The Great Adventure Challenge – The Bike
After having a what felt like a pretty difficult kayak leg I was ready to hop on my bike and tackle the 16.5 mile bike portion of the Great Adventure Challenge.
This is my favorite part of the race. It usually takes me about 2 hours to complete meaning its just two hours of me and my head songs (and head thoughts). The first 4ish miles of the course is on paved road. Easy peasy. After that my little feet didn’t see pavement again until I drove myself home!
During these pavement miles I contemplated whether or not I should clip my Nike Fuel Band to my shoe in order to better track my steps for the day. Normally, I like to make this race “unplugged” meaning no mile tracking, no worrying about splits, no checking the time every second. It was also at this point I remember I usually have to throw away the shoes I wear during the bike because they get so muddy and gross. Fuel band to stay on the wrist.
So many head thoughts before even making the turn into the woods!
After the first 4 glorious paved miles it was time for the real biking to start, into the woods I went!
Ok, so I didn’t hit the woods right away but this path gets sandy and riding in the sand is NOT easy! I was feeling very grateful at this point for the perfect race day weather. I continued to pedal along through woods, dirt paths, mud puddles and regular puddles. I kind of loved not know how long I had been out there and how long I had to go.
I think I sang Queen’s Bicycle Race in my head (and maybe out loud) for at least 90 minutes of this 120 minute ride.
I want to ride my bicycle
I want to ride my bike
I want to ride my bicycle
I want to ride it where I liiiiikkkeeee!
My aunt and uncle, who I originally heard about the race from, volunteer at a water/gatorade stop about half way through the bike course. Its so nice to see them out there, hydrate and know that I have made it this far and am (about) halfway done.
The downside to knowing I was halfway done…knowing the hardest part was ahead! Pratt’s Hill. This hill is no joke. Apparently, only one person has ever ridden up it (it wasn’t me).
This picture does not do it justice. The incline is crazy and once you think you are almost done hiking up it while pushing your bike up the thing as well, it turns and you have to keep going…ugh. Silver lining – the end is near. Just a few short miles to go until the bike finish!
My bike time – 02:01:14
What?!?! 1st place!!! In my age group albeit but still…1st place!!! I am still amazed at this and still very excited!
My past bike times:
- 2010 – 01:55:49 (I think the course was shorter)
- 2011 – 01:58:00
- 2013 – 02:06:20
Stay tuned for tomorrow’s recap of the hike/run portion of the race.
Have you ever place in your age group and gotten overly excited like I just did?