Wild Sierra Century

we started at Turtle Rock Camp around 7:25am, headed on out to Kingsbury climb with lots of chatting and nothing stressful [for the mind, body or soul]. Saw a 2 family squabble of quails!! OMGAH they were so damn cute, like 14 of them, and they scattered and flew apart from the road like the sea parting in the Bible. Then a HUGE bunny came inches from colliding with me, that was terrifying mainly because someone on that same TT course crashed HARD at Little City the previous weekend from a squirrel.

Got to Kingsbury, made a peepee stop at the bottom, ate a gel, and headed on up. I had no idea how long each of these climbs were, so I never knew ‘how much longer until the top?’ I rode with Lindsay about 1/4 of the beginning way and she slowly crept faster than me. I noticed my easy slowass pace of 6mph, whatever, didn’t care,  this wasn’t the Rapha Prestige race and I am not a pro climber and had little to no training for this.

It went from manageable, to ugh meh, cannot BREATHE. my lungs were still not use to the thin air of starting a climb at 4,000ft approx., lots of gasping for air. Which is weird, because last year for Death Ride (127 miles, 15,000ft of climbing) I did a small ride the day before and was fine. I did a bigger ride the day before this century than last years D.R. and yet I still felt crappy breathing wise. Anyways….finally reached the top and was greeted by drag queens and DANISHES! AWWW yisss, those were heavenly, I could’ve eaten 5. Met up with Lindsay, took a photo, and flew down the hill. Witnessed an asshole truck driver who honked at me loudly [please do not ever do this to a cyclist, even to wave, its VERY jarring], and then proceeded to immediately get caught behind another properly nice car who wasn’t about to pass a cyclist on a curvy downhill, all the while that asshole truck was riding IN THE bike lane! What the fuck? you were just honking at me for being SLIGHTLY in the car lane and then you proceed to ride totally in my bike lane/shoulder? Oh, okay.
The ride back to the lunch stop (would be mile 60) was pretty….okay. No heavy climbing, except there WAS a slow gradual climb that I had no clue we were doing, 7%, in the HOT heat of the before noon day. No wind. It was friggin hot. I RARELY ever sweat on my face, but I was beading with sweat, easily. This was on Emigrant Trail. Had a few downhills, and some uphills, and I decided to put on Iggy Azalea, do not ask me, I use to despise her when I first started listening, but ever since I put her music on when climbing, it’s fuckin baller, and makes me push the pedals like a HBIC.
Made it to lunch, ate a full sandwich [ugh here comes the long ride/century bloat].
Ate some peanut M&M’s, and filled up my bottles with 1/2 water 1/2 soda.
Trucked it with smiles to Ebbetts, and I was SERIOUSLY dreading this climb. You know it sucks, I know it sucks, it sucks. Lindsay told me to just keep a goal in mind, and DON’T stop. I had to stop like 4 times on it last year because it was mentally and physically GRUELING. Lo and behold, idiot me had only been drinking soda + water the entire ride up until then, and no JUST plain water. So I hit a sugar crash wall pretty hard, on top of no amount of sugar water was going to quench my thirst, every sip I took made my throat even more dry. I desperately asked a rider going up if he had any water, and he said there was a stream about a mile up he has gotten water from before, it’s safe. He recommended never doing soda except maybe twice, and only Heed or Perpetuem for the ride. DUH. Gosh, I am usually so anal about nutrition with cycling and this one time I was NOT thinking.
After I literally cursed myself and the mountain about 4 times with mini crying fests & fast breathing freak outs [drama queen], I told myself to HTFU and not stop until that damn stream. Finally I got to it, and scooped out the most glorious freaking water I’ve ever had in my life. It was literally a boost to my energy. Gulped down a Gu gel.
Next thing I know, I hear a “hey hey!”, and I said to myself “no fucking WAY that is them”……and then Lindsay’s husbands Max comes strolling next to me. AHHH! thank God someone to ride with and whine to… So they started at 5:05AM, and had covered 129.6 miles and they bumped into us! Yuriy was so excited to see me and kept saying “I love you baby! good job!”, that was insanely sweet. He isn’t usually that gushy to me. These rides bring out the heart and soul of people I swear….anyways…got to the top of Ebbetts and I had time to eat SO much food (mini square of pb&j, red vines, lays chips, m&m’s, pickle juice, V8] because Max and Yuriy asked if we wanted to wait for them to descend the backside/climb it, and then all of us head over to Monitor and climb it, so we did. Let me just tell you right now, if you take anything away from this report is that pickle juice KILLS cramps! My legs were stinging and in some serious pain after that climb, but after a shot of pickle juice + mini V8, my legs were anew! It was a miracle.
Ok ok, cutting it short, we all rode to Monitor [we all stopped to use bathroom, I finished my Belevita crisps from the morning], and then quickly my ass was dropped and I said, go get it boys! (basically). I rode Monitor solo, except for one dude who apparently liked my Iggy music busting out of my back pocket, he lingered with me the entire last half of that climb. Monitor beginning was SO. DAMN. HOT. and steep!! WOW, doing Death Ride last year I do NOT recall it being that steep, and obviously not hot because we did that pass when it was pitch black out. Ran out of water AGAIN, WTF!! I asked 2 chicks sitting on the ground enjoying the view if they had any and thankfully one gave me half her bottle with ice in it! THANK YOU angels.
Got to the top, cool wet towel on my neck from the amazing volunteers, ate half a bag of Cheetos [again, ate so much crap I would never usually eat EXCEPT on centuries], couple of Oreos. Descended solo, and waited for Lindsay to take off to finish the ride up. Sun was setting, and it was so lovely riding back to Turtle Rock Camp, another slight climb back, but it was nothing. Got back to our starting spirits of chatting about life, family history, and being athletes. The air just had a “feelin good” vibe to it. [possibly because the sun was retiring for the day and it was finally cooling off?]
BOOM, Done. let me just say this ride had a lot of firsts:
1. doing almost all climbs solo [at least half of it]
2. running out of water, TWICE
3. not stopping like 3 times on each climb!! ONLY once on Ebbetts and once and Monitor because I needed water
4. having INSANE energy at the end, and not being completely torn apart from all the climbing/miles. this is legendary to me, because of all the LONG rides I’ve done I typically cannot stomach much food due to digestion issues, “clogged” up, gas, nausea, etc. I was eating like a CHAMP on this ride, which in turn gave me the energy to finish strong.
Yea dude, it wasn’t an easy day, and felt harder than Death Ride at times [how??], but YAY! Centuries!
/sorry if this made no sense and was all over the place! & typos…
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