I did the 3 State 3 Mountain Century ride in Chattanooga yesterday. What a day! It was POURING rain, thundering and lightning for the first 50 of the 100 miles. It was a little nerve racking descending the winding mountain roads with wet concrete and wet brakes, riding through puddles and drafting off spraying tires. It had been threatening to rain all morning but was staying dry. It wasn't until the starting gun went off that it started to spit on us and then full on pour for the next few hours. Ugh!
There were water/rest stops every 20 or so miles. I didn't plan on stopping at the first one because I knew I would have enough fuel, so I planned to stop at the second one which I was told was at mile 44. In my mind I kept thinking, "44, 44, 44"...when I looked down at my bike computer and saw "40" I thought "4 more miles and then rest stop."...well, to my surprise I look over and there were hundreds of bikers at the rest stop at mile 40. I quickly put on the brakes and took a sharp turn into the stop...bad idea. For some reason the fact that it was pouring rain and wet roads completely slipped my mind and my bike went sliding out from beneath me and I totally wrecked in front of everyone! Luckily I didn't cause anyone behind me to crash...but I was highly embarrassed bailing in front of all those riders! I got a little scraped up on my leg but came out pretty unscathed since I had a jacket on to protect my elbow which took the brunt of the fall. I was more concerned for the fellow riders who had to see my lovely thigh that had been exposed by my bike shorts being pushed up from sliding across the concrete...ick, sorry guys! ;) This is also the first time ever that I have fallen off my bike...I haven't even tipped over when trying to get out of my clip pedals or anything...I guess after three years of riding I was due!
It was a great ride, all things considered. The mountains proved to be challenging (the last one KILLED me) and 100 miles is definitely a distance that demands the utmost respect. I spoke with a fellow Nashville triathlete (whom has completed 4 Ironman races...one being CDA) and she said it was the toughest century ride she'd ever done and that CDA would be like small rolling hills compared to 3S3M....whew!!!
Coach and me gearing up for the ride. I had purchased my jacket the day before at the expo (thank you 60% off) and didn't think I would use it until next season...thank God I bought it, I would have died of cold/wet without it!
Rest stop at mile 80, the last stop before the last mountain...I tried not to spend more than a minute or two at the stops, just to refill my water bottles (preparing for IM strategy). However, I spent a little more time at this one, I was pretty much ready for the ride to be finished at this point! I also only saw two other women after the 62 mile turn off...woo hoo, girl power!
At the mile 80 rest stop. "Excuse me, will you take my picture and help me waste time before I have to get back on my bike?" This picture does no justice as to how soaked to the bone I am.
My bike, Orby, was FILTHY! There is so much dirt, grim and road kill on it...ugh!
YAY!!! I am finished! But in reality would have another 12 to ride and a marathon to run...ahhh!!!