March 19, Saturday: Tour de Pike (100 mi) / C Event / COMPLETE: Opted for the “metric” (62 miles) option at this event. Was still recovering from Tough Mudder the weekend before with a calf strain, boo 😦 Great ride with Todd A and Dougie (most of the ride, he went the full 100). Nice pace with about a 21-22 mph avg by the end. Awesome post-ride food. Will do this one again in the future.

So my first organized event for the year, besides the Tundra TT I guess, was Tour de Pike. This was only one week after TM and I was hurting, still fighting constant cramps in my left calf from what I can only assume was a severe strain (maybe even a partial tear) of the Achilles complex. Besides the bright orange finisher’s headband, and a nicely bruised left arm from the shot-out vein, it all I have to remember the event. Never went in for diagnostic imaging for the leg though the be sure what was going on inside. I’ve had enough leg stuff in my past, if you haven’t noticed the scars. I really didn’t want to have them opened up yet again. Plus I had a huge schedule this year and just didn’t have the time to dally around with an issue right off the bat. I was originally intending on doing the full hundred at TdPike. As we rolled out on this cool morning (this is BTW pretty early in the year for such a ride. Pike County I believe touts this as the first century of the year in the greater ATL area), I quickly decided I was cutting this one short, down to the metric century (100K or ~62 miles). I headed out with Diesel and TA. TA was fighting some issues (for quite some time, they unfortunately turned out to be much more serious) so he too was looking to just do the metric. Nothing really spectacular to report ride-wise. We formed a little paceline with about 6 or 8 other guys and started to try to work up into a low 20s average (20 mph that is). Unfortunately, being so early in the year, everyone’s fitness just wasn’t quite there so we were all over the place with a couple stronger and a couple weaker riders. At the 62 / 100 breakoff, TA and I headed back in, wishing Dougie well on his fill 100 miler. Turns out, we probably made a very wise decision, at least for our tummies (apart from me not further injuring myself and TA not waking his own sleeping dragon).

Post-ride meals tend to be really, really disappointing. A disproportionate (I think it may be safe to say most) rides begin and end at a school, which unfortunately leads the race organizer to utilize the school’s kitchen. I’ll take this one step further and suggest that they may even help said school’s kitchen to utilize the food that students either won’t eat or is going (if not already) out-of-date. It’s generally total crap. In fact, I no longer even make an attempt to partake and usually just pack up and hit the road, famished after hammering it out on the bike anywhere from 5 to 12 hours. The Pike County Kiwanis Club though (the folks putting the event on), they have something special. Besides being a really scenic route with awesome course volunteers and a moderate level attendance (these things can get too big, thus causing shortages of supplies or more seriously, the “domino effect” when too many riders fight for too little space and one tiny mishap mushrooms into potentially hundreds of bodies being strewn about the highway, I may be exaggerating here a little, but I have seen at least a dozen go down in unison before), they have by far (at least this year), the most awesome post-race meal I have ever eaten, a feast fit for a king. I can’t remember but I’m pretty sure it’s the Concord Café in Concord, GA. Anyway, riding short, TA and I were able to get in and enjoy before the mass of 100 milers came in to wipe out everything. Someday, I’m going back, minus the riding agenda, and just enjoy, it’s worth the drive.