Saturday, June 2, 2012
What I'm In For
The first sharp uphill you see there on the map above is The Switchbacks. (They are capitalized, for maximum ominousness.) These have been what worry me the most, as it's such a steep climb and everyone who's done this talks about them as though they are An Ordeal. If the climb didn't last several miles and just get super-steep there, I'd be less worried. But that's a lot of time to climb, even if it comes very early in the ride when my legs will still be fresh.
The other big worry is the 8-mile climb to Spooner Junction, that big ole mountain near the end. It's a far more gradual climb, they tell me - like biking into a strong headwind - so it's less frightening to me. However, it comes when you're 80 miles in. And that is a LOT to ask of legs that have already gone 80 hilly miles. But damn, that downhill is just gorgeous and lasts for ages.
After driving the last 12-ish miles of the course yesterday, on our way into town (from the top of Spoon Junction on to the end), I am now far more alarmed at the whole rest of the course - all the hills that aren't the switchbacks or Spooner. Because those little-looking hills at the end, see those? We drove over those. And they are - just not easy. They're the kinds of hills I see on a ride when I'm already tired and they just make me want to cry. If the rest of the course is filled with these "little" hills, it's not going to be a good time for our fair heroine, let me tell you. As my teammate Matt said yesterday: this is nothing like Barrington. It's like Barrington like how Indianapolis is like Chicago. As in, not very. A vague echo in roughly the same albeit miniaturized shape.
Here's the truth: I have no clue if I can do this. I mean, maybe I can but there is actually a time limit. We start at 6:10am and have to be off the course by 5pm. There are a lot of downhills to go with those uphills, but I really don't know what my speed will be like. The course is around the lake (72 miles) with an out-and-back to Truckee. If you reach the turn-off to Truckee too late in the day, then they won't let you go there and you just continue around the lake. So we'll see if I make the cut.
And of course, let's not forget that the most mileage I've ever done is 63-ish miles. And that is far short of 100. So. There's that.
There is also, however, my stubbornness and persistence and pride. I think it's likely I'll get mad and do all 100 miles entirely out of spite. (Spite for...I dunno, the hills? My inner self who will want to give up?) Anyway, everyone who knows me agrees that it's highly likely I will do the full mileage no matter the hills, or quite literally die trying. And since I don;'t feel like dying, then I guess 100 miles it is!