The best rides are always the ones that are right at the edge of your ability. The ones were you worry about them the day before and clean and fidget with your bike all day. The ones were you go to bed early and have trouble sleeping.
They also usually have you up early and nervous.
The Climb to the Clouds century was one for me this year. Last year I did the 80 mile version and didn't climb Wachusett. The heat was unreal and I was wasted and the end.This year, there was no way I wasn't going over the top. Get dropped in most races around here and it is a shameful peddle back to the car and your day is over. Blow up when you are out in Stowe or Sterling and you know you have a long day of pain and no back up. Riding past the 495 ring always feels like going into the land of the lost. I always want to have extra tubes, extra food, seat bag etc,
Billy, Nick, and I rolled out(no mass start this year which reduced accidents in the first hour, but eliminated the chance to sit in with big group) and it was getting hot.
Watchusett was a tough climb and the mile long slog up to where the climb starts wasn't much fun either. Turning to the right and seeing the ski slopes was a real "oh shit" moment. Drank 12 bottles on the ride and at least a gallon after. Water was pouring out of our helmets. No sports drink was the right move-no stomach issues.
Got cramps in my quads for the first time around mile 90. That was a first and not a good one. Gotta remember to stretch.........
But a wise man once told me "race reports are boring". True. I just love that butterflies in the stomach/what the fuck is gonna happen feeling that you only get when you bite off more than you might be able to handle.
Thanks to Charlesriverwheelman for another fun ride. I'll be back next year since I manged to ride the wrong way up to the summit. Third times the charm.