Hilly Hundred 2023 Day 2

I forget what load of dynamite we needed to get Philip out of bed for the second day. He was definitely feeling the effects from the first day of riding. He had never ridden that far before. The weather was pretty similar, but maybe even cooler because of less sun. Philip was more willing to accept extra layers from Erik.

Mike, Erik, and Philip near first rest stop

The rest stops with food, cider, and music are my favorite part of these rides. Of course, it is also a chance to answer nature’s call.

On this second day, we had a tendency to get more spread out. Often it was Erik and I charging a hill together. Then I’d watch him fly away downhill because I want to live another year and use the brakes and he prefers to not give away any lost speed. On the second day is the biggest climb of the ride – up Mt. Tabor Hill (I know that sounds redundant). It is not that long, just a little over a quarter mile, but you ascend 135 feet – more than a 10% grade. That is the average. Like all hills, it actually gets steeper the closer you get to the top hitting grades of 17%. And to “top it off” – there is a right turn that continues uphill after you’ve made the worst of the climb. In my youth, I was able to do it all the way – even on the Raleigh ten speed. The last time I did this ride, 8 years ago, Hidalgo carried me all the way to the top. This year wasn’t as crowded, but there were some years when I was struggling up this hill with shoes in stirrups or clipped to the pedals in a crowd and then someone would stop right in front of me without warning because they couldn’t make it. At that point, I’d either have to unclip and quit or fall over.

This year, I was still in pretty good shape, but I didn’t have Hidalgo. The Trek was a good bike, but even with a triple, it didn’t have the gearing I needed. Halfway up the hill, I unclipped and walked it. Mike also had to walk it, but went farther than I did. Later we learned that Erik made the climb, but Philip did not.

None of us had a GoPro connected or other technology to capture the experience, but here is what is was like for someone else the year before : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KgbyzNgzhYo

The last leg of the ride, Philip was in bad shape. He was cramping and generally suffering. He told us the only thing that kept him going was the knowledge that his mother had finished this ride in spite of crashing on one of the days.

Mike and I finished together. Of course the “boys” completed the ride as well.

Erik was packed and gone shortly after we finished. He was on his way to play some golf in Indy! Mike and Philip got cleaned up and headed back to Chicago Heights.

Becky and I spent a couple more days in Bloomington. Her brother David took me fishing and we caught enough for a nice fish fry with home made ice cream. What a week!

The Really Not So Lone Rider

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