Wow what ride! I was surprised how many people showed up on a Monday to do a silly little ride (70 riders) that didn't even have winner. We headed off down to Provo canyon from Sundance at a chilly 7 am start. But it got hot in no time. We headed down University Ave across the interstate and down the west side through Benjamin into Payson. The whole group was pretty much together (and embarrassingly causing some traffic concerns due to the large Peleton) until we started climbing Payson Canyon for the beginning of the Nebo loop. Many times I train up the canyon after work so I was really itchy to go at that pace but we were only about 1 hour into the ride and I had to keep telling my self to conserve my strength. It sure was good we did Nebo first, though. It just kept going and going with tons of false summits. We would hit a good down hill expecting it to be the descent back to Nephi, but then we would start another climb. This happened at least 5 times. Well by the time we did make it down I found myself with the front group of riders. I have never done a ride of this distance so I was kind of nervous thinking that maybe I was pushing it too hard. We were only 1/3 of the way done. But I was feeling good. Plus I felt I had to get back in pretty good time since I had to get home so Dot could go to a dinner meeting.
The long flat, 100 F ride back through the valley was not what I was looking forward too in mid-day so I headed out with the front group. I figured I'd go all out here to get it overwith and then deal with the Alpine Loop climb once I got there. Well I got hooked up with this monster biker at the front who set a narly pace. We started with about 8 in the group and quickly riders would drop off not able to keep up. And this is despite him pulling for at least half the total time! So by the time we were clearing Benjamin there was "the monster" (Heath) myself and one of his buddies. I held on. Me and the other guy pulled for maybe 25% of the time and "the monster" did the rest. We got to the last feed station at the bottom of Alpine alone and way ahead of the rest of the pack. We had time to drink and eat and still noone else showed up. We separated at the climb and I was alone. This was the part I figured I would deal with when it came up. And boy was I hurting! I was 7 hours in and had to climb the whole Alpine Loop. Well so far the whole ride I resisted dropping into my lowest chain ring but half way up the climb I cried "uncle" and dropped down for a couple of the steepest miles. The nice thing about the Alpine climb is that at the top once your are past Timpenoke campground the incline eases. That raised my spirits and speed and I actually had fun the rest of the way up. It was also refreshingly cooler up there. I was tempted to lay down at the top and enjoy how cool it was up there. But I was expected at home.
I ended up finishing 165 miles, 11000 feet of climbing up two mountain ranges in 9 hours and 25 minutes. I got back third! I know it wasn't a race but we all started at the same time and I am sure everyone wanted to finish as soon as possible. I got some drinks, washed off, packed my bike up taking about 20 minutes to do so and no one else had yet showed. I wonder how far back they really were. What a good day! And I don't even feel exhausted, plus I got to eat whatever I wanted for dinner!
Sorry, ARANTIX, I did this without you but next big first will be the 12 hours of Sundance-solo.