Yet another sunny and gorgeous day for Day Four – it’s almost maddening to know that weather this consistently nice exists in April. It’s cold/rainy in Portland today, so I feel very fortunate to be able to be basking in the desert sun. Long bike ride was on the agenda for today, but first we sat around, drank coffee and watched videotape of the very first Hawaii Ironman – very entertaining to see how far the sport has come. Plus the host of our camp was in the race, so he had some amusing behind the scenes stories, so it was cool to watch that.
After a nice relaxing morning, we headed out to get ready for the ride. Erin decided that she needed to try out a new helmet for the ride:
She even went and asked Dan if she could borrow it, but he seemed to think she had it on wrong. Hmmmm.
The ride started with the same route we did on Thursday, but this time we kept going instead of turning around. The first part was a gradual climb, which was okay, but then we turned the corner and headed up a significantly longer and steeper climb. I did pretty well, but there were a couple of rest stops to catch my breath. By the end of the climb, it was a struggle to make it to where the other ladies were waiting for me. There was some discussion of turning around at that point, but we decided to press on a bit further, lured by the promise of a five mile downhill ahead. But before we got to do that, we had to climb one more hill to climb. I made it half-way up this one, before taking a walk break with Leslie, who had the much better excuse of having had a baby five months ago.
But finally, we made it to the top of the hill and it was downhill time. Descending is both fun and scary, especially since the road is winding and there were gusts of wind. I’ve been trying to hone my skills and felt a lot less terrified than usual (though there were still some moments that were a little nerve-wracking.) After the five mile descent, we stopped for a brief rest stop and I took an opportunity to take a picture of the surrounding scenery.
Deanna (above left) is riding my dream bike – the Cervelo P2C, but she’s really nice so I don’t hold it against her… 😀
The rest of the ride was pretty nice, I noodled along chatting with Jennifer (pictured above on the right) and spinning along easily. We’d done the last section every day, so we were familiar with all of the various uphill spots, false flats and places to gather speed, etc. Then it was time for the final climb home, which we’d ridden before. The key is to hammer the downhill as hard as you can and build up speed going into the climb. It’s soooo much fun to ride fast before the very slow grind up the hill. Today was probably the hardest the climb has been because of all of the other climbing, but I still made it up the thing. Then at the top, Monty had driven his pickup truck down, so we had a ride up the dirt road, which was much appreciated by that point.
After all of that hard work, it was time for our reward – an awesome lunch of sandwiches, chicken noodle soup, potato salad and Oreos, accompanied by an ice cold Diet Coke. Perfection. Then after a quick rinse and change, we headed for the glorious hot tub:
After a tough ride, sitting in a hot tub out in the sunshine with a nice breeze blowing is pretty sweet. We had a nice conversation and emerged very relaxed. We’ve since spent the day lounging around and having a nice chill day. A few of the ladies went out for a run, but I opted not to join them. Since tonight is the last night of camp, we’ll have a little gift exchange, some more margaritas/wine/beer and lots of laughing and carrying on. I’ll try to remember to snap some pics and post them tomorrow.
Ciao for now!