So today was the training ride for the K2, which is a 192km ride, that takes place on Oct 27th. So I spent yesterday after work tuning up my bike. I adjusted the brakes, derailleurs, cleaned the chain, and wiped it down. It almost looked like a new bike. It felt like one this morning when I left the flat at 4:50 am. I had to be at the bike shop by 5:30 and wanted to be able to take a leisurely pace. Koop's is just over 10km from my flat and yes I did bike home after the ride today! Phil offered a ride home, but I wanted to spin on my legs.
There were several riders today, but I'm pretty sure I was the youngest. We departed Coromandel riding down Hwy 25, also known as the Pacific Coast Highway. We were greeted with Manaia Hill, 181m, shortly outside of town. The pack got separated right there. Several people were having issues early on. I started off feeling really good as I was passing people while talking up the hill. Then after the descent I spun waiting for others as I had no idea where I was going. I also wasn't carrying my cell. Shortly later, we say Craig taking photos at the top of Kereta Hill, 228m, and then it was a fairly level shot into Thames. I was riding solo by now and I just wanted to get to Thames without being caught, but that didn't happen. I was caught about 4km outside of Thames. I can't say I was surprised as I haven't been logging long distances. I have basically done a couple 40km rides since getting in NZ. For a recap: 2 sizable hills, 50+km, a strong head wind, and there were showers on and off during the first leg.
|2nd hill of the day and feeling fine.|
Once I crested the hill, the downhill was scary as hell. I kept feathering my brakes as I had no idea the condition of the road, the curviness, and I was expecting to see some crazy Kiwi drivers as well. I did manage to hit 65kph, but there were others hitting 75+. On this descent, my water bottle was almost rattled out. I pulled over to push it back down and I was caught by 3 other riders. These were the guys who were supposed to be spinning slowly for us in Thames. Evidently they went to the loo back in Thames and were working hard to catch us. I managed to become a wheel sucker at this point as my legs were shot and I just wanted some food and water. We had roughly 30km left at this point and the 3 guys took turns pulling the train. I didn't want to say anything, but there was a lot of wasted energy as the leaders would sprint to the the front instead of having the leader pull off and then join the back of the train. I just sucked their wheels as best as I could, but with all the spray from the rain I was concerned about my contacts. My sunglasses had long been put away as they were just blurred my vision. About 2km from the end, I was spent and dropped from the group and stretched out my back and legs.
I rolled up to the vans only a couple minutes after the others. We all congratulated each other. We then went and grabbed some food. I had a pb&j sandwich, a banana, yogurt, pizza, and a hot chocolate. We all talked about the up coming ride and what level each of us are going to sign up for. I told them that I hadn't been training at all for the ride, let alone the training ride and that a 40k ride this last week was one of my longest since I moved here. They are planning on the K2 and I just got confirmation that I don't have to work that day, so I'm going to see if can't get a ride up there and do the K2 as well. I'll spend the next several weeks riding as much as I can so I can make the first half of the ride without an issue, but its the half that I haven't ridden. That half has Pumpkin Hill, 240m, right outside of the starting point of Tairua followed by 3 hills after Whitianga; Kuaotunu Hill, 170m, Myundermans Hill, 145m, and Whangapoua Hill, 380m. That last one is right before Coromandel, then it follows the write up I posted above. I think I could be ready to finish the ride, but not race it.