LA2DC Leg 16 Day 9 5/2/15

Mezereh : Trnojpolje

Adrian, Missouri to California, Missouri

Today my friends Alen and Noel Gharibian joined me for this leg as well as Gary Koshkaryan. Noel and Alen told me they would pull all day so I could take it easy. I had trained with these guys for this event along with Roobik so I knew they were strong riders and that they were capable of finishing this leg quickly.IMG_2405 IMG_2409 IMG_2411

We had to drive about an hour from the hotel to the start of the ride. By the time we got to the start and got going it was 8:00 am. We took it easy for a while to warm up the legs. Alen and Noel got in late so they did not get much sleep but they were pumped up for the ride so it did not seem to hinder them. Gary had ridden leg 15 the day before so I am sure his legs were feeling it though he never complained. I of course had a few miles on my legs too.

The last few days had long relatively flat sections of road. This route had many short rollers that were actually a fun change of pace and we were eating them up!

25 miles went pretty fast and we were settling in to our pace line. Then all it took was one rider to coast for a second and then the next rider had to slow and move to the left and my front tire clipped his rear wheel and I was down. As I hit the pavement I scraped my old wound open on my left hip as well as loosing more skin. I hit my shoulder and twisted my back and felt a muscle pull in my back. The wind was knocked out of me and I laid there for a few minutes! I wondered if this might be the end of the road for me.

I had joked with Dr. Harry that morning about him being bored and that we didn’t want to give him anything to do that day. Well unfortunately we broke the monotony of his day. He sprang into action. He stretched my back out and cleaned up my wounds and in 30 minutes or so we were riding again.

A few miles in as I stood to peddle up a hill the pain intensified. I had my foam roller in the support van so we stoped and I rolled out my back on a grassy area near a church. I wondered what the locals must have thought of this scene but did not care because it was helping.

The rest of the crew kept riding and it took me about five miles to catch up. Now those rolling hills that had been fun earlier were not much fun now with the back pain. If I stood to peddle as I like to do to attack short climbs it hurt my back so I had to stay seated. Staying seated was not good for the saddle sores!

My pain is a tribute to their suffering!

My pain is a tribute to their suffering!

My pain is a tribute to their suffering!

Noel asked how I was doing, I told him I was fine and that I had put the pain on a shelf. He joked that the shelf must be getting full!

Noel and Alen stayed true to their word and stayed in front taking turns breaking the wind for me all day. They were riding very strong and I had to yell out “notch” more than a few times. That is the code word for slow down.

Around mile 80 I hit a rock and got a front flat. Our support guy Bobby was on the scene in seconds with a spare wheel and changed it out quickly and we were riding again.

With our awesome support crew this event is the closest I will ever feel to being a Pro rider! They take care of our bikes, clean our wounds, mark the route for us, make our meals and keep us safe on the road while putting themselves in danger. They are truly amazing!

Riding in a pace line is the most efficient way to ride in a group. When you have new riders everyday and some of them have never ridden in a pace line things can get tricky!

Ride stats for the day:
108.5 miles
4124′ of elevation gain
Ride Stats on Strava

My ride stats for the trip: 789.7 miles and 26,495′ of elevation gain.

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