The Great Grasshopper Massacree in three part harmony of June 16, 2012
Well, it seems this ride was bound to be entertaining and interesting. I'd been wanting to get back into the 100 mile rides since my last one in March.
The fun started out before I even left the house, my digestive system decided since I was planning a big ride, it needed to go into overdrive, (at least I was lighter!) Then 15 miles into the ride, I pulled off at my normal, "It's time to water a tree stop" and ended up dumping the bike on the rocks and gravel. That little stunt cost me a bruised knee, ankle and tweaked elbow, along with some bar tape and a chunk of cable housing. And since I hit hard enough and torqued the front end of the bike, my headset came loose. This occasioned a call to my wife to meet me with headset tools out on the road. I figured unless I was bleeding severely or had trashed the bike I was going to ride so up the road I went.
As I was flying up Weston Road courtesy of a nice tail wind I remembered I'd forgot to start the ride with a prayer. I thought I'd covered the relevant issues during my prayer, safety, strength, endurance, health for a couple of very sick friends and for general grace and peace, it seems though I'd not asked for no biblical plagues.
The grasshoppers were out in force, thousands of them covering the roads. I had grasshoppers hitching rides on me, my bike, my helmet, gloves, and where I really didn't want them the crotch of my shorts. The road was a literal carpet of grasshoppers in some places. Riding along through those areas you got treated to a steady prolonged crunch crunch crunch crunch crunch crunch crunch crunch crunch as you went pedaling down the road. Auto traffic going by was the worst, a cloud of grasshoppers would kick up and you got to ride through them. At one rest stop I spent about five minutes picking grasshopper bits off my jersey.
From about mile 55 on I started noticing my rear wheel was dragging a bit, having a pathological hatred for all things disc brake now I immediately blamed the disc brake and adjusted the pads out where I thought it would quit dragging. Of course then I had no rear brake. Next rest stop the rear wheel was still dragging. This caused much consternation and consideration of just removing the entire brake in order to finish the ride. Instead I tweaked it some more and went down the road with the promise I'd remove the offending bit and go to a caliper brake.
More rest stops and Quicky Marts in Gunter, Tioga and Pilot Point. A quick shot of pickle juice and more water and ice as well as some food at each stop. By Pilot Point I was 72 miles in and beginning to feel it. Leaving Pilot Point I had 12 miles to go to the next stop in Celina. Those 12 miles were tough. I got trapped on a steep uphill with no shoulder to bail to, an impatient dually pickup pulling a trailer and lots of oncoming traffic. I had no option but to burn every match I had left and get up the hill as quick as possible. By the time I topped the hill, my heart rate was spiking and I was ready to fall over in the grass and just lay there. I managed to recover a bit and kept heading to Celina. By the time I got to Celina though, I was hurting. It took about 10 minutes of sipping cool water before I convinced my stomach it really didn't want to spatter its contents all over the sidewalk. More pickle juice, (by now thawed and warm, YUMM!), another big bottle of water, lots of ice and a Chocolate Chunk Rice Krispie treat and I was ready to go.
Mile 94 and a stop at Meyers Park for more food and stretches. I did try and bum a horse to tow me into McKinney but the owner didn't think that would work out to well. The run down FM1461 and onto Lake Forest gave me a bit of a second wind as I was feeling great. Felt really good coming up my nemesis hill by McKinney North and even recovered more waiting at the stoplight at Virginia and Lake Forest.
By the time I hit the driveway I hit 101.93 miles with a moving average speed of 16.1 mph. Not to bad for a former fat guy!
Strava link with ride data HERE.
Strava link with ride data HERE.
Oh and my rear brake? My wife discovered that my pump and rotated on its mount when I crashed and was dragging my rear tire, it wasn't the brake at all.