All in all it was a beautiful sunny day despite the temps. We stopped every hour for a quick refueling break. Because it was a girls only ride, we managed to have a few chatty/gossip sessions along the way and then focused our discussion on our plans for one of our big goals this year, the Mohican 100K. We saw a cat sitting in the middle of a frozen pond , I yelled a profanity at a truck driver for not giving us 3 feet, we stopped at the beach for a quick break, we partially sang Party in the USA by our girl Miley, and we did 0.1 miles in the parking lot to officially log 60+ miles. We are looking ahead to our first Roubaix in two weeks and the Mohican 100K…here’s to more training rides. --- Christine Ahrens
Today was the first girls only road ride of 2013 or possibly of KSD ever. The boys were out sick today. The initial plan was 100 miles but with temps in the 30’s, I wussed out and asked for a modified version. In the end, that was probably the best thing for me. The plan for the ride as outlined by our “boss” Kenny was to do our typical valley road ride, which incorporates decent elevation and then hit the bike and hike to log some flat miles. Time on the saddle so to speak. First hill…Everett or Everest as I like to call it, and my left leg cramps up. Not a good start but Corianne hands me a mustard packet and walla, no more cramping. She learned that trick from Andy and Kenny from their experience at the snake. Was it in my head, I don’t know but from then on out it wasn’t my legs that bothered me but my lower back. Time on the saddle…yes, I need some more! After going down Revere and heading up Riverview we heard our names and saw a little blue Subaru - it was Todd Davis! Another fellow KSD'er, he saw our photo on Facebook and was finishing up a hike - he gave us a boost of inspiration to hang a left and up Major. Thanks Todd! As for Corianne, well let me point out a few highlights. First, she waited for me at the top of every single hill. Second, she led the pace the entire ride. Third, she didn’t appear to be fatigued at all. And finally, she did a recovery ride on Sunday. Last year Corianne and I were in opposite positions, but she has worked extremely hard this winter and it showed! I found it inspiring to see a friend and fellow rider improve so significantly and I hope she doesn’t mind me saying that. She deserves the credit and acknowledgement for her hard work and the time she has put on the saddle! You go girl! As for me, well 60 miles at that moderate pace left me tired and realizing more work is needed…isn’t it always?!
Wanted to extend a sincere thank you to Kenny Kocarek and Andrew Crow for looking our for the old man (me) during our three epic trips to the "Snake" time trial in GA. At the end of each race, they had to wait at least an hour for me to finish...and they were at the finish line yelling my name!! Awesome! While I changed clothes for the ride home, they loaded my bike, and whatever gear I left laying around. And, the morning of the last race, while I was in slow motion, getting my waterproof socks and warm gloves on...they put the proper air in my tires, and sprayed my derailleurs with PAM...no, we weren't baking muffins, it really keeps things from freezing up! Only a couple of things I question...I don't believe Kenny sincerely offered part of the "recovery" Nutty Bar to me and Andy... and...Andy found some of the stop signs and red lights in downtown Dalton, Ga to be unnecessary. Thanks guys!!
The first weekend in March meant Andy, Kenny, and Tim journeyed ten hours south for the last Snake Creek Gap Time Trial. Waking up Saturday morning we walked outside only to be greeted by snow....(really it's March way south of Ohio this is sort of ridiculous, and the week before it was 50 and the next week it's to hit a high of 65 mother nature knew we wanted a challenge) at breakfast and nobody could eat right away...even the bananas that Tim made sure we had by charming the manager with his West Virginian accent the night before. We've done the race twice before with no big issues so all the Murphy's law thoughts started springing up...what if I fall in the creek and drown, maybe I'll flat three times, or a raccoon could jump out on your face and then you proceed to ride off a fifty foot cliff steal your bike then claim your belt buckle as his own....that's probably the most likely hazard. We finally loaded on the bus, about a quarter of the passengers were local racers from Ohio! Between seeing familiar faces and the few first timers worried about the creek crossing the nerves settled. (Sidenote: if there is anyone out there that is going to do a race with five plus creek crossings in freezing weather do yourself a favor and go buy Gore-Tex neoprene socks $50 bucks but for all the time trials we crossed the finish line with cold but dry feet).
We finally got to the start and as everyone would expect Andy took the lead followed by Kenny and Tim. Andy hit the half way point at 1:43 about a ten minute improvement from the previous race, Kenny crossed at 1:52 one minute better, Tim wasn't paying attention nor did he care! With six miles to go Kenny rolled up to Andy bike upside down with a dented rim and a co2 cartridge that wasn't working, so Kenny handed off what cartridges and tubes he had and proceeded pedaling to the finish line before Andy yelled at him for wasting too much time. In the end Kenny improved his previous best by sixteen minutes, Tim cut seven minutes off, and Andy's twenty minute repair left his race two with his best time. Race times were irrelevant because all three time trials were completed and the infamous belt buckle was earned!!
Other random highlights of the weekend...Andy refuses to stop for stop signs and blinking red lights after dusk, and in the south they pronounce Salmon with the "L" so SALman...not Samon if you don't say it right at Outback they won't serve it to you, and the moment you go south of the Stark County border Tim will bust out in accent to get anything he wants except a clean bathroom at a truck stop.