Knowing I have the tendency to drag my stories out, I’ll try and keep it as brief as possible this time.
I met Jacob at Mountain of the Rogue. It was Jacob’s first time riding MOTR and he seemed to enjoy it. The recent rains had made the trail a little less loose than it was the last time I rode it and I think that contributed to me being able to stay on the bike instead of slamming my face into a log this go around.
After a couple of 7 mile laps, It felt like a good day.
I rode with the group in Jacksonville for a while before splitting off and hitting a few trails solo and then heading home. Another good day on the Toa. I had Derek at Unreal change out my 34 tooth chain ring for a 32 on Monday and I definitely noticed my knees feeling happier during and after Tuesday’s and Wednesday’s rides.
I settled for a quick spin on the C3 around the valley to remind my legs what it feels like to not be grinding up hills for a change.
I woke up 25 minutes before my alarm went off so I started getting ready. It was 3:25 am. After changing my mind about what I wanted to ride several times over the previous couple days, I finally landed on the Triple Dog Dare.
There’s other names for the ride, but that’s what I called it when I did it last year and before I knew there was a name for it. What is the Triple Dog Dare?
Well, it’s a ride that involves climbing to the summits of both Dead Indian Memorial Road and Greensprings, as well as climbing up to the ski lodge on Mt. Ashland. Only 11,500′ total. No problem!!
Parking my car at the bottom of the last 2 climbs, I headed back up the road I’d driven and after a nice little warm up, I was starting up Dead Indian at just past 5:30 am. The climb was nice and cool and I felt good. About half way up, though, I started hitting some strong headwinds. I had the pleasure of dealing with them the rest of the way to the summit.
Descending was kind of fun. The headwind was now a tailwind most of the time so I was cruising pretty good. I will say, the deep dish aero wheels really catch sidewinds. Definitely more than a few pucker moments as I was blown sideways from time to time by unexpected changes in wind direction.
After a quick stop at base camp to refill my water bottles, it was on to the Greensprings climb. Once again, I was dealing with winds blasting around every curve of the mountain, but this time I was glad as the day was warming up and they helped keep me cool. By 9 o’clock, I was rolling back down towards the car and another water refill.
Finally, after 6500′ of climbing, my legs were starting to feel it. I had one more climb left, but it’s the big one. Just another 5000′ over the next 16 miles and I would be finished with the climbing.
As I was filling my bottles before the final ascent, I watched several riders turn up the hill I was getting ready to ride. Bad news. I’m sure I’m not the only guy that sees a rider in front of him and tries to catch them. Well, that’s what I did. Unfortunately, there was a long string of such riders so I was pushing myself harder than I probably should have but it’s so fun!
By the time I reached the turn off to the Mt A access road, I realized I only had about one bottle’s worth of water left. Meh…What’s the worst that could happen?
Suffice it to say, I ran out completely 4 miles from the top and ended up having to take a few breaks in the shade just to make sure I finished the task at hand! I spent as little time at the top and set a couple personal records on the descent. All I could think about was a nice big, cold drink of water.
After trying to decide what to do for a recovery ride, I wound up doing 18 miles on and around Roxy Ann.
Over the last 18 months I’ve done at least one century every month. With one weekend left and no century completed for July, I know what I’ll be doing next week.