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Horribly Hilly Hundreds 100K - CycleTour

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Blue Mounds, Wisconsin
United States
Viking Biking Club
80F / 27C
Total Time = 5h 45m
Overall Rank = /
Age Group =
Age Group Rank = 0/
  • 5h 45m
  • 70 miles
  • 12.17 mile/hr

I hadn't originally signed up to do this ride but a few of my BT friends kinda nudged me to do so. So in a moment of insanity I picked up a transfer entry to this ride. Although I've been training for Ironman Wisconsin my hill training hasn't really been too much to speak of given I live in the flat-lands. I've done a few 70-75 milers with some rollers and many computrainer hill simulations, but not a lot of serious inclines. I had recently installed a 13-26 cassette on my bike and I was hoping that would be enough to get me up most of the hills w/ my compact. (Was it? No.)

Whizz kindly offered to let me stay at her house and ride up to HHH with her and Trixie, who was also staying with her. To be honest I was a little freaked out at the thought of meeting new people. I can be rather shy, but I pushed through and sucked it up. After I got there we went out to dinner, hung out and talked, and packed up the car then off to bed for an early start.

We got up at insane AM (3:15-ish) after getting maybe 3-4 hours of sleep. We rode up in Trixies ride w/ Whizzzzz at the wheel. Both Trxie and Whizz are fabulously funny and kept this girl entertained and laughing on both the car ride up and back.

We got there on time but there was a line of cars waiting to get into the park. By the time we unloaded registered and waited up for some people we got a slightly late start. I think we ended up leaving around 7:30.

Off we go. The markings on this course are just slightly unclear and we almost missed the entire first loop. So we circled back to the start and ended up putting in an extra 2-3 miles this way. CindyK, MarkK, Whizzzzz and myself rode together. I warned Whizzzzz that she might have to wait for me at the end but to feel free and go ahead. I was going to do my best to stick with them but expected to be alone most of the ride.

We reach the first sharp long hill. We had heard people saying there were people walking the first hill already. When we got there I pushed as much as I could. My HR started to skyrocket already and I ran out of gears to spin in. About 3/4 of the way up this hill I already too had to get off and walk. Mind you at the time I didn't know it was one of the largest hills besides the ones at the very end but it left me feeling a bit fearful and defeated that I was crushed by the first real hill.

Sadly this wasn't the only time I had to walk. I was expecting to have to walk a few hills, but I ended up having to walk half a dozen or more times. Part of this was my lack of climbing gearing for my power to weight ratio (I'm not a tiny little thing) but The GOOD news is most of the time I could keep up with them on the flats and rollers. I would just lose them on the steeper inclines. They would be kind and wait for me every now and then despite my urging that they could move on w/o me. I felt really bad... though.... but It was really nice of them to do so. The ride would have been a long one w/o them.

So things were going OK but I ran into the first major snag. I tried to unclip on a hill and my shoe would not pop out! I twist and pull and finally it does... but it send me to the ground (on an uphill so I was going so slow). I look at my shoe and somehow I've lost 2 out of 3 screws holding the cleat on the shoe. Wonderful. Some guys try and help by tightening my one remaining screw and tell me the rest stop is only 3 miles away so on my way I go hoping they had some kinda fix for me.

I get back on the bike... but then maybe 10 minutes later I notice my bento box is Emptyyyyyyy! Whaaaaaa? Then I realize when I ate dirt it must have dumped out all my nutrition. Great. Well luckily I was a smart cookie and had 2 extra bags of infinite in my saddle bag so the new fuel plan was now all liquid until I could get to the first major rest stop and grab whatever they had (which happened to be combos. I figured they had a good salt content)

Right before that first major rest stop... I try and unclip again and this time it just won't come out. At ALL! The cleat just turns when I turn the shoe. Tightening the screw didn't help. So I unclip on the other side leave my shoe on the peddle and just DRAGGGGG my shoe on the ground as I go up a rather steep incline to the first rest stop. (Who puts a rest stop before such an evil incline?!) My poor riding mates see me and were wondering what had kept me. I make my way over to Bike support which was handled by REI. The REI guy was fabulous and managed to find some bottle cage screws that worked as a temporary fix to get my cleat stable enough to ride. Wooo! That's a great tip for you in an emergency! You're welcome. :)

The rest of the ride was less drama as far as far as no technical difficulties but I was getting frustrated at the number of times I was having to get off the bike to walk. I'd do OK on short steep inclines but the longer ones would burn out my legs. I was fine until about mile 55 or so... but then I pretty much had no juice left in the legs and I started to lag behind my group even on the flats and rollers. Again they were nice enough to wait for me now and then.

There was another evil hill back into the finish line something like 900 ft of climbing. By then there is nothing left in the legs. I managed to get maybe halfway up then walk... then there was a flat bit... I get back on the bike and get another halfway up that and have to get off the bike to cross the finish line. Right before the finish line a spectator looks at me and says "You're almost done!" I look at my shoes which I am now carrying and not wearing up a 15 percent grade hill a few hundred feet from the finish line and I say "Nope, I AM done!"

As I cross the finish line the announcer girl looks at me and says "Girl!" (probably because 75 percent of the riders there were men) and then because I'm walking says "Anyway you can do it!" yeah, thanks... rub it in.

Afterward we hung out and ate for maybe and hour. I met a bunch of really nice BT people I hadn't spoken to online before... and then we left for the long ride home. Laughing all the way.

Thanks to Cindy and Mark who waited for me. They probably didn't know they were going to end up riding with a vertically challenged rider.... and extra special thanks to Whizzzzz and Trixie for being so great to hang out with and letting me stay with them. Also thanks to MattB who encouraged me to ride this insane ride. Despite it being a challenge that might have been slightly over my head it was fun. MOST of the time anyway. It was a great training ride for IMOO. Not only is it going to make IMOO hills not look so bad, but I think it might be a kick in the pants that I need to encourage me to go find some more hills before it's too late.

All in all I'm glad I did it. I didn't cry which is good, but I think my legs WERE crying.

6,000 feet of climbing in 70 miles = no Joke! Horribly? yes! Hilly? yes! Hundred? well yes since we added in 2-3 miles of riding my walking didn't take away from hitting 100k. I don't know my exact ride mileage and I didn't start my Garmin right away. 5:45 time-ish but it includes walk time too.
What would you do differently?:

Check cleats before a major ride - Tighten them! Train more hills before hand even if this was a training ride in itself for IMOO.
Post race
Event comments:

It hurt. I had little left at the end. Its been awhile since I've been one a ride where I was begging for the end to appear. Despite it being slightly over my head I might come back next year with better gearing, less weight, and more climbing experience. I'd like to do it without walking.

Last updated: 2010-06-04 12:00 AM
05:45:00 | 70 miles | 12.17 mile/hr
Age Group: 0/
Overall: 0/
Wind: Some with gusts
Course: 5,700 feet of elevation (probably closer to 6,000 as we tacked on a few miles) in Wisconsin's Blue Mounds area. Many sharp uphills. Well earned name of Horribly Hilly.
Road:   Cadence:
Turns: Cornering:
Gear changes: Hills:
Race pace: Drinks:
Post race
Weight change: %
Mental exertion [1-5]
Physical exertion [1-5]
Good race?
Course challenge Too hard
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Good
Race evaluation [1-5] 4

2010-06-22 1:36 AM

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Subject: Horribly Hilly Hundreds 100K

2010-06-22 5:59 AM
in reply to: #2935864

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Silver member
Subject: RE: Horribly Hilly Hundreds 100K
Yaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay! Nice job, girlie.
2010-06-22 7:12 AM
in reply to: #2935864

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West Chester, Ohio
Subject: RE: Horribly Hilly Hundreds 100K
I have heard about that event.  You did great to complete that ride. 

No way would I ride those hills!
2010-06-22 8:45 AM
in reply to: #2935864

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Subject: RE: Horribly Hilly Hundreds 100K
Nice job.  It is a crazy tough ride.  Nice to fight through the cleat issue.  Wasn't it cool of them to put the first aid station at the top of a monster hill. 
2010-06-22 12:22 PM
in reply to: #2935864

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Northridge, California
Subject: RE: Horribly Hilly Hundreds 100K
Yay!  I have to say I'd be sobbing with the cleat're a rock!
2010-06-22 2:01 PM
in reply to: #2935864

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Subject: RE: Horribly Hilly Hundreds 100K
Great job Debb!  I think you are right.  This will make the hills of IMoo look easy!  Congrats!

2010-06-22 2:18 PM
in reply to: #2935864

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over a barrier
Subject: RE: Horribly Hilly Hundreds 100K
That ride scares me! I get ill thinking about Barlow :-)

This ride will make IMOO feel like Chicago! Great work...keep plugg'in away.
2010-06-22 2:52 PM
in reply to: #2935864

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Portland, Oregon
Subject: RE: Horribly Hilly Hundreds 100K
Awesome job. You're gonna be riding up every hill in no time, guaranteed!
Way to persevere.
2010-06-23 10:04 AM
in reply to: #2935864

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Cambridge, MA
Subject: RE: Horribly Hilly Hundreds 100K
Even the name of the event has me ready to shed a tear!

Congrats on getting through such a challenging ride, and taking all the cleat drama in stride!  Awesome job, "Girl!" :D

It sounds like the kind of event you can always pull out of the mental arsenal for tough days and tough courses... if you made it through the end of that when you wished it was already over, everything else should seem like a piece of cake!
2010-06-23 11:07 AM
in reply to: #2935864

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Fairfax, VA
Subject: RE: Horribly Hilly Hundreds 100K
wow, this sounds like an insane ride.... way to go!!!  Congrats!
2010-06-26 8:52 AM
in reply to: #2935864

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Northbrook, IL
Subject: RE: Horribly Hilly Hundreds 100K
Nice ride! Excellent example of fighting through adversity. I agree with the question about the rest stop at the top of that hill. Maybe they just wanted us to feel like we earned it :-)

2010-06-26 5:04 PM
in reply to: #2935864

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Subject: RE: Horribly Hilly Hundreds 100K
Great job to push through, overcome obstacles and do it!

Get another cassette...that is why I rode a 11-34 at IM Canada..spun up those mountains easy peasy so much easier than my 11-28 I used at IMLP.

This will make you stronger.

Someone else had cleat problems and I read it in a race report so before all my important races I check my cleat bolts to make sure they are good to go.

You rock!

How fun to ride with Whizzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz and Trixie!
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