So, this last Friday a few of us embarked on what people call the Gauntlet Supreme. Well, I am here to say that it is appropriately named. Jdub, Zeph and Evilbanks rolled out of the culdesac at 5:40 a.m. Yep, you read that correctly A.M. Sam and another dude named Karl joined us for to the summit of AF. For those of you not familiar with The Gauntlet Supreme it is basically hell. Although crazy mofos like Rick (not his real name) say "thats my favorite road ride". Crazy bastard. Anyways, here is a link to the Gauntlet Supreme. This link is a little different than what we ended up doing. Ours ended up being 112 miles and over 14,000 ft of vertical. The hardest day on the bike for me. I felt pretty good most of the day. My triple definately came into good use throughout the whole day. My knees would have never made it with a double. Call me what you want, I would rather ride my bike with a triple than not ride at all. Clear choice. We started out with AF to Tibble Res, continued up to the campsite. Cant remember the name. After that we kept going up to the Timpooneke Campground. (the site where the kid got mauled by the bear last year) after that we kept on going until we reached the summit. We hung out at the summit for a few minutes, none of us wanting to decend into hell (Cascade Springs) Zeph calls this climb BCS. Butt cheeks spread. Ya know, its ugly. Good term Zeph. Banks and I have never done the BCS Cascade Springs climb, so we didnt know what we were getting ourselves into. It was a bit windy as we decended down to the potty/water source. Jdub and Zeph flew down the road. I preferred to take it easy since I didn't know the road very well. And to be honest, I was not in a hurry to turn around and climb back up that beast. We all met back up at the bottom, replenished our bottles ate a little food and got going. I don't know if I was expecting worse or what, I felt pretty good coming up Cascade. I got into a good rythm and just pedaled. I kept thinking I was close to the top and it just kept going. There are 2 sections that really mess with you. One, you can see this big stretch of road before you its daunting. The second is just steep and painful. And it just keeps going. I am pretty sure there are some 12-14% sections on that climb. We met back up at the top and continued on down the Sundance side of AF. Thanks to Rick for the advice to ride Cascade early. We would have never ridden that if it was towards the end of the day. We refilled at Vivian Park and continued down the Provo River parkway trail to attack our next climb. Squaw Peak, this climb is not particularly long about 4.5 miles and not super steep but its steep enough that it makes you work. You can't really take this climb easy and recover at all. We could feel it getting hotter and I think I will speak for the whole group that while this climb was short it took its toll on us all. We took our time rolling back down and took it easy riding back up to Vivian Park where we took a break in the shade. Next up was South Fork. This is a short and pretty easy climb. usually. We were all getting fairly tired and we had a nice headwind and that made South Fork seem way harder than it actually is. We made it to the top and turned around back to Vivian Park. This is the time that Jdub noticed a little snack shack. We got some ice, mtn dew, snickers and Zeph and evilbanks each had a hotdog. I didnt dare so I settled for a snickers and some mtn dew. We all wanted to stop at that point and call it good. But, we would regret that decision so w tredged on. The first few miles to Sundance were BRUTAL. It was hot, and it was a slow mover. Jdub dropped me just before Sundance. I was so happy to find out that Sundance was 2 miles up and not 3 miles like we had originally thought. We hung out there and got a cold pepsi and a peanut butter and honey sandwich. We waited for Banks there but he sent me a text saying he was an animal and he was going to just keep going. He had some of Carborockets magic sauce. I need to get me some of that. We were in the homestretch. The 3-4 miles after Sundance I felt good. Then I hit the WALL! I was crawling. I was feeling pretty bad and knew I needed to get some food in me. I pulled over to pee and shoved some food in my mouth, got back on the bike and pedaled ever so slowly. Jdub and Zeph both dropped me long before so I was in for some lonely suffering. I crawled my way back to the Summit where they were waiting for me. I ate what was left of my sandwich and some gelblocks and started the windy decent down AF. The wind was ripping on our decent and that made it interesting. Crosswinds are not a bike riders friend. Things were sketchy. We got out of the canyon without incident and made our way to our last stop, Chevron. We shared a Coke, and got ourselves ready for the homestretch. Luckily the wind was still blowing from the south. This meant we would have the wind at our backs. Phew! Jdub dropped me again, he seemed to just get stronger as the day went on while I got weaker. That was a long ass day.
A few observations from the day.
1-overall I felt pretty good. I need to find some other ways for calories as bars and gels become nearly unbearable after 6 hours or so. Suggestions anyone?
2-riding that long with a few good fellas is waaaaay more fun than doing it solo. Seriously made the day go by alot faster.
3-Carborocket rules. I have mentioned this before but my issues were not from what I was drinking. It was from what I was NOT consuming.
4-Headwinds suck. Tailwinds after 105 miles are gods way of helping you along. I think God rides bikes.
5-I have come a long ways from last year.
6-Sam has ridden his bike 5 times and still can kick all our ass's.
7-riding bikes through swarms of bugs with sunscreen on your face and arms isnt cool. I spent the rest of the day pickin those bastards out of my arm hair.
8-Jdub and Zeph are animals on the downhills. Way beyond my comfort level.
9-Banks kicks mucho ass for just rollin on past Sundance. Im sure he flipped us all the bird as he rolled by. I am pretty sure he also yelled out "see ya at home bitches".
10-a creaky bike gets to be pretty annoying when you are deeeeeeeep in the pain cave.
11-I need to use more chamois cream on my butt. I applied liberally but used more on my junk. I coulda used a bit more on my butt.
12-While it was painful, it was a necessary training ride in preperation for Butte. I am glad we completed the Gauntlet Supreme Du Jour.
Sorry, I didnt have room for my camera. I was too worried I wouldn't have enough food.