Thursday, March 15, 2007

Hell Week day 6: Brush with death, feed us!

Yesterday was the highlight of the week: the Leakey Death Ride, or for us poofters that do the 'B' ride, the Brush with Death. This ride has been done since the beginning, and Hell Week had moved on to a bigger town a few years ago. The Death ride involves driving about 90 minutes out of town, to be rewarded by riding monstrous hills.
__Since we were meeting some friends for dinner, we got an early start and headed out as soon as we got into town. The highlight of the ride was an 800 foot climb that went straight up. The kind of climb where stopping pedaling means falling over. And if you go too slow, the buzzards will carry you off! After the climb was a thrilling descent. On the way down I saw two cyclists at the side of the road waving to me - I must have had the biggest grin on my face! Flying at very close to 50mph, all I could manage was a finger wiggle in response. After the descent we rolled into the store that marks a waypoint for every ride. I chatted with the storekeepers, and they told me there were to more big climbs coming up. I told them I was doing an abbreviated route to miss those hills. Upon checking the cue sheet I'd brought I realized I'd brought the sheet for the full 100+ mile, triple monster hill route! I'd been riding with Sascha for a while, so she was following the directions from my sheet as well! It's a good thing I'd decided to wait up for her, because otherwise I'd be dead. She had the cue sheet for the shorter route thank goodness, so we stuck together for the rest of the ride.__There were a couple more large hills, but nothing like the one we'd just done. I played sherpa for the rest of the ride, and Sascha rode strong, staying on my wheel back into town riding at a comfortable, strong pace for me. She has an awesome set of Hed carbon clip-ons that set her up in a perfect position, amazingly. She looks so pro on the bike, and they really seem to help cut the wind for her.
__We got home in plenty of time for dinner. We were going to meet at Pasta Bella in Fredericksburg, the only Italian place in town worth mentioning. We got our names in at 6pm and had up to an hour wait, so we got a beer at the brewery. After an hour elapsed, we headed back to the restaurant, wondering why we hadn't gotten a call yet. Turns out they'd lost our names from the list during a shift change. We were starving by then, and they promised us a table as soon as possible. However, by the time we finally got a table, another hour had elapsed! Even though they brought us some bread while we were waiting, six hungry cyclists were very cranky by then!