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I SURVIVED THE DEATH RIDE!
Before I get into the details of the death ride, let me give you where we are, day 6 of Hellweek:
- You wake up and before you even get out of bed, your quads hurt.
- Your ass hurts before you even get on your saddle and Chamois Butt'r is your best friend.
- You've already rode 440 miles and spent over a full day on your bike.
- You wonder if your Advil is expired or something, doesn't seem to do anything.
- You're "working" at eating enough at night to keep you fueled up.
- You've eaten more bananas than a medium sized family of apes.
- Mars bar? Donut? Sugary thing with Peanuts? Who cares! It's got calories!
These pictures pretty much wrap up what the death ride is all about (thanks to Don for taking these!)...
The death ride took a little over 7 hours to finish and totaled 109 miles. It's our only "away" ride. We leave Fredericksburg at about 7:00 am and drive our bikes down to Bandara and leave from there. The climbs on this ride are hard to really convey in text, they are steep and they go on for as long as you can see. You don't want to look up since you may just want to stop. You pass other riders walking there bikes up.
Here is the ride map.
There are 6 major climbs to the death ride. The first is the most arduous, it's dead straight and you can see the entire beast as you begin to climb it's nearly 1,000 feet without any break. The first three are all bundled together, then you get three more on the back. The worst is when your 100 miles into the ride and ready to collapse, and there is the last climb staring at you.
Who care's about average speed on this ride, it's dead on those climbs. I can tell you that you can climb standing at under 6 mph for about 10 minutes straight with your heart pounding at over 90% max, it hurts, but it can be done. I also set a new personal record for speed, hitting 50 mph on the descents. After one 47 mph descent I pulled over and found my newly rebuilt wheel had 6 "wiggly" loose spokes! WHOA! I deserve that nickname they gave me, Lucky. A little roadside truing of the wheel and I was off again.
I decided to skip the heart rate chart today and instead show you an exertion chart. This chart shows you my "typical" training program on the left, and you can see the exertion factor that Hellweek demands. Yikes!
I made it! The death ride is the hardest and longest ride of Hellweek, and I successfully pulled it off. Only two more days left.