"Back to old stomping grounds"
.... But yes, "Dehydration Station" probably describes it best.
Alright then, let's try to put a little bit of sense behind those bullet points.
I wanted to ride my bike today and I felt like joining a group. When I still lived out in Duncan, I joined the Great Escape (in Spartanburg) afternoon ride almost every Sunday, but I haven't been back since I moved. There used to be an 30 mile option, but that one isn't done anymore, so I joined the 40 mile group with an advertised speed of 15-17 mph.
Right off the bat, I thought this group might be a little to speedy for me, but the first 10 miles weren't all that bad... The rolling downhill might have helped with that. Around mile 15, I really felt pushed to my limits and kind of decided that I will turnaround. I am very familiar with the area and didn't think twice about it. But the ride leader and one of the guys that were close to the back talked me out of it. So my mental turnaround point came and went and I still tagged along.
From then on, I actually had some company in the back and got to talk to a couple of people which made me forget the struggle for a while. Besides, the guys let me draft a lot. But still, I carried the "Laterne Rouge" most of the time. If it wasn't for one of the guys, I would have lost the group several times, but he always reeled me back in... gave me pep talk to not get too frustrated.
Once we hit the 35 mile mark, everyone was off at their own pace and I definitely dropped off the back by then. My pep talking friend left the group earlier to take a short cut home, but the ride leader stuck with me. At one stop light, we had to stop for a couple of seconds and I felt a little light headed, but once I got rolling again, it wasn't too bad.... other than not having any juice in my legs left. A little after the stop light, I saw a runner on the side of the road and recognized a training buddy that had a cycling accident a couple of months ago. So I stopped to say hi and then the $h!t hit the fan. I felt so light headed, that I had to sit down on the side of the road. It took a while until the ride leader noticed that I wasn't behind her anymore and she turned around to check on me. Between my training buddy and the ride leader, it was decided that I won't get back on the bike. So she rode back to the shop (fortunately not far away anymore) while my buddy stayed with me while I curled into a ball on the ground. Several times, I thought I would pass out.... Getting in the car of the ride leader was the roughest part and for a moment I thought I am done... passing out... hurling... something. Once back at the shop, I still had an audience. I was hoping that everyone would be gone by then, but no such luck.... They fed me chips and coke and after sitting in the shade for half an hour ago, I felt pretty back to normal again.... What a ride.
Today, I learned a lesson or two about hydration.... Hope that is not going to happen anymore, because the whole trip was pretty scary.
Before I left, the ride leader asked me to join them again and not get discouraged by this episode.
We'll see. In general, this was a fun ride and with better preparation and maybe not a long workout on the day before in my legs... cooler temps.... and more bike fitness.... I should be golden! ;-)
Here are the stats... Witness my steady decline! ;-)