Saturday, April 4, 2015

Stagecoach 400 - Out of the Frying Pan and into Oriflamme

A couple of hours later, other riders are getting up and packing to roll out. The store was supposed to open at 7 am, and I checked the time and got up. At 7:30 Shelly and I rang the big loud bell in front of the store, but the guy didn't come out. She and a couple of fellows had some water with them, and they rolled for the Butterfield RV park, which has a store. I was really low on water, and needed something like a Coke or other soft drink just to get my system running after last night, and was hoping this guy would open the store. Finally at about 9:00 he opens, I go in and get a couple of soft drinks and an ice cream. I go through all of this, and go back to the store and the front door is locked !

Finally in another 10 minutes or so, he opens and I buy some water. There are three guys outside who are scratching, and one who says he is going to wait there in the heat until 5 pm to ride. It's getting progressively hotter and I know if I hang there, I'll bake or quit, so I water up, pour what is left on my hat and back and roll.

The ride to Butterfield was pretty nice, and I got a hot pocket and some more drinks there and felt I was ready.  ( silly boy ! )

Made the turn onto Oriflamme at 11:00 am, and the first part wasn't too bad. Then it got steep and then it got hot, and I found myself walking a lot. Then walking it all. I tried to keep hydrated and used some GU's but with 3 hrs of sleep and heat and grade, I was going into a hole. At one place higher up, I remember sitting down on the road and then reaching down and pulling the bike up to me, to get it up the steepness. Finally got to an area that I normally would have no problem riding, and even that was defeating me. It did get cooler as we got to the top, but that didn't help me that much.

Finally, I got to the single track through a meadow and that part was beautiful !  I could ride, even in my destroyed state, and got to the Sunshine Highway.

Tried to assess my situation and knew I could not go further up hill on the zero food and low water that I had, so I turned off my Spot ( so as not to alarm everyone ) and headed for the restaurant that I knew was 4 miles of pavement away at Lake Cuyamaca. I think this was an excellent decision, getting to a real store and a real sit down restaurant.

Got myself an iced tea, a Pepsi, and a open faced hot turkey sandwich with gravy and mashed potatoes and cranberry sauce !  It was wonderful food.  Noticed that the roof of my mouth felt like I had blisters on it and I was shaking.  Watched AZ fall behind Wisconsin on my phone for a couple of minutes and tried to figure out what to do. It was getting cooler and I wanted more food in me before I tried Indian Creek, so looked for a hotel, thought I would figure out if I was quitting or resetting.

This is where I go wrong .... my phone shows Pine Valley as the closest place, and I remember that it's mostly downhill, so off I go to Pine Valley, about 15 road miles.  I get there before sundown and checkin. Go to the Frosty Burger, get a shake, burger and fries, take it back to the hotel and after I eat that, I feel pretty good. Now the only problem is that I am almost 20 miles away from where I am supposed to be !  

Decide I am not quitting, and I just have to go to sleep, get up in the morning and ride my butt back up to where I left the trail, so that's my plan.  

A quick bacon & eggs breakfast at Major's Diner in Pine Vally in the morning, a ride up Highway 79 to Cuyamaca Lake and another breakfast, and then by about 11, I am back on course with the Spot turned on.  So that whole episode cost me almost 20 hours, but at least I feel good, am rested and ready to get it done.
The Beginning

This doesn't look bad at all !  - when it got bad, I didn't take pictures !

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