It was a perfect weekend to go to eastern Washington (the dry side of the state) to get some long training in. Friday night the crew (Col, Bryan, Futa, Kyle and I) drove over and we got to stay in Col's family cabin near the Entiat river (I think).
We were up around 7ish to get an earlier start on a long day of riding - the plan was to do about 90 to 95 miles.
We started at nice little park on the river and headed towards Wenatchee - of course the nice breeze soon became an annoying headwind. It was hard to get over 17mph - of course the guys were riding strong so I tried to draft off of them as much as possible.
About 5-10 miles out of Wenatchee I got a flat on my front wheel. I was really lucky because Kyle and Futa were only a couple 100 yards in front of me and I yelled as loud as I could and for some reason they turned around... Now I know how to change my tire and have done so but I'm very slow.. so Kyle came back and changed it very quickly for me. Then he pulled me the rest of the way into Wenatchee at 21+ mph to get back to the group.
At this point we crossed over the river and headed the other direction which turned the head wind into a wonder tailwind. I felt really good and cruised along. I would catch Kyle and Bryan on the flats and then they would drop me on the hills and so on for while. They pulled off and we refilled/topped off water bottles and waited for Futa and Col. After a little bit Bryan told me just to go and they would catch me so I took off down the highway.
I just cruised along enjoying the tailwind pushing me along. I waited a couple of time because I was surprised that they had not caught me yet. I knew I had to turn at some bridge but I did not know anything for sure so I stopped and waited for about 5-10 min until Col caught me - I guess both Col and Futa had gotten flats. Futa had issues with his CO2 cartridge or something so it took them longer to change his. Anyway once Col got to me we kept going and had almost reached the bridge when Col got a second flat on her rear tire... The guys finally caught us by the time she had the tire off and was looking for her second spare tube - which she could not find but we knew both Kyle and Bryan had spare tubes.
We crossed the bridge and continued heading towards Chelan. By this time we were all starting to run low on water - then the road turned from nice smooth asphalt to chip seal yucky crap. Within 5 miles I got another flat - this time my rear wheel. Again Kyle changed it really quickly for me but another 5 miles up the road it was low on air again. We filled it with some more air in hopes to get up to Chelan and if needed get another tube. But just the thought of it going flat as I climb up a rather long steep hill made me hesitant esp since the roads were still nasty chip seal stuff. I finally made it to the top and I was out of water - actually Col was the only one with any. By this time I was starting to feel a bit light headed and could defiantly feel the heat.
We finally made it into town, managed to find the bike shop and got some tubes and CO2 cartridges, then to safeway to get loads of water and I was pleasantly surprised to find premixed accelerade as well. I still had half a bottle of highly concentrated lemonade accelerade for my aero bottle but I liked having extra. While in Chelan we also stopped at Subway and grabbed a sandwich - I was only mildly hungry so I only got a 4 inch sub - everyone gave a me hard time but i think it was perfect because it did not fill me up to much so that I could stay on my normal nutrition routine.
After getting fluids I felt way better - I forced myself to drink every 15 min or so and even had a gel on our way out of town. We went around the lake a bit and then we took a left up this crazy switch back hill. Kyle and Bryan had gone past the turn and added some extra miles to the ride (esp Kyle who added a hill to) - it was a good thing Futa managed to get some cell coverage because none of us really had the energy to go chasing after either of them - esp knowing we had to climb the crazy hill. I did not push it to hard just went at what ever pace I could muster - I stayed about 100yrds behind Futa the entire way up. At one point I was only going 4 mph - I had to stand every once and while just to keep my momentum going up hill. Somehow I made it up the hill where we waited for Kyle to catch up.
I'm not sure what happened after the hill - maybe it woke my legs up or something but as we got going again I felt great, my legs felt strong and I had energy to spare. It was so weird - I started to push the pace some. I would ride behind Kyle and Bryan and then pass them going up the hills. Of course they passed me on the down hills but I caught back up and then passed them. It was so much fun - I never get to even ride up with them much less push them. It reminds me of when I used to push Kyle to ski nonstop down International - I have not felt like that in a long time.
There was a very long downhill which I just tried my best to keep Kyle and Bryan in sight. Then we were back on the main highway heading back into the headwind and towards the park we started at. I still felt great and I continued to push the pace. Bryan of course gave me some crap and made me pull which is unheard of. We made it back to the park and I felt great about my ride. Yeah there were some challenges but everything worked out, I never let them effect me to much and I finished really strong :)
Once we got the bikes in the truck we all soaked our legs in the nice cold river - it was the perfect way to end a hard ride in the heat. I drank the premixed accelerade while chilling my legs to try and help recovery so I had something left for Sunday.