As I have in the three previous years, I rode the metric century course of the Elephant Rock Ride. Three words describe it best: hot, windy, and exhausting. I'm not sure I've felt worse by the end of any other ride (except maybe the 2001 Triple Bypass - but that was twice the distance and three or more times the climbing).
Rather than type in a whole description, I'm going to be lazy and paste in an email about the ride I sent to my friend Steve:
Today was the Elephant Rock bike rally, and it kicked our (Brian, Jason and my) asses. We did the metric century (actually 65.0 miles). The ride goes in a long, counter-clockwise rectangle, taking off in a southward direction from Castle Rock, CO. South is the direction of Monument Pass, and that means climbing. Yesterday was a truly beautiful day, and I was looking forward to another one today. Naturally, today, the wind was gusting 12 to 24 mph from the south. So, giant headwinds and lots of climbing ruled the first half of the riding and it really dragged me down. My foot started hurting a lot at around the 30 mile mark, so I had to nurse it a bit at rest stops. The second half of the ride was pretty good, offering a big tailwind, but it could have been so much better if I hadn't been so exhausted by the first half. Brian started cramping on a couple of climbs although he'd been drinking like a champ and eating nanners and energy bars all day.
Actually, a lot of my own suffering was probably due to me getting pretty dehydrated, even though I drank tons of water yesterday. I noticed during the ride that I wasn't peeing all that much, and that at some point I wasn't really even sweating all that much (at least for CO). At about the 40 mile point I started getting thirsty, and then I knew I was in trouble (it was sunny and in the low-90's by now). I drank as much as I could, but just never felt very good through the end of the ride. On the final big hill, I started getting a headache and an upset stomach, and was very near to getting off and walking. But I persevered and luckily, after the big hill it's about 10 miles of downhill into Castle Rock, so all's well that ends well. When I got home I weighed nearly three pounds lighter than in the morning, and that's after slamming a Pepsi and a bunch of water at the end party. Stupid bicyclist.
Posted: Tue Jun 08 19:34:50 -0700 2004