Sunday, August 03, 2008

Hills of Fire, I Stand Corrected.

I had a great weekend at my annual Family Reunion. This year my sister in Ohio decided to host the event, so I packed up the girls and headed west Saturday morning. My wife had to work this weekend, her new job doesn't allow any time off yet, but I really wish she could've went with us. I missed having her around.

Several months ago my sister asked if I could do the ALS charity ride they have near her home and since they had a 64 miler on the event list how could I refuse? Of course, drinking beer and eating party food all day after a 6 hour drive on Saturday isn't the great prep for a 7am Sunday ride, but it doesn't really matter in the end right? My brother Chris also decided to do the ride. He doesn't ride, but he's quite a good runner so I had no doubt he'd fair well out there. Cathy signed up for the 25 mile loop and her husband Phil did the 50 mile loop. What a great time!

We started off about 7:30am. There's no set start time so people just roll out randomly all morning long after the official 7:00am start. The ride went along the Chagrin River, and you know what? Ohio really does have Hills of Fire! I soon found myself huffing and puffing up some pretty steep climbs, passing guys in flourescent vests and rearview mirrors all along the way. At one point I saw a guy way up ahead of me turn, look, and speed up. Hey!! he's trying to drop me I thought, so put in an effort and passed him, saying good morning, like I did everyone I passed along the way. He didn't say a word, I think he was in oxygen debt, beyond being able to speak.

I was rolling along well, chewing up the miles along some truly beautiful scenery and really quaint Ohio towns. It's nice out there. I put in some hard hill efforts and really went hard the last 5 miles. I ended up finishing in about 3 hours, 15 minutes. About 20mph average including a stop for food and drinks at one of the rest stops along the way. Overall a great workout and a great time. They served lunch when I got back and had a live band playing some great blues.

A good weekend. Thanks Phil and Cathy for having us. :)

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