Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Pactour Elite Southern Transcontinental: Day 10

Day 10: Ada OK to Mena AR
Mileage/Ride Time: 173 miles 11:20 Time Lv/Arr: 7:00am/7:44pm
Climbing: 10,100ft Avg Speed/Work: 15.26mph/5214 kJ

Less than 12 hours after the longest day (206 miles with the headwind) was completed, we do the 2nd big climb day.

This is a day with a big sting in its tail. 10,100ft of climbing total, but almost all of that comes at the end, after a 113 mile ride to lunch, on the gorgeous Talimena Scenic Drive from Talihena OK to Mena AK. I rode fairly easily to lunch, arriving at 2pm (before the cutoff time).

The ride really begins here. Picture of the entrance:

I waited for the cyclists in the picture to form a line.

It's steep in quite a few places. Some walked.

It was very hot and humid. My jersey was wide open but heavy from the sweat pouring off my body.

Lon said it'd be memorable. I'm sure he was thinking of the steep climbing (some of it 3.5 miles long).

For me, it was the thunder and lightning moving in close. Scary close. Sudden temperature drop accompanied by strong winds. Then pouring rain and even some hail. Everyone made it down safe.

I had a rain jacket stashed in my Moots trunk bag. Lon gave out plastic bags in the pouring rain.

Course (MapSource and Google Earth):

This climbing day was an important test. It could have easily gone bad if I hadn't recovered from the previous day's late finish.

However, I take nothing for granted. I've got another 180 miles to do in a few hours.

1 comment:

  1. Unbefreekinlievable.
    Keep hangin' in there.