Today was a rest day in Dublin, GA with optional rides of 56 and 100 miles distance and 1500 and 2700 feet of climbing respectively. Steve Solomon and I were the only two from our group to choose to ride so we planned to set out at 06:00 to avoid much of the heat.
We had a bit of trouble finding the route start, but a cop and several people up near the gym told us where to go. We soon found a route marked with white paint and white turn signs even though all the previous day’s had been marked in orange.
After about 15 miles, I started worrying that we’d not seen a rest stop, but it wasn’t too concerning because the route markers were clear and we new we were ahead of the rest stop opening times. At 25 miles, we arrived at the location of one of the rest stops from the previous day, but nothing was there. But again, the route was clearly marked and we had arrived before the published opening time. We had also met two other cyclists on the road who had arrived at the same location independently.
At 38 miles, I was sure we had a problem so I got out my iPhone to compare our location with the published route only to find out we were 45 miles from where we should have been. The good news was that we were only 29 miles from Dublin as long as we took the most direct route.
Now, water wasn’t a problem since we had stopped at a couple churches to refill at their outside taps. But food was definitely a problem. During the past three days, rest stop 1 has come within the first 10-15 miles so I had gotten in the habit of eating light before the start. BIG MISTAKE! At around 25 miles, my stomach was definitely empty and by 38 I was starting to feel out of energy. But since we were choosing a route to Dublin on a big road with much traffic, we expected a few gas stations / convenience stores along the way. Wrong again. We didn’t find a store until 65 miles in and I was shaking by then. I put down some chocolate milk and a couple of candy bars and we spent about 20 minutes there recovering.
We rode into BRAG HQ shortly thereafter with 67 miles and I felt a bit downtrodden. I was bummed that we didn’t get the ride the century and had to watch other cyclists come in from the century all afternoon.
Most of our group was off doing laundry by the time we got back so Steve and got lunch, which was catered by Company Supply, socialized with other cyclists, and listened, halfheartedly, to the BRAG Jam. The two performers we heard were really not very good.
All in all, it was a good day even though I was disappointed I did not complete the century ride. Tomorrow should be an easy day with 51 very flat miles from Dublin to Swainsboro, GA.