The Bike...Part Deaux
So we left off yesterday with me rolling over the mid way timing mat at 19.12 mph. We had turned into the wind, but it was considerably less wind than what Greyhound and I had been dealing with on our training rides. I was now three hours into my ride and if I played my cards right, it would only take me three hours to get back to T2!
I turned off of FM 2562 and headed east on FM 2819. I had a crosswind and I took advantage of it by getting my speed up to 21 mph. I knew that later on my speed would be in the 14 mph range on some of the hills. I grabbed a bottle of water at an aid station and proceeded to start dealing with "fast" boys who had stopped back at Special Needs and were now frantically trying to get back up in the crowd. Not just one person would pass, but a string of guys. I had to sit up in the saddle on three occasions to drift back and even spoke up to say, " Come on Dudes, pass already or drop back." They did not seem to thrilled that I told them that and tried to drop me. Eh, didn't work. I was soon rolling up on them just sticking to my pace and they were blocking the road, two abreast. "ON YOUR LEFT, MOVE RIGHT DUDES! Geezzz...."I did not see them again.
It was time to head south again on FM1486 and to start pedaling towards Dacus and Dobbin and into the wind. And this is where I started to sing in my head. At Arizona it was "One of These Things Is Not Like the Other" from Sesame Street. At Cozumel it was Katy Perry's "Waking Up in Vegas". Today it would be "Give Me Everything" by Pitbull and Ne-Yo. "Grab somebody sexy, tell 'em "Hey!", give me everything tonight!" Whoo Hoo! I was jamming on the bike. The hills were a little more challenging but I was drinking, eating, and singing. Some dude passed me and gave me a funny look. Crap, was I singing out loud?!? I thought that was in my head. OK, time for a self check here. Ooo, 10 mph up that big hill, 147 bpm heart rate. Focus! "I can't take it, take it, take it no more. Never felt like this, like this before. Come on get me, get me on the floor. DJ what you, what you waiting for???" Now Britney had come to join the party. Ooo, gotta pee again. Pretty soon it was time to leave Grimes Co. and start rolling over smoother pavement in Montgomery Co. YAHOO!!! We are heading home!!!
There was a string of hills that needed me to pay attention to my heart rate between Dacus and Dobbin but I felt like I was rolling along pretty well. I was surprised at the crowds of people gathered at the intersection of FM 1486 and Hwy 105. I heard later that just moments behind me a spectator walked out in front of a cyclist bombing down that hill and got hit pretty seriously. I also heard that traffic cops held up the athletes to let cars pass for at least 3 minutes. There were some unhappy people. Thankfully, I never ran into that. I was running low on water so at the next aid station on Jackson Rd., I grabbed a bottle and started moving down the road. This can be a fast stretch and I wanted to take advantage of it. I passed a kid that had passed me back around mile 20 and commented on my nice bike and I noticed that he was riding a Kuota as well. I noticed that he was 19 and riding the bike that was the next up from mine and darn expensive. I asked him how he could afford a bike like that at 19. He said his dad went in half with him for the bike. Must be nice. Tell your dad "thank you" kid! Ugh! People! Stop Drafting!!! Packs of three to seven riders would come barreling around me. Not safe because there was more car traffic on this road than I had seen all morning long. I had to sit up to drift back again and I was having to drift back due to these packs. I was not happy. I got down in my aero bars again and started to work when an official on a motorcycle rolled up next to me. ACK!!! I was less than four bike lengths away from the guy in front of me. I looked over at the official and worked on slowing my pace without stopping pedaling all together. "Did I startle you?", the official asked. Uh, duh! Yeah! "Yes, Ma'me." "Ok, just making sure you are paying attention and not zoning off. Have a good race.", she said. "Thank you." And then the motorcycle moved forward to look into that pack. HOLY C--P! I almost got nailed with a red card and a 4 minute penalty. Time to get my head back in the game.
We hit smooth pavement when Jackson became 149. Greyhound and I had been wondering when they were going to finish widening and adding a shoulder to this road. It had been in the works for weeks but the last time we rolled over it, the road was no where near finished and that was less than two weeks from the race. Well, it got finished, or at least part of it. The last mile and a half on that road was not finished and worse than the last time we were on it because they had grated the surface and it was rough enough to rattle your teeth out of your head. The car traffic was bad as well and cars were lined up waiting for the light. That forced us to draft and ride single file until we got up to the turn at the intersection. It was on to FM 1488 and to pass Magnolia HS where I do Masters Swim and then onto a stretch we call "The Dog Run" or Dobin-Huffsmith Rd. The sun was starting to peek out here and there and I was doing my best to keep the speed up with the increasing heat and the winds. I gotta go again!
Towards the bottom of Dobin-Huffsmith road, I grabbed another bottle of water at the 90 mile aid station and it was nice and cold. I drank some of it because it was colder than the water in my aero bottle and I sprayed some of it on my De Soto Arm Coolers and on my shorts. Man that felt good. Why had I not been putting water on these Arm Coolers sooner? We turned on FM 2978 and got a tailwind and a huge line of cars stopped on the road for traffic and they were actually being nice and cheering for us rather than cussing us out. I had some guy pass me and tell me "Go TEAM!" Thanks, I needed that. We turned into The Woodland through part of the residential area that I had never been through because we always went up to the Wal-Mart for a bathroom break. There were lots of cheering people and we needed it. The sun was out and it was HOT. I looked down at my watch. HOLY MOLY! I may finish this ride in under six hours!!!
We were back on The Woodlands Parkway. One more chance to get some food in me. Watch out behind, I gotta pee again. I was now passing guys that looked like they had cracked themselves on the bike and would be worthless on the run. The intersections were blocked so we had the right of way. Once on Grogan's Mill, I started thinking about getting my feet out of my shoes and the process of T2. The crowds of spectators were thick and crazy. We were rolling over a bridge that crossed over the run course, so there were lots of cheering people. Getting around the corner on Lake Robbins Dr. I could see the volunteers getting us to slow down as we approached the dismount line. I hopped off right before the line and I may have made it in right around 6 hours! WHOO HOO!!!
Ok, it is time for me to go to a swim meet for my kid, so I am leaving you hanging again until tomorrow. Remember, it is all about patience.