Sunday, July 23, 2006

The Windmill Century or How I learned to love the bonk....

Friday Morning started out fine. I decided to be lazy and not ride. I watched the tour instead. It was a breakaway, which was what I was expecting, Got some housework before heading over to Tom and Sue's. We loaded up the truck and headed out with Fred and Sylvia.

We stopped and In N' Out in Newhall and had lunch. Got caught in Traffic in Santa Barbara. We were out of traffic and soon turned off the 101 and onto highway 1 for the scenic cruise into Lompoc. Tom and Sue were surprised by how small Lompoc is(42,000). It's about the size of the town in Missouri where I grew up(Cape Girardeau). we checked into the hotel Fred and Sylvia had to convince the clerk to give them another room. Some thing about hauling a tandem up to the fourth floor. we had dinner at Lompoc's only Italian place. We were all remarking how cool it was. It was in the 70's, compared to the 100's in Cucamonga . Guess I've turned into a Desert Rat. The dinner was uneventful, aside from the couple next table that left without paying. Carbo loaded up, we headed back for the Quality Inn.

In morning we all got up bright and early. Sue has managed to miss the Solvang century since she started riding, either due to illness or weather, so she was asking me if we were on the Solvang route, which were were for the first couple of miles. We were soon at the registration tables in Los Alamos. My line moved faster that there, so I was soon off riding.

I was setting a fairly brisk tempo up Aliso Canyon. We were soon going downhill and came to the intersection with Foxen Canyon and the Twin windmills that give the ride its name:

I rode down Foxen and to the first rest stop with a Lady from Agoura Hills. Soon after we got we there, Tom and Sue and Fred and Sylvia showed up on their

tandems. I took off with them , and got dropped soon after wards.


I was still maintaining a brisk pace. Sometime in the next interval, My bike started making a Thumping noise. I first thought I had ran over some bubble gum or tar, and it would wear off. After about 10 miles, I gotoff my bike and found a bulge in my rear tire. The SAG van soon pulled in behind me. I thought my century was over at mile 33.There was a reporter from the Santa Maria Sun in the Van, so I wound up giving an interview. After I had mentioned that this would my goal of riding a century a month short, Jody, the driver of the van, mentioned that he could give me a tire which he had gotten on a used bike that was identical to mine that was at his house, which was only a block off the course in Santa Maria. I took him up on it. He offered to drive me back so I could still do a century, but I did not want to inconvenience Tom and Sue too much.

We soon had the bike on the road and I pedaled a block to the second rest stop. I met Tom and Sue and Fred and Sylvia there and told them of my adventure. They, in turn, fed me the latest Tour De France news. The camera battery's also died. I was wasn't that hungry, so I had some Grapes and Strawberrys and set off on the next leg to Guadalupe. This covered some more of Solvang route. It was dead flat , which meant killer headwinds. I spent a lot of time in the drops. Had some more strawberrys and some bananas there and took off again. I saw a sign that said the beach was only 4 miles. and I was feeling pretty good, so I figured Tom and Sue wouldn't mind if recouped my miles. I soon found the ocean and was soon back on highway 1, perking along at 20 mph.

All good thing do come to an end. We turned off highway 1 and were greeted by a 2 mile long 8% grade. My average speed went from high 16's to a measly 14.8 and stayed there. I made up the hill, and found the fourth and final rest stop. We covered some more of the Solvang route before turning on route 135c to do to the 10 miles back to Los Alamos.

I think what happed next was that pushed myself too hard to see if I could get my average speed up above 15. It's a 1% grade all the way back. That, and I've lived out here long enough to lose my acclimatization to riding in high temps and high humidity. When I got back to the park, I could just barely make it up the hill. I wound stopping 50 short of Tom and Sue's truck. I more dehydrated than anything else. Another thing I should have done was to put my Camelbak in Fred and Sylvia's Fridge in their room. I soon managed to rehydrate myself,, and had some lunch. we had a break in Santa Paula, and were soon back in the Inland Empire, where it was a balmy 108 with a Thunderstorm

I started out with a goal of doing it under 7 hours. i had 6:20 on my heart rate monitor, but I only got in 93 miles. The “official” mileage was 96, so I didn't cut off too much. Still, I think I could do better

Next month: A Century With more “Cool Breezes”

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