IM Louiville

IM Louiville
Bikes racked at Ironman Louisville 2010

Monday, September 04, 2006

Wright Stuff

I was in a rush to pack my things to get up to Madison to do this Wright Stuff ride. Although they had a century (100 mile) option, we had chosen the 60 mile option. When you're starting out, 100 miles seems like no big deal. But for anyone who has ridden the hills of Madison, you know how quickly you realize how happy you are that you chose the 60 mile option. EVEN BETTER would have been the 30 mile option! But are you really going to drive to Madison to bike ride 30 miles? Probably not.

I was pretty much out of my league with the bikers I had chosen to do this ride with. Almost all of them were pure cyclists by nature. Thankfully, I wasn't "shunned" for being a triathlete. Of course, I did not bring my TT bike. That would have been a big no-no. For this group of riders, the 18-19 mile per hour pace was "taking it easy." Are they nuts?? No, they are just well-trained.

It was 26 miles before we hit the first SAG stop, and I couldn't have been happier. I was relieved to find out they had only been waiting about 3 minutes before I got there. The way they took off at the beginning made me ponder the fact that they could have been waiting 30 minutes before I got there!! We replenished our drinks, had some cookies and bananas and were off again. I only hoped it wasn't another 26 miles before we hit another SAG stop.

The hills were tough. Well, none of them was quite as steep as the most difficult one at IMWI, but there were lots of hills that were quite long. And most of the time, just when you thought you were at the top, you were seriously disappointed as the road turned and you still had more than a quarter mile of climbing to do.

I was able to get up to 38 miles per hour on some of the downhills, which can be a bit disconcerning when going around a corner. Although the roads are great, the scenery beautiful up in in Madison, less can be said for the irate drivers who seem more than put out to be sharing their roads with the cyclists. I didn't see any automobiles try to take any of the cyclists out, but they drove by at speeds of over 70 mph and many times beeped very rudely (i.e., not the courteous, "hey, I'm behind you" beep). I guess that's never going to stop.

I caught my second wind with about 12 miles left to go. Maybe it's just that I could smell that the end was near. Or maybe I just wanted to get the hell off my bike as fast as possible, but I did a fair amount of drafting for a few miles and it felt fantastic! See, that's the one thing cyclists are used to that we triathletes are not. They draft in their pace lines, each taking turns "pulling". In triathlon, all that drafting is illegal, so we don't really practice it in training.

We had the most perfect day to ride. It was only a little cool to start in the morning and it never really got "hot" outside. There was a bit of wind toward the end, and we were able to escape the inevitable rain storm that was slowly moving in.
What a great way to spend Labor Day weekend. I hope to be able to do this ride again in future years.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

"Wright" is really how its pronunced on the souse side of the city....EEEEEEEEYYYYYYYYYAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHH!!!