Team Stages

Physically and Mentally demanding

The double tough was a Gran Fondo on the 12th followed by a metric on the 13th. Dealing with the hot weather was a challenge. The plan to alternate every rest stop went south pretty quickly as the day carried on and the temperature picked up pretty quickly. Saturday was bad - flat seven miles in, lost the group, lots of solo miles. Sunday was a lot better- finished at a decent time.

I was considering what race to register for the Tulsa Tough and finally ended up on the Double Tough Challenge. The Fondo started out pretty well. I was rested, felt strong, and had a good start. It was my first ride that required a Chrono-tag on the seat post. Having a large saddlebag, and room taken up by the rear light, I was afraid that the chronotag wouldn't fit properly and would not register my time. So I made the very unwise decision of unclipping my saddlebag (with ALL my spares) to attach the chronotag. This promptly came back to bite me when 7 miles into the race I had a pinch flat. A fellow rider stopped to help share his spares with me and fix my flat ( Shoutout to Tobby Jackson!) and I lost the group I was riding with. I tried riding with Tobby and catching up to a faster group, passing a lot of groups that were riding at a slower pace. Burning matches and not finding a good group - I decided to let it go and just enjoy the ride - what happened, happened and there was no sense in agonizing over it. Tobby kept me company for most of the ride and we ended up stopping at every rest stop to fill up bottles and an ice sock (pretty neat hack for a fellow rider- stuff a stocking with ice and sliding it down the back of your jersey to stay cool). Around 85 miles in, Tobby started cramping and had to slow down. He asked me to continue on my own and the last 15 miles was a brutal solo struggle in the heat fighting cramps. I made it to the finish line in 6 hrs 41 min - glad to be done with the Fondo...

Day 2 had a rough start - I forgot the start point had changed and had to rush to the right venue, making it to the start line just as the whistle was blown. I managed to make my way up and get on the wheel of a crit racer who ended up on this ride because the Sunday crits' registration was full (shout out to Troy Reynolds!) We took turns pulling, keeping a pretty good pace despite the strong headwinds. Finished the Metric Century in 3 hours 28 min and was happy with the result (47/133), considering the beating I took the previous day. 

The biggest lesson learned - don't leave your spares behind!

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