Solvang turned out to be nasty nasty nasty.
I got out of bed the morning of the event at 1:30 am. I went to bed before nine but wasn't able to sleep well. (I never do the night before a event). I should have just stayed up!
I had a rough week. I spent Thursday afternoon in the Kaiser Hospital emergency room worried that I was having heart problems. I was experiencing mild equilibrium problems and shortness of breath while driving to work a couple of times during the week. I felt fine while riding my bike in training. Better safe than sorry they say!
After getting a battery of tests....EKG, full blood workup, chest X-ray, full bottle of saline in a IV, etc. etc.,
everything turned out perfect. The doctor said he has seen endurance athletes who are over trained sometimes have this type of symptom and I did have the same thing happen about 6 years ago but a little different, (same tests and even a MRI of my head to see if my acoustic tumor was coming back...same results...everything good). Anxiety was a big part of it coupled with too much caffeine.
I left home for Solvang at two thirty am and had a nice drive the whole way. I love driving in the early morning!!
The ride start for the Spring event is in Buellton, California, about two miles from Solvang.
|Start group just after 5am|
|Heading out of Solvang|
The above video is of the group I started with climbing Foxen Canyon in the pre-dawn hours.
|Ken is middle left and Jason is in the Furnace Creek 508 jersey on his right. Heading into Santa Maria.|
I rode with these guys on and off all the way to San Luis Obispo.
Before hitting Santa Maria we turned right and went up Bull Canyon which was a nice little climb up to Hwy 166. Then it was down to Thompson road which parallels Hwy 101 all the way to Arroyo Grande.
Once in Arroyo Grande it was a slight uphill to the Lake Lopez area before a left turn toward San Luis Obispo. Still no rain yet. Maybe we will be lucky and it wont rain.......NOT!!!
About 2 miles from town, the deluge began. It started raining pretty steady as we pulled into check point two at the Park on Orcutt Road.
|Teresa really came prepared....nice rain suit!!!|
|Time to pull on the rain gear.|
Rain rain rain all the way through Morro and Los Osos and lunch at the golf course. Then it let up just in time to eat a great sub sandwich.
I saw my pilot friend Paul from Santa Rosa and we talked for a while.
I then started to get the chills so I had to get rolling. It really started to pour as we made our way to Shell Beach, Pismo Beach and Oceano on PCH. From Oceano, in the pouring rain, we climbed up on the mesa that rises above the area. Some pretty tough little climbs in there. It was much nicer climbing in the rain than going fast in it.
Now we hit the mud and muck as we dropped off the mesa toward the town of Guadalupe. All the mud and crap from the farmers tractors was on the road, in our gears, mouths, eyes, nose, pants, shoes...everywhere....many places I wont mention!!
When we pulled into the fourth checkpoint the rain miraculously stopped and the wind stopped. I started to bonk, (glycogen depletion), about 2 miles from the stop and I felt like crap!!!
I did the correct thing. I pounded down 2 sandwiches, finished all my liquid fuel, ate a pack of Cliff Blocks and filled everything back up for the next shlog to Los Alamos.
After about 20 minutes I started feeling great. I had caught it soon enough. If you bonk bad, you cannot recover and it is painful to get through the rest of the ride. It takes a long time to recover.
I headed back out with the fixie guys and stayed with them the rest of the ride.
As soon as we left Guadalupe it started to rain hard again and it pretty much rained the entire way back to the finish. Not to mention we had a head wind all the way to Los Alamos.
This year the course was changed and we took a new route to the finish. The old course had us taking Drum Canyon over the mountain and back to Hwy 246 where we made a left turn and fast ride to the finish in Buelton. The road is very treacherous and full of pot holes especially on the descent.
|Ken and Jason climbing Foxen Canyon on their fixies|
We took Alisos back to the reverse of the morning descent on Foxen Canyon for a 4 mile climb. Then we had a nice descent before rolling back into Solvang and Hwy 246 for a right turn and 2 mile finish to Buelton.