The Ironman Lake Placid bike course is hilly. It’s in the
I don’t want to brag, but I didn’t think the bears were so bad. During my Lake Placid Adventure week, we did the loop twice, with a day rest between, and the bears weren’t so bad. Actually they were easier the second day when we knew what to expect. I am sure that two loops in one day without breaks will be harder, I need to get back to
Anyway, someone decided to call our century the “Disgruntled Bear Boondoggle”. I am not sure who it was, it wasn’t me, but I think I liked that name. After all, a disgruntled wouldn’t be so bad, sort like a bear who got his order screwed up at the drive through. Not happy, but he’ll get over it.
Sometimes Things Work Out Better Than You Expect
Of course after reading some of Adam's posts on www.racewithpurpose.org during the week, a few of us were a little nervous. Someone asked about a SAG wagon. Javier offered to follow us in his car. I was thinking I might want to ride my road bike with the three ring, rather than my tri bike, so I might survive the hills. After all, we were talking about 100 miles, and a mountain.
Don't we look happy? We made the summit in about 3 hours, just short of 50 miles.
A few things to take away from the experience to this point:
1. Plan stops for water, food and bathroom. Organized centuries I've done have them every 25 miles for a reason.
2. Bring lunch. There are no food vendors at the top of the mountain.
3. Use the rest room before climbing. Those portosans at the summit were not approachable.
4. Spend more time at the summit. That's a long climb, hang out a while and enjoy the view.
Sometimes, When You Think The Worst Has Passed, The Really Bad Stuff Starts
I swear it took an hour to climb that 1300 feet to the summit. Does it seem right that we were at the bottom in 5 minutes? Anyway, it got us down to the restrooms quickly which, at least for me, was badly needed. I had intended to practice peeing on the bike, but i just couldn't. And what I did finally do was other than peeing anyway.
Back over the Bear Mountain Bridge to the east side of the Hudson, and here we departed from the route we had taken to get here, and as Adam warned us, we were now into unknown territory. Meaning he hadn't ridden it himself, but he had heard tales of horrible things from some who claimed to have ridden here. Ha! How bad could it be, surely we had this in the bag.
Note to self-avoid routes that include names like "Gallows Hill Road".
Gallows Hills is a long steady climb leading to a nice long downhill, which feeds into a 5-way intersection and Red Mill Road. That is not a road. It is a wall. Christine and Conner were well ahead and out of sight. Adam and I were climbing so slowly I do not think we could have stopped, lest we just fall right over and never get up again. Fortunately Adam found a little side road flat spot and we stopped for a minute. The scene here to the left is apparently from a previous rider who stopped for too long.
Soon we came up on Christine and Conner, buying orange soda from a vending machine. They said they were all right so I kept going and suddenly realized I was by myself. A Breakaway! I was able to stay out in front for about 8 or 10 miles, but they caught me on the long climb up Seven Bridges. Those two are climbing machines.
I waited for Adam, and we rode into Chapaqua. There, on King Street and about 80 miles, he decided he had enough, gave me his cue sheet and went lookigng for a train station. I pushed on, got a little lost as here the cue sheet was lacking.
Adam called and told me he was riding the course backwards (be careful!) and was going to meet me, which he did, and took me in the last couple of miles back to his house. I was really gettign bonky at this point. I couldnt subtract 13 from 116, was feeling nauseous and lightheaded. I had to stop for a gel at one point for fear I was about to lose conciousness.
Finally I saw my car (" I love you, car"), pulled up and racked it on the roof right away. I didn't want to have to sit on that thing another minute.
One more thing to do; a quick run around the block, probably not more than 400 meters. I like to do this after a long ride just to train my legs to move after being in the saddle for so long. That, and I believe moving my muscles in this way helps speed my recovery.
Everything I do this year is about Ironman Lake Placid, so here is a comparison of the ascent for both routes.
IMLP 112 miles with 8,634 feet climb
Bear Mountain Boondoggle was 108 miles with 19,385feet elevation gain.
Planning to return to do this one again in the next several weeks, and certainly several times next spring and summer. Hey, this is going to be a gorgeous ride in the autumn if we hit it at peak foliage change. Anyone care to join me?