Wow! What a weekend! My cousin Kathryn and I drove to Louisville, KY planning to meet up with Louisville Bike Club members to ride their Friday evening ride. We were in town in plenty of time but got stuck in traffic on the way to the ride... as we got off the freeway exit we saw a large group of riders stream by, so we turned the truck around in a residential area and followed them! We passed the group, parked on a side street and very quickly got our bikes out of the back of the truck. A couple of riders (thank you Phil and Matt) were nice enough not only to wait a few minutes for us so we could do the planned ride, but also lead us (still on our bikes) back to the truck after the ride was done.
The forecast Saturday was for rain and wind, so I decided not to attempt the local century ride. Instead, we showed up for the Club's Saturday morning ride. It included a very nice tour of Louisville and one big hill in the middle of the 35 mile ride. Saturday afternoon's Club ride was cancelled due to rain, so Kat and I toured downtown Louisville in the rain, and crossed into Jeffersonville, IN for dinner.
Sunday morning's ride was listed as a number 3 (out of 5) in difficulty. Kat decided not to do the ride, afraid that she would get dropped. I forged ahead, and had way more anaerobic exercise than is recommended or healthy! I struggled through the hills, and bonked on the last great hill. I finished the ride, but felt queasy and light-headed at the end. Not a good sign! Dave and Alicia from the Louisville bike Club were kind enough to watch out for me... After lunch Kat and I decided to do the afternoon's ride, also listed as a number 3 but much more doable than the morning ride. There were hills enough to give us a real workout! Lori was nice enough to ride with us, as we were a bit slower on the hills than the rest of the club members present. The two rides together gave me a day's total of 61 miles on hills.
All in all we are very impressed with the Louisville bike club, which has 1,000 members in the Greater Louisville area. They were friendly and very accomodating regarding our inexperience on hills. Monday morning we left Louisville and headed west to get in one more ride on the way home. We stopped at Lake Monroe outside Bloomington, IN and got in a great hilly ride on the paved roads around the reservoir. Thank you Erika for the suggestion!
The Coast to Coast ride is getting so vcry close--less than 3 weeks away now. I have been following the recommendations of the tour company (CrossRoads Cycling) for "minimum amount of training required for tour". Although I have done the required mileage, it has all been on the flat... it was a real eye-opener to see how badly I struggled on the big hills. I wish I had started riding hills a month ago! CrossRoads Cycling (http://www.crossroadscycling.com/) has been extremely supportive during recent weeks, sending frequent updates and suggestions for training, equipment, sun protection in the desert, hotel accomodations for visitors, how to pack for 50 days without exceeding 30 pounds of luggage, etc. There even is a hotel list on line, and I can receive care packages along the way (cookies would be nice...). If you are inclined to send something, just send it to the host hotel, marked "hold for CrossRoads Cycling member " and add my name... nothing that I would have to pack and take with me though.
I read an article recently about a local man who rode his bike from Key West to Ontario, and he mentioned that he had to consume 8,000 calories a day on the trip. I don't think I can eat that much, but I'll do whatever it takes...