Tehachapi GranFondo - 13 September 2014
TEHACHAPI GRANFONDO - 13 SEPTEMBER 2014
This is a video of me doing the longest ride I'd done since 1998, when I last did a 100 miler. The Tehachapi Granfondo was the first running ever. There were four courses running throughout the area using many roads I ride all the time. The event also included streets I'd never done before. Figuring there wouldn't ever be a more convenient organized ride ever other than this one that started 1.5 miles from home I thought, "Why not!"
Turns out they are epic like the rest of my experience of these rides. As in, lots of things didn't go quite as planned.
The ride started out very well. In fact, I rode well within myself for the first 40 miles. Even though the temps were climbing I was feeling great. Unfortunately, the hill into Bear Valley would be the beginning of my troubles. And, my troubles had a name; cramps. I had lots of cramps in my legs. So much so, I had a hard time simply standing in my pedals to stretch.
At the top of the last, steepest climb of the ride, I started to develop leg issues. I coasted into the rest stop there in Bear Valley and sat on their grass for about 30 minutes. That felt wonderful. The volunteers there, like all the other volunteers, were very helpful. After that, it was a careful balancing act between not pedaling and the legs freezing up, and pedaling too hard causing the legs to freeze up. I eventually stopped at the last rest stop with only 5 miles to go thinking I might be able to ride the mile downhill to home without much trouble instead of riding the rest of the race. After about 30 minutes, I was back on my bike back into the race. Yes, I finished perfectly fine and quite thankful. If you look at my face at the end of the video you might actually see an expression of "relief" that I was done.
Despite my issues, the ride was fantastic. I did enjoy it and will do it again next year. The organization was great. The volunteers were fantastic--I know because they helped me a lot. I even loved the various fans along the way ringing bells and cheering on the anonymous rider like me. Truly, it was great to be cheered on by my extended neighbors.
I met a couple of great people out there. I probably would've met more if I was riding in the pack a bit more. Mostly I rode by myself, which was fine.
Overall, I'm very glad I completed the ride and have a video documenting the experience.