I woke up feeling great. The big climb didn't seem so intimidating. My dad had been pretty much wiped out the previous day, and didn't want to go today, or for that matter, any subsequent day. We managed to convince him to ride at least the first part of the ride, which was just downhill for 15 miles.
And so we started. It was a nice first 15 miles of downhill. After the first aid station, the big climb started. 15 miles to climb a little over 1,500 feet in elevation. It doesn't seem like much of a grade, but 15 miles of it is.
In any case, it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. I plodded up at anywhere between 7 and 11 mph. There were spectacular vistas on either side, but I didn't stop to take many pictures.
The top was Dallas Divide. There wasn't much to do there. So after a bit of rest and a bite to eat, I started the descent.
The downhill was steep, and great. I clocked 41.5 mph on the way down. It wasn't my personal speed record, but I wasn't trying to beat mine either.
The last 15 miles were the best. It looks like a downhill in the elevation profile, but I could barely tell. On the other hand, there was a strong tailwind, and occasionally a crosswind. I did about 10 of those miles at over 20 mph. I picked up a rider who wanted to draft behind me. I pulled for a good two miles. I slacked a bit, and told him to get it front and pull for a bit. He did, but after less then half a mile, he raced ahead, and latched behind someone else who was going a bit too fast for my ability.
By the time the crosswinds had picked up more than the tailwinds, I had reached town. Smiling faces everywhere. Average riding speed: 15.5 mph. I had started at around 8:30 am, and finished around 1:30pm.
The finish had several tents and stalls selling all manner of food, including the best baked potato I've ever had. Everyone at the finish thought that today's ride was great. There were conflicting reports on the winds though. Some said tailwind, some had crosswinds, my Dad said he had a headwind at the end.
We went to a small Italian place for dinner. It was really windy outside by then. We were moved inside from the patio, and were seated next to a rowdy crowd, telling ribald jokes. After a few hearty laughs and being drawn into several of their conversations, we finished up, and left.
Since the weather was nice, though windy, we camped. No wimping out this time. Tomorrow's ride is easy. Still worried about Wednesday's century.