Sea otter 2013 part 2 (grand fondo 1/2 century)

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Part 2 of my seaotter adventure consists of my participation in the half century grand fondo. This is my first organized ride and it was a great experience. Price of the ride was a bit pricey 110$ but there were a lot of perks. The best being a hot shower, after camping for a couple days and riding 50 miles I would of paid 110$ for a hot shower.

As part of the fee you got a weekend wristband for the event which was about 40$ it self, you also received a bottle of wine and a pretty nice lunch catered by California pizza kitchen and a beer from the Sierra Nevada so all in all the price was a deal!

The ride started out on the Laguna seca race track and went out south boundary road, which was about a 4 mile descent, I had the idea in my head that it was going to be a bear coming back up and I was so right. My usual ride is about 25-30 miles this was just about double that. I was a bit unprepared for this nutrition wise. I went out on an empty stomach and paid for it. Around mile 20 they had a nicely stocked rest area where I got a banana and some juice, but I feared that it was too little too late. I grabbed a few gel packs from the table and went on my way.

I hit the mile 25 marker and grabbed some water and headed back along the coast where I enjoyed spectacular views of san Carlos beach and costal pacific grove peninsula. On my return trip back a rode with a local Walt for about 10-12 miles where he gave me some valuable tips about tackling the return climb, by about mile 40 I could feel my quads beginning to tighten up and cramp which had me fearing the worst.

The last stop before the last 4 mile climb I slammed a bottle of water along with 2 gel packs in hopes of ending my cramping, but no such luck. My biggest mistake in climbing the last 4 miles was when i changed my gearing from compact to standard not have a low enough gear and trying to get the crank to spin up the steep grade was more than my already fatigued legs could handle. I ended up cramping so band that I had to walk my bike a portion of the ride, I would get back on and ride went it leveled out but as soon as an incline came I would instantly cramp and have to walk it off.

So after taking the walk of shame I managed to get to the top of the climb and coast down almost to where the track started, with having one short 100 yard climb left I manned up and did it and was rewarded by coasting in the the finish and receiving my gran fondo participation medal, quickly after that I went over to the massage tent and received my complementary 20 min massage and then headed to the hot showers. After doing this ride it gave me a valuable lesson in proper nutrition and how it pays to be prepared, it was a great ride and I will most likely do it again. This was my first half century and I look forward to ding more long rides.

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