Saturday, September 6, 2008

The 2008 Reston Century - Part Three

At one point on Taylorstown Road, I reversed course in search of Lou who had disappeared on one of the tough climbs. I was afraid the fast early pace had taken a toll on my son-in-law who was still a novice at riding long distances. The Reston was his first Century and it was not an easy ride. It is long, had little flat roads, tough rollers, and a few nasty climbs. And the day was heating up fast.

Lou informed me he was cooked and for me to remove the fork from his back. He was planning to stop when he reached Hamilton Park after about 60 miles. I rejoined Stacy and we spun our way back to Hamilton. We passed Steve on Hamilton Station Road.

"Don't wait or me," Steve informed us when we passed. "I am cooked and will take it easy back to Reston." There was lots of cooking goin' on today!

As soon as I stopped in the park I noticed the heat. Without the wind chill effect while riding it was hot! There is nothing like rollers and short nasty climbs to heat me up. I wonderered how the South Loop would treat me.

I ate a handfull of cookies - good homemade oakmeal with raisins which I love. I filled water bottles, one with water and one with Gatorade. I also ate bread smeared with peanut butter, two bananas, a few orange slices, and drank a bottle of cold water.

We regrouped at the street. "Hey, Spiders, you did great on Stumptown. We were out there and saw you tackle those climbs without any problems," one of the RBC guys told us. He was directing traffic at the street.

"You saw these young guys, not me," I laughed as I pointed to the group. Most of my fellow Spiders were 25-30 years younger than me.

"Where are you from?" he asked. No one responded since we were from all over Northern Virginia and not really an organized club.

"Spiderville," I said.

"Well, you have the 23 mile South Loop, then back here. Then it's home free back to Reston." Easy for him to say since he was not riding the miles in the heat I thought. And trying to keep up with these young people. I was impressed with Jody and of course Buster was super strong as all RAAM riders had to be to complete that grueling 3,000 mile ride.

"Turn left at Maple, go thru Lincoln and to Snickersville...." He saw me nodding my head. We knew the route, unfortunately.

The wind was desert-like. It was dry just like the weather had been for weeks. Surely it would rain soon and hush the tree frogs who had been advertising dry weather since mid-July. I looked forward to Lincoln Road because it was shaded most of the time. I did not look forward to the rollers of Snickersville and the mad traffic on Route 690.

I hung on by my nails as we flew through Lincoln at 30 MPH. Good Lord, I thought, what will my legs think! The group was in a single file pace line and it was quiet - always a signal of serious cycling. When the rollers started the pack split into two groups with me falling into the second one. Oh well....

Six rollers dominate the miles between Watermill and Route 690. It is up or down with no flat road. I was happy to turn onto Route 690. On one climb traffic backed up behind a group of cyclist and I biked beside a Honda.

"Hey, how about a tow?" I asked the young lady sitting in the passenger seat.

"Sure, grab on," she laughed. I was kidding, of course. In Purcellville Stacy and I passed the main group and pushed for Hamilton and the cold drinks waiting for us. How much water could I drink and still bike I wondered. I was cramping as was everyone. It was impossible to drink enough fluid in the heat and dry wind. I had not paid my water bill in hours or days it seemed. It was not a good sign.

To be continued.

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