Saturday, August 27, 2016

Camping Century, Mount Chocorua & The Great Adventure Challenge

Some people take vacations to rest.

Actually compared to some years this year had less activities.  We started camping over the weekend and between setup weather and a forgotten Garmin (with my programmed route in it) I pushed my weekly century ride Til' Tuesday. My lovely wife offered to take her long ride home to retrieve said Garmin where she discovered a newly hatched chick.  The picture looks fuzzy because chicks are fuzzy.

I'd hoped to make it around Lake Winnipesaukee but that was going to make the ride way too long.  I opted for a route that was mostly in New Hampshire.  I had the cross bike so I didn't pay a lot of attention to weather the roads were paved or dirt.

Nice Views, Not a lot of Traffic
Trespassing?  Fine.  With Dogs?  Fine. But Leave Your Bear Dogs At Home.
New Hampshire has a lot of towns.  It seemed like I rode through 50 of them.  Most notably Sandwich.  Which gives the mind time to wonder.  Is there a New Sandwich which might also mean there is an "Old Sandwich" Can you really take the "Sandwich Police" seriously? Is there a Sandwich Sandwich shop?  And does the Sandwich Store not sell sandwiches? Anyway.
The Store Was Closed. (A Few People Will Get This)
Planning routes on the Garmin through areas I don't know is a fun way to do rides.  I'd say 80% of my ride I didn't know where I was or what I would find around the next corner.  I did make my way back to Maine to stop by the family garden and fuel with a few cherry tomatoes and a green pepper.
The Garden Was Open
This was my 11th Century this year!
The next day we hiked up Mount Chocorua at a spirited pace since we were going almost 4 miles one way to the top and the rest of the group was only going 1.6 miles to the falls.  
Happy Campers

My wife had visions of the dogs plummeting off a cliff and falling to a gruesome death so she stayed back with them while I scampered (almost) to the top.  In the interest of time and since there was nobody to hang out with up there I got most of the way up and called it close enough.  It was also cold, raining and very windy  and I was in a wet t-shirt (not a contest).
Could not get a selfie without a crooked face.
I'm not sure the pace was a great idea with a race coming up in a few days but it certainly didn't hurt. 

                                              BECAUSE WE FREAKIN' WON!

First Overall
She puts on a bigger celebratory face than I do.

First Female Overall
The kayak leg just about wore me out since I hadn't been in a kayak yet this year, aside from puttering around a very small pond 2 days before.  I felt totally drained when I climbed on the bike and thought: "This isn't my race".  But my 5000 miles of riding this year took over and I made my way to the front of the pack from 20th.  I passed the last person before we turned from a dirt road into the trails again.  I decided to do the run in my bike shoes so the transition was me throwing my helmet and camel back on the ground and heading up the mountain.  I spent the first 1/4 mile looking over my shoulder to see who was going to pass me on the miserable trip down the mountain.  When 2 people finally appeared I was pretty hopeful that they were far enough back that I should be able to hold my own. 

The trip down the mountain was brutal as always.  It always takes a week before I can walk down stairs without a grimace but the king for a day feeling is worth it.  

We did get our own Personal Press Release after the race, which was nice. I missed breaking the course record on the bike by 2 minutes.  I've got my sights set on breaking the overall course record but not until I get a new kayak.  I need to be paddling a pencil, not a tugboat to compete for that.  Might have to actually run some before the race too...