Just back in from TX with the big ride report. Verdict? Overall, I ran better than I hoped and I'm feeling that my race training is on the right track.
Sorry, no pictures to show as my camera is too bulky and I didn't want any extra weight to carry. But the ride went something like this:
Day 1- Belen to Ft Sumner 164 miles in 12 hrs (including the stops)
This part of the route is rolling the entire way, very few flat roads. Slow start due to 30 degree weather and some extended climbimg, but one I was free of Mountainair (first town at 42 miles) and all the recent snowfall, things warmed up nicely. Picked up a bit of a tailwind for the last 50 miles which was nice as there were big rollers the entire way. Didn't get my tarp tent in time so I stayed at a motel. Slept like a rock!
Day 2- Ft Sumner to Levelland, TX 152miles 11hrs 16min
Getting going again in the morning was probably to best Tour Divide prep I've had so far as it was very, VERY HARD to drag myself out of bed to face another 150+ miles. Despite the aches and pains though, once I got on the bike, all was great. The day started with a steady 2 mile climb out of Ft Sumner and, to my suprise, I rode it like I was going downhill! A steady cruise for 40 miles to Melrose NM, and breakfast and I locked into a nice rythm for the rest of the trip. Most of the going was pretty flat...it is West TX afterall. The only downside was that I had a headwind most of the day and that slowed me down a bit.
Still, I finished strong with the highlight of the trip coming at about 3 miles to go- all my nieces and nephews were standing by the road to cheer me to the finish! Very cool.
That many miles in that short of a time has given me a few things to work on for the race. While the legs were fine, my hands and feet were really feeling it by the end. Fixes for the race will include gloves with padding, higher bars with more hand positions, and new shoes.
Going to try try to get 100 in tomorrow with the early am/late pm rides.....and oh yeah, maybe some real framebuilding!