We decided to do a ride that Jonnyo had sugges ted today with some good climbing called the Transmountain Anthony Century Gap Double Climb. Mariana being her resourceful self mapped out the ride and wrote down the directions for us. The ride would take us on a familiar start along 28 past Mesilla and Mesa for about 31 miles. What a great section of flat fast riding with the wind at our back and a crosswind for about the first 20 miles. Then we headed into the wind for the next ten or so miles. Andrea had taken the car out so it was fun to have her pull up to me twice and chat. I imagined it to be the lead car in ironman...and it inspired me to push a little harder. I was actually feeling good on the bike and was keeping my heart between 128 and 135 for the zone 2 and around 140 -150 for the zone 3. I did not want to push too hard based on how I was feeling. Well the ride started getting interesting around mile 35 where I took a right on 20 which was a really busy 4 lane road with tons of traffic. We were meant to be on this road for .5 miles but I read it as 5 miles which I figured would be around 15 minutes. So I'm trying to avoid all the glass in the roads, the cars that are skimming by me, and the arm that reached out to grab me as I'm riding and I must have been terribly distracted as I could not find the Transmountain Pass turn. I asked two cars at lights but no-one new or they couldn't understand me. Eventually when 20 was coming to an end a lady suggested that I had passed the turn along time ago....not good! I headed back another 20 minutes to find the pass right at the beginning of 20 where I had just got on. I had just added 45 minutes to my ride....lucky me! Well happy to be back on track I started heading up the mountain. Halfway up I saw two familiar faces. Andrea and Mariana were headed down with big smiles on their faces, and they were a little confused to how I had got so far behind them. I had apparently just missed Jonnyo and MarkyV who had just descended too. They had decided that they had already got 45 miles in and they were going to head back on familiar roads for a even 90 miles. I should have just turned with them as I already had put some extra miles in but instead I had to see the top of the mountain. So I kept on climbing, renergized after seeing them and rode up to the 5200 feet summit. It was very windy up there and I made a decision that I wanted to see what lay on the other side of the mountain. I would go on to do the whole loop in unknown territory. The descent was amazing, so fast I wished I had my srm working so I could record the downhill speed. I was feeling good although my chest was really starting to burn. I was already into my third hour of riding around 60 miles before I started heading back towards Las Cruces. I knew there was a tricky section that Mariana had emphasized not to mess up on. I was running low on liquids so I stopped at a gas station and refilled with some water and powerade, banana and a bar. I headed back on the road again, but once again misread the directions. I thought I had to go another 6 miles after the 54 pass. Meanwhile I should have turned there. So once again I put in my mind that I should ride around 15 minutes then look out for California Pipelines. Well 20 minutes went by still know no turn. So what do I do, what I always do...keep going just encase its around the next corner. Well 30 minutes in I realised that I had probably missed the turn but I was hoping I I was heading in the right direction. I would go one more turn and if I did not find it I would turn around. To my surprise I found 404, the road that I knew would take me all the way back to 28. It said 20 miles bike lane. So I headed up I guess what would be the double climb part of the century, a long ascent, wind in my face but pretty ride. I was very happy to have a whole lane as a bike lane as cars were zooming by at 60 miles an hour. There were a few moments on this ride that I pondered over the vulnerablity factor of a women riding alone in the middle of New Mexico...hoping that I wouldn't get a flat...regretting that I did not bring my cell phone. I was already 4 hours in with over 45 miles to go....not good.
By the time I hit 28 I was really getting pretty tired and my chest burned. I could no longer go in my aero bars as my low back was really tight. I had just spent the last hour heading straight into a pretty strong headwind. I was happy to see a familiar road and to just have a crosswind. I passed the spot where Andrea had parked the car, but it was gone. I really hoped that they would come back and get me..when they saw how late it was getting. Just as I was running out of liquids and I was just about to have a little panic attack. Mariana and Andrea came driving up.....you want a ride....I did not have to respond. I was at 6 hours of riding time and had had enough. It was so good to see them and they brought me a sandwich to eat and got me back to the hotel as quick as possible. What a ride!
They had both had good rides. Mariana had finished her ride and got her transition run in. I contemplated for a minute going and doing a little run. But they assured me that would not be the right thing to do. So instead I just took a long shower and they ran out and brought me back the best spaghetti and meatballs from Lorenzo's. They have been the best roommates. What a day!
We are all heading to sleep now and hopefully will feel good for a 3 day sport day tomorrow.