“This was the longest 1 day cycling ride I have ever completed, both in terms of distance ridden (150+ miles) and time elapsed (14 hours). The fact that is was mostly gravel with bounty of ‘B’ roads made this even more remarkable for me.
The previous weeks ill feelings and eventual DNF due to mechanical during the Buffalo 105 had left me doubtful of my ability to successfully complete the Spotted Horse. But, I decided to at least try and see what I could do. We started in the dark at 6 AM. It was a bit cool, and I am somewhat of a slow starter in cooler temperatures.
I rode with Katherine Roccasecca for the first hour or so until we hit the first major climb of the day. Katherine was still recovering from a whiplash injury and dropped back during the climb, whereas the gearing on my bike doesn’t go as low as I would like, so I had to grind up the hill at a higher pace. I was on my own at that point.
For the most part the rest of the ride went fairly well. I had a routine: grind up the hills, recover on the descents, and pace the rest of the time.
At mile 86, I suffered a flat, but was able to repair it and continue with a short delay. The rest at the 100 mile mark in Orient, IA was a little longer than the previous stops had been.
Shortly after leaving Orient, the first of the leg cramps hit, Although I had been consuming plenty of liquids and electrolytes the miles were taking their toll. For each muscle cramp, I would adjust my riding to work my way past the cramp without stopping. Sometimes this was more difficult than at other times.
At about the 145 mile mark, I rolled into Winterset, IA low on water, so I made a short detour to a convenience store and bought a liter of bottled water thinking that this would be enough. And it was, but just barely. I finished the race, shared a hug with Race Directer, Sarah Cooper, and rode the rest of the way to the ranch conference center where we had started over 14 hours earlier.”