Sunday, July 12, 2009

Mountain Stage 3 - Mountain of Disappointment!

A short and slow trip over Stoneleigh

Today marked the third and final day in the Pyrenees for the real riders, and marked the third day for me to be a pseudo-climber here in Virginia. I had planned to make four climbs to the top of the Stoneleigh development, a tough ride over safe residential streets. An alternative would have been riding from Round Hill over the Blue Ridge and down to the Shenandoah River. I received so many negative comments on my sanity the last time I did that I haven't attempted it again.*


After huffing and puffing myself to the top of the hill and coming down the other side, my return climb came to an abrupt end after 200 meters with a flat rear tire. A kind couple gave my bike and me a ride all the way home.

Bottom line for the day: 6.4 Km in 25 minutes for a speed of 15.2 kpm. This isn't my slowest performance, but it surely is my shortest of this tour.

As disappointing as it was, my bike and I did attain the 200 Km level in just nine stages. With 12 stages still to go I need only 100 Km.

Tomorrow is a rest day, thank goodness, so I'll have time to get the tire back in order before riding again on Tuesday. But since I have a job interview on Tuesday I'll probably be taking a short ride even then.

The boys in France logged 160.5 Km over a Cat One and an HC climb today with the leader finishing in 4 hours, 5 minutes and 31 seconds - without a flat tire. That's pretty impressive.

* I have to admit it was sort of stupid to be riding a bike on a steep highway with 55 mph speed limits and almost unridable shoulders.

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