I caught a blurb about the Tour De Hoot on facebook yesterday, so I decided that instead of a long day of riding by myselft I would opt for a more high-intensity workout with a group. So this morning I jumped in the van and headed for McGehee.
The drive down was rather uneventful and arrived at the start at about 7:30. I had plenty of time go get registered and get everything ready for the start. Especially since the race director was giving out road ID packages and the ride started 10 minutes late.
We left out of McGehee headed east with me pulling the group for the first 4 miles. We countinued on toward the first rest station at between 22 and 24 miles per hour and the group quickly broke down to 5 people in the lead group. We pulled into Arkansas City and the first stop at mile 12. This is where the road markings were very iffy.
Note to promoter - Don't mark the stops with arrows leaving the route - just put up signs. We weren't stopping but couldn't figure out where to go. I was entering the rest area to turn around, but the rest of the group continued down the road. So, against my better judgement, I followed them for 3 block to where we had to turn. I turned, went a block and turned back toward where I knew hwy 4 was located and took off.
I got out ahead of the group and decided that I wanted to be the rabbit so I put myself in TT mode and started to hammer north toward Dumas. After about 5 miles, I couldn't see the group of 4 anymore, so I kept pushing. I hit Dumas at mile 50 with a 22.5 MPH average. This is where things got a little more interesting.
I tried to shift and to my dismay - nothing happened. I had broken the head off the shifter cable so I was down to 2 gears (53x11 or 39x11). This was ok since on the way out I had a tail wind and rode 53x11 to the turn around at Arkansas Post at mile 65. Then I switched to 39x11 for the return trip. If I had to break a shifter cable, I was lucky it was on this ride because there was only 997 feet of climb.
The turn around for the ride was at Arkansas Post at mile 65. Up to this point I was still over 22.5 miles per hour, but it was about to start dropping on the return. The return trip was from Arkansas Post to Dumas then down to McGehee. This section was extremely tiring since it was into a 10mph head wind and could only use 1 gear so I couldn't change up the resistance while standing, sitting or aero. So I stayed areo and pushed back.
I ended the ride with 101.2 miles in 4:40:51 for a 21.6 mile average. Pretty fast day, fast enough to be able to catch a shower and drink my recovery mix and jump in the car without seeing the next finisher. The Rabbit Won :-).
On the way home I continued to push the speed and had to take a time out in Gould for doing 78 in 65. OOPS.