Sunday, June 21, 2009

Horribly Hilly Almost Hundreds

Sunday was the Horribly Hilly Hundreds. This was my third consecutive HHH, and as always, lived up to its name. I do the easy 100K course with nearly 6000 feet of vertical. There is also a 2000K course with double the climbing. Both rides culminate at the top of Blue Mound State Park with a three and a half mile grind through the last 900 feet of elevation gain.

These are the roads that comprise the tentative Olympic course. The quality of the roads are fantastic, and the brutality of the terrain is undeniable. It would make for an awesome single day race. This year, for me, it was horribly, it was hilly, but it was just shy of the hundreds. What follows is a play by play of the comical, painful, and delicious moments of the day.

03:00 Wake Up - My eyes burned pretty bad after a scant three and a half hours of sleep.

03:05 High Pressure Explosion - I had a violent, hot and messy explosion trying to relieve a little pressure from the espresso machine. Lesson learned.

03:30 Pick up - Picked up John Dell'Osso and hit the road.


04:48 Good Morning Officer - Got pulled over for going 9 over. The cop was cordial and maybe a little disappointed that we weren't drugged out, drunk driving club kids headed back to the safety of the suburbs. Lost 20 minutes, but feel lucky to have escaped without a ticked.

05:30 Live Bait - Stopped at a gas station that had a serious live bait setup with six 80 gallon percolating tanks and two big refrigeration units. Fatheads, leaches and a variety of insects made for a pretty awesome site.


06:00 Wrong Turn - Now we're going to be 30 minutes later than we thought.

06:30 Another Wrong Turn - I'm being to think we're going to miss our launch window and all of the sudden feel more comfortable speeding.

07:00 Horribly Hilly Mass Start

07:25 Register - Got there late, but it didn't seem to be a problem as riders where still rolling out.

08:00 Set Sail - We bomb down 900 vertical feet to start the ride. Hell yeah!

08:30 Last Wrong Turn of the Day - A few miles in to the ride I realize we've made our third wrong turn of the day (first and only wrong turn on the bike). We're still with a bunch of riders but we missed the first seven miles of the course and a really nasty climb.

09:30 Big Talk - John and I start talking about climbing the last hill twice to make up for what we missed.

10:30 More Big Talk - We're feeling really good and figure we should ride the first seven miles we missed to properly make up for our navigational error.

11:45 Reality - A stint on a 16% grade ended all conversations about riding the few miles we missed at the beginning.

12:25 Foreign Language - As we approach the last climb my quads send a strange, garbled message to my brain. Everyone we're riding with is very quite and I empty all but a a few ounces of my water bottles to prevent carrying any unnecessary weight.

12:30 A Presto - We begin the final climb. A three and a half mile grind through the last 900 feet of elevation gain.

12:32 Que Catso Fai?! - My right leg says "what the fuck, I'm done." A nasty cramp totally locked out my leg. I had never cramped that bad in my life and found that Sunday morning, 18 hours after the ride, I was still seven pounds lighter than I should have been even after drinking tons of water.

12:33 Prego Mi Gambi! - I'm back on the bike after delivering a pep talk to right leg and giving it a quick stretch.

12:5? Victory - 150 feet behind John, I roll across the finish line with my pride in tacked and a personal victory achieved. Not unlike Giuseppi Guerini winning on top of le Alpe d'Huez shortly after being knock over by a fan, I felt good about over coming something that for a moment seemed insurmountable. I've got a great Guerini story to tell, but I'll wait until next winter when there's nothing to blog about...


13:15 Paulina Meat Market - John and I sit down for some proper post ride nutriment: spicy lamb and honey pork sticks from Paulina Meat Market, prosciutto, baguette, Laughing Cow, fruit, ice cold soda, frozen Snickers...

16:00 Back to the Future - Since when did Flux Capacitors look like lawn chairs?


18:00 Home
- I get home and plow a huge plate of fish tacos while my girls hear every detail of the ride. Ruby was as captivated by my flailing arms and vacuum-like appetite as she was to hear I climbed a mountain.

***

The most important thing I learned about myself this year at the HHH was that having more responsibility at work, a second child, and being a year older has taken a little out of me. I'm going to have to get focused asap for cross season.

Thanks to all the people who put on a great event. If anyone plans to do it next year watch out, registration fills up in minutes.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Mea culpa on the 7 mile shave. My bad.
-John "Pierre Pressure" Dell'Osso