Last Sunday, I had placed the GA-400 Century on my calendar, and therefore, I had to do it. Aftering riding the Louisville course and talking with several people, I decided to swap out my standard crank on my tri bike for the compact crank on my road bike. With the help of Tom Kingery, we made it happen just in time for this 101 miler. I had heard that it was a beast of a ride that included "The Three Sisters," three consecutive climbs that sounded brutal. Steve, one of the leaders for the Gwinnett Tri Club, posted that he was riding it too and wondered if anyone else was. That worked out well to have someone for those lonely miles. We met up at the start and got in line. I was pretty stoked to ride on GA-400, which is basically a freeway that runs into the heart of Atlanta. Honestly, it wasn't all that it was cracked up to be, and we ended up just riding down one exit and then got on surface streets. Anyway, there were TONS of people there! Please excuse the retarded look on my face, but this will give you an idea of the people doing the ride.
It was actually pretty tough riding with everyone so close together. In these pics, it had already started to thin out. Soon enough, we were at the first SAG stop, which we skipped. 9 miles and need something? Come on! :)
The ride went really smoothly. Steve and I hung together all day and just enjoyed chatting it up. My goal was to be in the 17-18mph range, but that didn't quite happen. The first 9 miles were so conglomerated with other bikers, that there was no way to go fast. Oh yeah, and those three sisters slowed us down quite a bit! But, thanks to the wisdom and help from a lot of you, I had the right crank for the job and was able to climb without any issues.
The course finished with a pretty tough climb for the last mile. Not cool, guys! Not cool! All in all, it was a great day. Thanks, Steve, for making the day enjoyable! We finished with a 16.7 average, and I'll call that a good ride!
This morning, I went out for another pretty long ride. I decided to ride around Lake Lanier. I was scheduled for a 4 hour ride, so I figured about 70 miles would be great. It was an overcast day, and although the sun didn't make me sweat, the humidity made me start dripping almost instantly. At about the 3-hour mark, I stopped at the third crossing of the lake to enjoy some nutrition while taking in the view.
I tried to pick up the pace for the last hour and ended up with 17.8mph for 71.37 miles. I had enough time before it started to rain to do a short brick run to loosen up the legs. All in all, it was a perfect training day to spend with Clifford!
This week is going to be another hectic week of balancing schedules and time. SEVEN more weeks till raceday!