Big Dam Bridge 100 2012

I’m crazy. Totally and utterly, crazy.  A week out from my first ever 70.3 and I decided to do a 100 bike ride. Totally sane, right?

We’ll it actually wasn’t too bad.  I got a lot of sleep and took in a lot of calories the week after Redman because I knew the Big Dam Bidge 100 was coming up.  I even got out on my road bike for a short 15 mile ride on Tuesday (man, it felt cushy!) and then a 4 mile run on Thursday at Go! Running.  Honestly, it felt good to get back out there and move my body again.

On the Friday before the 100, Phil’s aunt, Laure, flew in from Orlando, Florida to do the ride with us.  She also did the Shiner GASP with us earlier this year, so she was ready to attack the hills of Central Arkansas.  After picking up our packets for the race we got some dinner and then headed home so that Laure could assemble her bike from the flight.  After that we headed to bed for an early morning.

We woke up the next morning to no rain (which had been forecasted), overcast skies and cool weather (but not as cool as they had forecasted).  For the first time this year, the starts for the different distances were staggered, which meant that the 100 started first at 7am.  So, we pumped up our tires, filled our water bottles and soon left the house for the race start.  We parked in the Bank of America parking lot in North Little Rock near the finish of the ride and rode over the Broadway Bridge to the start on La Harpe Blvd near State Street.  We had some spare time before the start which we killed by chatting with some friends that we saw.  Before we knew it, the motorcycle engines were roaring and approximately 1,000 cyclists were rolling.

We had decided to stick with a pack of cyclists which we knew a few of the riders, but they got a jump on us at the start.  We were working to get back with them but it was difficult.  There were so many people to work around and we were burning a little more energy than was necessary.  After several miles we decided to stop chasing and just work at our own pace. It was funny, because after several more miles, we ended up catching the group we’d been chasing.  Unfortunately, we soon made our first stop at the 24 mile aid station in Maumelle, and the group did too, but they left before we did.  Oh well, we could still make it on our own.

Laure in Toad Suck on the BDB 100

Laure in Toad Suck on the BDB 100

After re-filling our bottles and emptying our bladders, we were back on the road.  The entire course has rolling hills, but there is a major climb (approximately 3 miles long) around mile 65 or so, called Wye Mountain.  So, we just tried to hold a steady pace leading up to this climb.  We made another stop at the 45 mile aid station on the West side of the Toad Suck bridge.  Of course Laure had to get a picture with the Toad Suck sign.

Yellow Fields on Wye MountainWe made one additional stop before the long climb at mile 55 in Houston (not Texas) where they had…puppies!  We weren’t here for very long, just needed to make some quick adjustments and we were off again.  Only a few miles later the climb had begun.  It was long, but really it wasn’t that bad.  At the “top” we stopped for a second to let everyone regroup and then continued up a few additional hills to the 68 mile aid station in Little Italy.  A little before the aid station was this Air Stream in the middle of a field covered with yellow flowers.

The hardest part of the ride was over and we only had about 25 miles left to go, but Laure needed to stop at the 79 mile aid station in Roland.  Of course after a long climb, there is a serious descent and down one of those descents Laure’s breaks came loose. So, her and Phil were trying to tighten the cable when they realized that it wasn’t loose, but broken.  It was alright, we had already conquered all of the major down hills and she still had one good break left. We carried on.

We were now in very familiar territory.  It was like I could smell the finish line.  We came around the back side of Pinnacle Mountain, through Two Rivers Park, over the Two Rivers Bridge, over the Big Dam Bridge to the North Little Rock side of the River Trail and finally to Main Street and the finish!

We finished the Big Dam Bridge 100!

Overall, it was a great day.  Our moving time was 5:45:46, but you could probably add on a half hour or so for rest stops.  The weather was almost perfect and we were all smiling at the finish.  You really couldn’t ask for more.

Read about my other BDB100 adventures from 2011 and 2010.

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