Feeling the burn
Saturday was one of those days where things just didn’t feel like I thought they should have. What I expected to be, and by all rights should have been an easy ride turned into something a little different. I don’t know whether it was the culmination of the past couple of weeks, the pesky combination of a slight wind and a hilly course, intentionally riding slower than normal, or the effects of a slightly harder and longer than normal run on Friday. Heck, it could have been all of those together!
We met Mike and Max (Mike’s dad) at Battlefield for a planned 40+ miler and headed out into unseasonably mild weather for mid-August. By the time we got to the Battlefield, we had seen seven deer, but that ended up being the extent of our wildlife count for the day.
This was Max’s first time to ride with us out on the road, so we weren’t sure what to expect from him. He does ride a bit, so he did an OK job keeping up with us until we hit the worst of the hills about 1/2 way through our ride. From there, I think he was wondering what he had gotten himself into at times!
We took our usual first break at the c-store in Billings, where we leisurely consumed our weekly Snickers bar and enjoyed the warmth of the sun’s rays. Pam also took the opportunity to stow the long pants and jacket she had on when we left Battlefield.
As we rolled south from Billings, I started noticing just a hint of a head-wind at times, but when we turned back east and headed into the hills towards Clever, it seemed to shift with us. Funny how the wind does that, isn’t it?
For some reason, we had a few more dog encounters than we normally have. I think there were three in pretty quick succession between Billings and Clever, but none were much of a concern. As we approached Clever, I took us into town via a slightly different route than we’ve used in the past. I jokingly said I was keeping the ride from getting “stale” for Pam and Mike, but the net was what I thought should have netted out to the same mileage ended up being 1.5 miles shorter than last time. It sure doesn’t look like it should have been on a map, but that’s what my GPS and two bike computers said!
We stopped again in Clever before turning our sights for home. Mike had been talking about the big descent on Z Highway off and on all day, and I think Max was kind of apprehensive about it, especially after he got a little bogged down on the rollers leading up to it. We tried to tell him it wasn’t as bad as it looked, but that’s just something you’ve got to experience for yourself! We hit 46 mph on it today!
The unfortunate thing is that nearly as soon as you’ve conquered that one, you’ve got to come up the hill at Wilson’s Creek. I’ve noticed that people actually struggle more on that one than the Z Highway hill.
Just at the top of that, we noticed a baby buffalo in a field all by itself. As we stopped to take it’s picture, Max and Mike were making a little noise celebrating their success in climbing the hill. It almost looked for a second like it wanted to come join in the celebration! I thought it must be pretty used to people and noise because it sure seemed to stop eating and move our way when it heard us.
We finished with 41 miles on what is admittedly a bit of a hilly course. As I mentioned, at the end I just didn’t have the spring in my legs I thought I should have, and noticed later in the day that they were already sore. Based on that, I attributed that to running the day before.
It was a good day on the bike, and Mike finished strong. We’ve all been wondering if he’s going to be up to the MS150 in three weeks. He’ll obviously make the call, but based on what I saw today, I think he can do it.
You can click the map above for the entire GPS track.
TWExplore posts in the same categories: bicycle, Cycling, Fitness, tandem, weekend comment below, or link to this permanent URL from your own site.