I should have written this a very long time ago but here goes
On September 19 Paul and I arrived a little late to the waterfront park but since there was no mass start for the ride we were not very concerened. It wasn't the first ride we had been late too. ;) We met up with Tony and Tosha to get the ride started. It was a gorgeous morning and I felt ready to go.
To start out of the waterfront park was pretty rough. The legs were cold and not warmed up and to start out in a really hilly neighborhood was not my idea of fun. I was starting to get that feeling that I really wasn't prepared. I was so excited to have the best people around me for support. We had a good little paceline going around the backside of the lake. The winds were there and we knew that they were going to become a factor later in the morning.
The ride through Cherry Lake I finally started to feel my legs come to me. It also helped that I knew where I was by this point of the ride. Being familiar with your surronds really seem to help, they do me anyway. Tosha and I had a really great time chatting through Cherry Lake while Paul and Tony did there things many feet ahead of us. We made it sag #1 at SR 19. This stop was a good boost for me. It made me feel like I was really going to do this and I was going to do it was style!! While I was there I met Carol, a mutual friend. She told me that Coach, DW and Paul had FLOWN by her a lot earlier in the day. LOL She assured me that if they happened to stop the next time around she would tell that I had stopped by. ;)
The next 20ish miles were rolling up SR 19, over on CR 455 passed Buckhill and finally a turn north on 561. We got to sag #2 and it was very much needed. I just needed to get off the saddle to walk a bit. My behind was getting sore. I was very encouraged by my speed and climbing up until this point. The thought did keep entering my mind that Sugarloaf was going to be at mile 50 something and unfortunately I just didn't know how I well I was going to do that far in. But I was still ready for the challenge.
The weather although gorgeous it was starting to get really windy, right in our face! We were on the flat part of the ride. It was 20ish miles of headwinds, side (blow you off your bike) winds and smelly cows. Nice roads though. Sag #3 was a potty break and nice chat with the only guy left at the stop. He was a cool guy. Off to Sugarloaf we go. The butterflies finally really took over and I started to overthink that whole thing. But I was still ready to do it! Come on Sugarloaf.
I took the left turn and looked to the top. This is what a trained for. I was ready thanks to Coach! I started up the hill and was feeling really strong and proud of myself. Tony and Paul went up the hill like they wasn't even trying. Tosha and I took our sweet ass time getting from the bottom to the top. The funniest part of the initial climb with Paul's comment while at the bottom. "You have more gears?!" he said. "I KNOW" I said. :) I was proud to say that it took some time before I had to get down the the granny gear. Hell yeah! Everyone that has ever climbed Sugarloaf knows that once you get to the black mailbox it starts to even out and becomes not quite so steep, this is when the smile creeped across my face. Paul had come back down at that point to climb back up with me. I looked over at him smiled, and geared up. I rocked it up Sugarloaf. No one could ever take the smile off my face. The crew running the sag at the top were the best.