|Day 6:||Socorro NM to Roswell NM|
|Mileage/Ride Time:||170 miles 10:07||Time Lv/Arr:||6:00am/5:21pm|
|Climbing:||5000ft||Avg Speed/Work:||16.9mph/4416 kJ|
I really didn't feel like riding this morning. First time I've contemplated not starting since the Elite Tour began on Sunday. Not getting recovery and still having to put in long hours on the bike was getting to me. However, I did start:
- Jon Jahant, the Elite Tour massage therapist, worked on my right glute for 30 mins last night. I hope the pain I've been experiencing is reduced.
- Afterwards, I sat in the spa for 15 mins as well.
Plus, at breakfast I was given the purple pig to carry today. It's a plastic toy that squeals when squeezed. Rather embarassingly, it was squealing like crazy when I was trying to squeeze it on top of my Moots bag while Lon was giving last minute instructions at the start.
I started off in the big pack. And managed to stay there for 15 miles of rollers averaging a bit over 20mph before I fell off the back. This is a big deal for a tired rider because even though you get tailed off on a climb, there are smaller groups behind that you can surf for a while, rather than battling it out alone. I reached the first water stop this way by sucking the wheel of Jeff Linder (of Bike Friday) and Fred Matheny. Leaving the first stop, there was a strong sidewind component as I headed south. The weather forecast for the area had indicated a 14mph wind from the east and high temperatures around 90F for the day. I was by myself at first but fortunately, I was passed by Scott McIntosh (who didn't say much but) provided steady shelter. Again, for a rider who needs recovery, this is a much better strategy than letting the pack go and grinding out 170 miles by yourself. My right glute locked up fewer times today, so I was riding a bit stronger (or more accurately, less weak) than yesterday, but I still got seriously tailed off on every climb of course. You do what you can in the circumstances. I even managed to ride at the back of a group with Lon on his single speed for a while. I felt halfway like a rider.
|As a result of extra minutes spent surfing wheel after wheel that passed me, I arrived at the lunch stop comfortably ahead of the time cut and didn't feel ready to die. Even Susan Notorangelo was pleased. I posed for a picture with the pig at the 106 mile lunch stop. Having made the cut, I decided to back off a bit on the last 65 miles. This is a luxury I haven't had for the last few days.|
Tomorrow, we leave New Mexico and head into Texas. 160 mile day. Hopefully, Jon can work some more on my right glute tonight. The PacTour operation just keeps moving forwards. Gotta stay with it or leave.