. Soon after taking this picture I came to an intersection leading out of the base. BOTH legs cramped and froze. Luckily, I managed to unclip to avoid falling. But I just stood there unable to get the leg muscles to unfreeze. Eventually the cramps let up enough for me to dismount the bike. I was going to push the bike to shade and stretch my legs.
I couldn't walk without cramping. A SAG vehicle was approaching. I signaled for him to stop--my ride was over.
My Garmin showed 93 miles.
Mike, George, and Cowboy all finished the 100 miles. Wish I could have been with them, but I waited until my body was screaming before I listened to it. Another lesson learned, or will I soon forget the pain and do something foolish like that again?


  1. I feel your pain. I was about to pack it in at the Sheppard AFB rest stop, but it didn't appear any ASAG vehicles were coming through. I went ahead and finished. I'm the guy who introduced myself to you along the I-44 frontage road. See my blog:

    1. Hi Ray. Glad you finished. Even after SAGing in, I had a hard time walking. I pushed my bike for a block and a half (to Howard Johnson), walking like a zombie.

  2. Just got home to discover that you've posted one of my biggest "assets." Geesh. I was afraid that was going to happen.
    By the way, my sister saw the two of us on TV as we were riding out of town. We were both smiling then... little did we know what was coming ;)

    1. Edie, your first paragraph sounds like Christine. I tell her just don't go faster than me.

      Really enjoyed riding with you. We hope you make it back to HHH in the future. I may be riding the 100K and cheering you in as you finish the 100 mile.