It wasn't what I was expecting, but it was still fun. On Saturday I rode the 50-mile course. I started out with a friend from Weber State that I ran into at the starting line and ended up riding mostly alone. Which was kind of lame. I definitely want to do it with a friend or group of friends if I do it again.
It was my first organized ride, and I expected large pelotons of competitive cyclists, even though the ride was advertised as non-competitive and not timed. (I know, silly me.) I was hoping to be able to jump in with a group and be able to push 20 mph or above, but the course was more hilly than I expected and the groups of riders were either non-existent or long-gone by the time I started. For a mile I thought I found a group (with capes on too), but they made a wrong turn, despite my yelling, and I never saw them again. I probably should have chosen the 75-mile route, which would have scratched my competitive itch a little more (the hill-climb on that course is the only timed portion of the route), but I'm really not ready for 75 miles.
I liked the course, which climbed to East Canyon and then headed back. I made it to East Canyon (26 miles) in 1:47 (that's minus feed zone stops, with stops it was 1:57) and then because of the awesome downhill, made it to the finish (26 miles) in 1:23 (with one stop figured in, because I reset my computer without looking, whoops). My last 10 miles I was able to average above 19 mph. My overall time, with stops figured in, was 3 hours and 20 minutes. Not what I wanted, but passable.
I got a good training ride out of it, loved catching up with the friends that I ran into (Selsa, Candice, Erica, Charlene), and the dessert bar at the end was to die for! Not literally you people, but metaphorically. Every kind of brownie and cookie imaginable. It was fantastic. Mike and the girls met me at the finish and they helped me sample the desserts and played on the playground and were generally unimpressed with my biking skills and more interested in the desserts. (The girls, not Mike.)
Today I am fighting off the runs and some body soreness (Mike had this earlier this week and it may have started with Ellie on our camping trip), so I think I am more sore than I normally would be.
I'm a little worried for my leg 3 in LOTOJA, but I hope to do well. I just need to get some good climbs in a few more times before we do it.