Surprisingly enough.....there were not very many people at the campground this morning. With temps in the mid 50's and the race next weekend I figured that there would be a ton of people. When I pulled into Yankee Springs Recreation Area Jay was already there along with a couple of guys. Empty? At 8am? So.....the Long Lake Center must be packed!
Well....it was just Jay and I....so off we went not knowing what the roads would have in store for us. It rained all night in this area....so we figured we would test the roads and if it was nasty the just ride the pavement. The road into the campground was wet....but I was surprised when we hit the first dirt road that it was dry. Perfect in fact. The rain beat down the grating that the county did last week. The Long Lake center......a few cars. Strange.
The ride was going pretty good. We were making pretty good time. Jay would ride away up the hills and wait for me then we would press on. I was still expecting to see a ton of people catching and passing us....but there were only a few. Three of the guys that passed were from the Priority Health team...and those guys are crazy fast. They pass like I am standing on the side of the road. When they passed a kid walked out and asked if the race was today. I told him the race is next weekend and he said "see you then". I am not sure if I should take that a token of good faith...or an ominous warning. Perhaps he will be waiting with a glass of water.....or a stick to ram into my spokes.......a nice pb &J, or his leashed dog ready to release for an attack. I guess we will find out next week.
The rest of the ride was pretty solid....until Sager Road on the return trip. Jay and I blasted straight into Sager Road and and into the sand. Jay cleared the first section, but I was too tired...and too heavy to make it through. Only problem we had....we missed our turn off. Here is a video of the new section....our wrong turn was about 42 seconds in. The route that we rode was purely uphill....and basically unrideable. I would describe it as miserable.
Once we got thru we made the turn north and finally reached Gun Lake Road. 5 miles to go and all pavement. I was slow on the road back. I was in cruise control....but had zero power. I think walking for a long distance up those hills on Sager...and my legs were shot. I rolled to the car with 35 miles on my computer....and just under 3 hours on my watch. Slow....but promising.
The race is next week.....and I have a steep goal of 2:35 for a finishing time. That means I need to shave a staggering 25 minutes off my time from today. I believe I lost around 15 minutes due to our wrong turn. At race pace.....the goal is still steep.....but I need to shoot for it. Shoot for the stars....if you fall short....at least you made it to the moon.....