Mileage: 106.93 miles
Riding Time: 9:13 Riding Speed 11.6 mph
Total Time: 11:42
Climbing: 6716 ft.
I promised people that I wouldn’t do anything stupid, so I accepted a ride in the SAG Wagon for about 25 miles in the middle of today’s ride. I apologize if some of you lost bets as a result. The threatened thunderstorm did not come, but I think that I must have offended the wind gods with my gloating on Day 6, so they reversed the wind. We had an 8-10 mph headwind all day, gusting to about 15 at times. The day started with a 20 mile climb and it simply took the power out of my legs. By the first SAG stop I was dead last and realized that if I did not do something, I would not finish in daylight. By accepting the ride at that time, it allowed the staff to keep the SAG stop/lunch schedule.
We hit the high point of the tour – about 7,500 feet, and it was snowing. Because of the wind, it was coming down in our faces, and it stung, but for those of you used to living in snow, it was surely no big deal. But it took me nearly two hours to thaw out when we got to the motel. The motel is the first one without some other stores/restaurants near by, so everyone ordered Domino’s Pizza delivered, and I got water from the vending machine.
I have not experienced what I am going through before in my life: I don’t feel completely done in, like I would after a hard race, for example, but there is just no power there. I can only get my HR to 125 bps, instead of the normal 160. I am told that this is normal, and I will return to a new plateau about two weeks after the end of the tour. Knowing that it is normal doesn’t make it less frustrating, however.
Mike just called, moving tomorrow’s rider’s meeting from 6:45 AM to 7:45. I think he is rewarding us for our efforts today. Tomorrow has little climbing, and instead of gaining 1400 feet, we lose 2400 feet. It will be the first of ten consecutive days where we lose net elevation.