Sunday, December 14, 2008

Kentucky Camp Epic & Runathon Day 13

On Saturday, Liane and I did the AES Kentucky Camp Epic ride. Here's the map of the ride to give you an idea of where we traveled.

I met Liane at the bottom of her mountain at 7:30 AM. Before we left, she pointed out the flags flying in the breeze, and mentioned how the wind was howling at her house on top of the mountain. I was hoping that some of the hills we would be in would block some of the wind for part of the ride. We caravaned to the event site down in Gardner Canyon, and found a bunch of cars parked with bikers mingling around. We aired up our tires, decided how many layers we would wear for the day, and joined the back of the pack. At 8:30 AM, the group of 25 or so riders rolled out. Liane and I started with a very casual pace at the very back as the group pulled away. We weren't "racing" the event (it is, after all, the off-season) but wanted to get a long ride in. So our plan was to stick together for the whole ride and keep it at a conversational pace.

The ride immediately started out with a climb on the 163. We took that all the way to a gate and down to Kentucky Camp itself. If you've never heard of Kentucky Camp, here's the Wikipedia page. The camp buildings and area are being restored, and the restoration is going very well. There is even a public toilet available, so Liane and I stopped here for a quick pit stop before continuing on. The Arizona Trail singletrack goes right through this camp. We hit the singletrack, which cut through a huge field of very tall, golden grass. It was awesome! The trail joined up with another Jeep trail, which meant more climbing. Liane and I have done the two loops before on separate rides, so we kind of knew the route and what to expect. Or rather, it was more like "I seem to remember a sketchy, rocky hill coming up soon." Anyways, we ended up riding much more of the trail than we did on the previous rides. Liane just had one little mishap where she unclipped one foot and fell on the opposite side on an uphill. I turned around to find her lying sideways with her head in the grass and laughing. It appeared she decided to take a little nap on the trail.

The trail wound around through mining areas and creek crossings. Just after one creek crossing we were looking for the next trail segment, and a rider popped out of a side trail. Turns out we had missed a turn and some of the AZT singletrack. We had ridden that part before, just didn't seem to remember the turn. Ah well, we weren't going to go backwards to find it, so we decided to press on. Of course, this meant we were now in 7th or 8th rather than last. Much fewer tire tracks to follow. The next part was a horrible climb up the side of a mountain, that I've never been able to ride and this time was no exception. I was first on this section a few years ago, when SDMB had a trail work event where we built that part of the AZ trail. So it was kind of cool to see a part of the trail I had worked on. It was on this climb that I felt like doing only the low loop than both loops. But we continued forward.

We wound our way through Jeep trails and got back on the AZT singletrack, remembering where the sketchy bits or switchbacks were from last time. We made one last stop at Kentucky Camp before starting the Greaterville loop. The Greaterville loop started with a major climb before we descended down a rocky slope. We then rode up another Jeep trail before a long hike-a-bike of singletrack we recalled from last time (and hiked just as much last time). The ride concluded on more Jeep trails, and at this point the wind was horrible. We were getting sandblasted and pushed around on our bikes. We finally turned onto the 163 and finished the ride 5 hrs and 48 minutes from when we started. My Garming has the autopause feature running, so I logged 3 hrs and 45 minutes of moving time (probably includes the hike-a-bike) and 25.76 miles covered. This is by far the furthest we had ridden in Gardner Canyon. We also timed it well because we were out of junk food by the end of the ride. Liane had eaten all of her Rice Krispie treats and I was out of Snicker bars.

Some memorable comments from the ride:

Me: "This is a 'crail'...a crappy trail."

Me (while Liane was on a bathroom break): "If you fall down that hill I'm not hiking down to dress your dead body."

Me: "I'm going to die."
Liane: "Well do so on the dowhill so that I don't have to climb a hill to get around your body."

And for those wondering, yes, Liane did get her finisher's medal. I'll have to think of something else for next time. Because, of coruse, there will be a next time.

Runathon Day 13
At 8 PM I went out for my token 2 mile run for the runathon. I had rested and eaten when I got home, but even after that my body protested. My knees were killing me and it was all I could do to keep moving forward. I told Zac to order pizza for dinner, and I hoped that I timed it so that the pizza arrived when I finished my run. It did! I collapsed on the couch all shaky and tired and the last bit of energy gone. I didn't care that the breadsticks were dripping with coronary butter. I inhaled those and the pizza and could finally move after about an hour. Yeah, Day wonder.

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