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Beauty and the Beast - Cycle

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Tyler, TX
United States
Tyler Bicycle Club
48F / 9C
Total Time = 3h 15m
Overall Rank = /
Age Group =
Age Group Rank = 0/
Pre-race routine:

Okay, just to preface this...for those of you that read my log and I mentioned how last year's B&B was the most miserable ride of my life, well, now it's a toss up between that one and this one, ugh...

Got up at 5:30 am and ate my power bar and drank my oj. I knew it was going to be cold this morning so I dressed appropriately (ha ha, so I thought) by wearing tights, my Tyler jersey, and my long sleeve jersey over that. I loaded up my gear and headed to Tyler around 6:30. Had some pb crackers around 7:00. Arrived in Tyler around 7:15 and registered. Saw several of the Longview peeps and we all congregated inside where it was warm until it was absolutely necessary to get our stuff out. It was cloudy outside and cold (49 degrees, hey...that's cold for us Texans, especially for the last day in April). As we were hanging out inside, people are saying it's sprinkling outside. WHAT?! NO NO NO! Okay, calm down, a little sprinkle never hurt anyone; besides, the weather guy said there was like NO chance of rain so at least it wouldn't pour.
Event warmup:

I finally go outside and get my bike out. I wanted more clothes badly I was so cold. I tried to calm my body down and just tried to tell myself that I would warm-up once we got going. I rode around the parking lot and stopped kind of at an entrance to it, before I knew it, all of the Longview people were gathered around me and then people started lining up behind us...look at me being the trendsetter! They officialy took out the race this year; therefore it was just a tour meaning no awards or prizes would be given away. However, with cyclists it's always understood as a race.
  • 3h 15m
  • 65 miles
  • 20.00 mile/hr

Oh Lordy! What a ride! We take off and it starts downhill so we are cruising around the 30 mph mark. You couldn't slow up if you wanted to. We finally get into the turns and hills and the pace is still high. I'm cranking away but I am nervous that there is no way I can hold on to this pace, my legs already felt tired. However, once our lead group broke away from the rest I felt much more comfortable, actually extremely relaxed and it felt easy to hang with the group. As I mentioned earlier it was sprinkling, but not enough to get the roads wet. Then, it picked up a little more...roads now wet. Then, a little more, little more...okay it's freakin' pouring now. The pace actually slowed up quite a bit at times and I am the worst about staying calm at times like this...I feel like we need to be going balls to the wall the entire time. Eric, my swim coach was there and I could tell he felt the same way so we kept going to the front which was stupid. Things went well those first few miles, we were moving at a good clip because the wind was at our backs and everyone is talking and having a good time. Those guys are so funny, they crack me up, I was laughing practically the whole time (first 20 miles) I was the only girl with the group other than Andrea Hannos who is a pro rider (she rides for Rona out of Canada). I couldn't believe at how great I was taking the curves and turns, I'm usually pretty conservative around them, but today I was haulin' around them and not batting an eye, just really not like me. Every once in awhile there would be a break away, but we always reeled them back in. Then Andrea and some other guy take off and no one goes after her. It was so funny because everyone started giving her husband, Rory a hard time for letting his wife beat up on him like that. I found it hilarious. We get to the first rest stop and the Tyler people working it are so excited to see that I'm riding with the big boys. One of the guys said, "Looks like you've got quite the fan club." Around mile 23 or so things started to pick up...I knew they were wanting to catch the break away. It was time to knuckle down and hold on. My goal for the ride was to hang on until the Beast (mile 32) and then ride with the stragglers and try to pick off people as I could coming back in. Those miles leading up to the Beast were tough and it was pouring and cold and just yuck. We got to this one hill and I was losing a little bit of ground at first and I was like, why am I having so much trouble with this stupid thing? Then I realized, omg this is Baby Beast (the hill before the Beast which also sucks, just not as much as the Beast). I couldn't believe we were already there. We got to the Beast and it was total Chaos. People were weaving all over the place, people are dying. I'm trying my best to just keep moving. I tried to stand up and ride, but my wheels kept slipping because it was so slick and steep. It was funny because people were slipping and sliding all over the place. I reached the top and took a nice deep breath. I made it! I start pedalling hard on Hwy 69 and realize, wait a second, there's Rory, Pat, Eric, the Richardson bike mart boys, Martin, Carlos, etc. Holy Cow! I'm still with the lead group! SWEET!! I feel good! The hammer is dropped on Hwy 69 and we are cruising at 26-27 mph into the freakin' wind. The road here is smooth though and straight and fairly flat. It is still pouring rain and riding in a line water is being kicked up all over the place. I ditch my sunglasses in my pocket because they are useless at this point. I've got mud all over my this is just a blast, NOT! I'm towards the front half of the group and Brandon is on my left and tells me that Pat is moving to the front. I knew what that meant...get ready to haul a$$! I back off my wheel to let Brandon in the line and prepare myself to sprint, as if going 27 mph wasn't fast enough. Here we go! Then...I heard the most awful sound in the I've had to hear way too many times. That screeching of metal as bikes are colliding. I see people flipping in front of me and my life flashes before my eyes. Brakes at this point are uselss. The only thing I could do was pull a Lance Armstrong and head for the grass. People are diving all over the place. I'm flying into the grass and all I can think is, "I'm in the grass, I'm in the grass, if I go down now it's okay because I'm in the grass...okay there's a fence coming at me, lets turn the wheel." I finally get my bike slowed to a stop and I hop off and bend over. I am just shaking like crazy. Rick is walking back towards me and just keeps telling me, "It's okay, you're alright." But as he's telling me this, he has the same look of fear on his face. A couple of years ago he was in a really bad crash and had to have his hip replaced so I knew this crash didn't help his nerves. I kind of look back and see the bodies everywhere. People are rushing back to help the injured. Rick says it's survival time to make it to the finish because it was so cold and wet and our bodies were cooling down quickly. I agree and decide to take off with him because I would only be in the way and there was nothing that I could do, plus...I'm a weenie when it comes to blood, especially when it's not my own. So I pull some grass and flowers off my bike and Rick and I start heading north and we pass people here and there, turn off of Hwy 69 on to this extremely rough, bumpy road that has several S curves. We finally make it off of that and we were now in a group of 5-6 of us. Rick can't hang on so I continue on with the group...I couldn't feel my feet, hands, I was so freakin' ready to be done. The rest of the ride pretty much went from riding from group to group. I would ride with a group until they went too slow up the hills and then I would move on to the next group. The last several miles are really hilly. Everyone is so concerned about the Beast, but actually those last 20 miles really are the worst because the hills are just never ending, plus with the strong north wind today, it just made it that much worse. When our loop cut back in with the shorter loops I passed lots of riders that took the shorter loops. I was surprised at how many people had to walk certain hills. Oh, and of course, my computer had quit working too after about 40 miles so I had no idea what gear I was in, speed, nada. It would come back in every once in awhile. We turned off of the Lake road and the lady at one of the turns said that we had 5 miles left. Hmmm, seems like I got that story last year too and they were I trust them this time? Luckily, she was telling the truth. I have never been so happy to turn back into UT Tyler and get off of my bike. It was a very long miserable ride, but hey, I survived!
What would you do differently?:

Drink more. I went through half a bottle of water the entire time. Probably not good, even though I never felt thirsty, but then again, perhaps with all of that rain that my body soaked in, I didn't need it, lol.
Post race
Warm down:

I immediately loaded up my bike (ha ha, I still had grass in it and my shoes were covered in like those little seed things from tall grass) and grabbed my change of clothes and headed to the bathrooms. Changing is fun when you have no feeling in your hands. Felt like it took me forever. I wiped the mud off of my face and washed my hands. ahhh, that warm water felt so good. I just stood there for awhile letting the water thaw my hands and then I pondered sticking my feet up in the sink too, but decided that probably wouldn't be my best judgement. After changing I found the rest of the fast Longview gang. Turns out, after the crash they took a short cut and came back all the way down 69, which while is straight into the wind, is flat and smooth. What pansies! Pat said he was just so cold. However, Pat said that they had been planning to cut it short before the incident because he and most of the other fast people were miserable. Several people took that short cut home (ended up being 54 miles). So, I was one of a very select few that actually did the full route. We went and stuffed ourselves with pizza. I ate 8 slices of pizza!! By myself! That's an entire pizza! I'm such a freak! Oh, and I found out more about the crash. Jeff Soape went down...poor guy. It did quite a bit of damage to his bike. He didn't break anything on his body, but he was pretty banged up and bloody. Discovered how the crash happened....Eric's brother Chancey did it. This lesson goes out to all the triathletes out there...See the thing is, Chancey (and Eric) is a triathlete and doesn't ride in a group very much. He went to get a water bottle in the middle of the pack while cruising at 27 mph. He was shaky getting it out, but everyone was okay. However, when he went to put it back in, he lost control and started to roll which started the chain reaction. If you haven't ridden in a group and cannot reach for things in a controled manner, especially at that pace, don't do things like that! If you need water, pull out of the group and get your water, etc. so that it doesn't endanger others. I come from a roadie background and while my heart is in triathlons, I'll admit, I don't like riding in a group with them because for the most part, they aren't safe. I know they don't intentionally do this, they just haven't learned and are not 100% comfortable on the bike. Just get experience and keep it safe out there. A couple guys went to the hospital today with broken bones and several bikes were damaged.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Rain, umm rain, cold, rain, cold, rough roads. Actually, I think I did about as good as I could do considering the circumstances. My legs actually felt pretty good for the length of the ride. I was surprised at how I was able to sit and spin up most of the hills while a lot of others, even the racer dudes stood up and cranked it out. Overall I averaged 20 mph...and my overall time includes the few freak out minutes after the crash.

Event comments:

The Tyler Bike Club always does a great job putting this race on. Always lots of police to monitor turns, lots of flaggers, plenty of aid stations if your into that thing. This is a challenging course, but is very scenic. The poor Tyler bike club though just hasn't been able to catch a break from the weather the past two years (I think I jinxed it because last year was my first B&B and look at what it's done!) There was lots of Double Dave's pizza at the end, well, if you got there before me there was, lol.

Last updated: 2005-04-30 12:00 AM
03:15:00 | 65 miles | 20.00 mile/hr
Age Group: 0/
Overall: 0/
Performance: Below average
Wind: Strong
Course: The ride starts at UT Tyler off of Spur 248 heads south through some roads, then west on some other roads, up the beast, north on 69, east on some roads, back north on some roads around Lake Tyler back to UT Tyler. This course is extremely hilly, the roads are really tough in most places, and the wind was extremely strong out of the north. Made for an extremely tough day of riding.
Road: Rough  Cadence:
Turns: Good Cornering: Good
Gear changes: Good Hills: Good
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Not enough
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 5
Physical exertion [1-5] 4
Good race? Ok
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Average
Race evaluation [1-5] 4

2005-04-30 4:26 PM

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Longview, TX
Subject: Beauty and the Beast

2005-04-30 7:58 PM
in reply to: #150531

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Plant City, FL
Subject: RE: Beauty and the Beast
What a fun filled day you had Gina!!  Good for you for getting out there in the wet and cold, surviving a crash, completing the long course strong and taking out an entire pizza!!    You Rock!!
2005-04-30 8:04 PM
in reply to: #150531

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Extreme Veteran
Denver, CO
Subject: RE: Beauty and the Beast
Wow, that sounds like quite the day, Gina. You are so strong--great job. It seems like some of our Colorado weather headed down just in time to make your day miserable. 
2005-04-30 9:50 PM
in reply to: #150531

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Virginia Beach, VA
Subject: RE: Beauty and the Beast
Wow, what a day! Good job keeping yourself together during the crash Glad to hear you are ok.
2005-04-30 11:49 PM
in reply to: #150531

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Extreme Veteran
Subject: RE: Beauty and the Beast
Yet again, excellent work from an inspiring athlete! Thank You.
I totally agreed with the part about triathletes in bike packs - and the water bottle thing - it was true - very true. Rest up now Gina!
2005-05-01 2:58 PM
in reply to: #150531

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Extreme Veteran
Fort Worth, TX
Subject: RE: Beauty and the Beast
Awesome work Gina!  Look at you being all hoss and hanging with the boys the whole time.  Not to mention they were all looking to YOU to lead the whole thing off.  Great job chick!!

And your race reports are so awesome.  I was right there in the moment with you.  My heart was beating fast, and it sunk to my stomach at the crash.

Not only are you a kick ass racer, your reports make us feel like we're right there with you!


2005-05-02 3:13 PM
in reply to: #150531

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Littleton, CO
Subject: RE: Beauty and the Beast

Wow, quite the "tour"

A good read, as always.  Great ride! 

I'm tempted to skip BSL so that I can watch instead.  Crazy things seem to happen around you!

2005-05-11 12:39 PM
in reply to: #150531

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Texarkana, TX
Subject: RE: Beauty and the Beast
Dude, from the sounds of things, I am happy I was on a big airplane on the way to Australia that day instead of punishing myself on the backroads of Smith County.  Way to go, though on the race tour.
2005-05-13 10:57 PM
in reply to: #150531

, Alabama
Subject: RE: Beauty and the Beast

Jeez Louise, what a hair-raising story.  Great reflexes to get you out of that mess before you got yourself hurt.  Very speedy too.


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