I’m finally out from under other obligations, and can write about a new race that has been added to the Kentucky Century Challenge: Bike Morehead.
Being on the third Saturday in June, Bike Morehead–which takes the place of what was the Preservation Pedal–is particularly challenging. Not only is heat and humidity a high risk, the course is exceptionally hilly. According to this profile, it appears to have about the same climbing as the Horsey Hundred. The problem is, those RideWithGPS profiles are subject to the settings on the GPS unit.
The official cue sheets we were given indicated almost 7,000 feet of climbing, with a large portion of it being in the first 30 miles.
I made it a point to drive that part of the course the day before. I can describe it in one word: brutiful. Very scenic, and very hilly.
Given that I had a triathlon the following day, I decided to hang out with the slowpokes. But, unlike the Horsey Hundred, I was well-rested for this one.
We departed at about 0630. The first ten miles were relatively flat and enjoyable.
At about mile 10, the fun began. The climbs were tough. Not as bad as Tussey Hill at the Redbud Ride, but more like repeats of the Peaks Mill climb at the Horsey Hundred. It was tough, but not too bad. Pulling into the first rest stop, at mile 25, we all felt somewhat relieved. The worst part was over.
From there, it was mostly flat, with a smattering of tough climbs here and there, just to keep us honest. And it was VERY scenic, providing a ride around a lake. A few of us were tempted to stop and take a swim!
On the back 50, the temperature began to climb, but–thankfully–there were some additional rest stops provided at the last minute. Hydration was never a problem. Nutrition was also not a problem.
At around mile 92, there was one brutal climb left: it was like Peaks Mill, but about twice as long. It was grueling, but not that bad.
After that, it was easy-peasy going in to the finish, where the folks at Morehead were providing a catered lunch/dinner.
This was one of the best rides on the KCC. My only problem was the large amount of time we spent on US 60; given the problems cyclists have had with bad drivers, including the Kalamazoo driver who killed five cyclists, I would have rather stuck to less-traveled roads.
Other than that, two thumbs up. Now my moral dilemma: whether or not to do the Hub City Tour in September. I would have no reservations about doing it, except that I have the Air Force Marathon the following Saturday. I have already qualified for my 300-mile jersey, so the Hub City would be purely for bragging rights.
Right now, I am leaning toward doing it.
The day after Bike Morehead, I had a sprint triathlon: Tri Louisville. In spite of the amount of climbing over the course of the 102-miles of Bike Morehead, I felt great in the morning. I was ready for the triathlon: a half-mile swim, 12-mile bike, and a 5K run. The swim would be all downstream, and the bike and run would be on a flat course. Piece of cake…
One detail, though: I fried a valve stem before the race while filling my rear tube. This forced me to use my spare. This shouldn’t have been a big deal. Surely, my tires will be fine for 12 miles; it’s ONLY 12 MILES!
Going into the swim, the hard part was waiting, as it was a “wave” start, and I was in the final wave.
I was intentionally the last one to start the race. To my surprise, I passed several swimmers, and even bumped into a few. I felt great at the swim finish, going into T1. This was easily my best swim ever.
My time in T1 was quick: I dried off my feet, got my jersey and helmet on, slipped on my cycling shoes, and was off.
The bike course was excellent. I was not going overly hard, but focused on staying aero, staying comfortable, and using my high gear. I was having an excellent race.
Then, at about mile 3, at the intersection of 12th and Main, I heard a bad noise: PFFFFTT, followed by a thwap-thwap-thwap!
I had a flat.
I stopped, looked at the tire, and–S**T!!!!–I took a nail in the rear tire.
And I was out of spares!
I flagged down an officer and called MrsLarijani, and she got ahold of the race director, who said he’d send a SAG person out to me. Others had offered their tubes to me, but none of theirs would fit my wheel. Turned out, there was no SAG: the race director had sent someone to take me back to the transition area.
My race was over.
Lesson learned: I will have multiple spares on hand in the future.
And I plan on getting revenge at the Louisville Landsharks Triathlon in July.