Well, some of the girls joined me in the lovely San Antonio Valley to pre-ride the Mt. Hamilton course on Sunday. Basically, it's a 38 mile point-to-point race from one spot in the middle of nowhere to another spot sort of close to the fringe of civilization. Therefore, it is a logistical nightmare.
We decided to park at the finish line, which was the spot close to the fringe of civilization and ride up to the start line and back. It was a beautiful morning. Some were complaining about the early hour. I told them they'd thank me later in the afternoon when it got hot.
Some of the girls decided to drive to an unknown location "14-19 miles" up the road and start from there to shorten the route. 3 of us set out from the valley floor and climbed steadily. The first 6-7 miles were quite a slog uphill. Then it leveled off for 4-5, but still a slight upgrade. At mile 12, a late arrival got dropped off by her husband and we continued. We passed mile 14, 15, 16, 17, 18. The climb got steeper again at mile 16. Passed mile 19 - still no cars. We did a steeper climb from 18-20 and a brief descent. At 21.5 we finally came to the cars - 1:40 after we'd started. I was going through water really quickly, so refilled at the stop. I was lightheaded at this point. I think I let myself get dehydrated on Saturday at the wedding, which was outdoors in the sun for several hours with only 1 glass of water and the rest de-hydrating beverages. Ugh! Not good.
We continued through the rest of the course. We had a brief diversion at the "Junction Cafe" - really a biker bar - on the way back. I refilled water bottles again with Gatorade. Then, 4 of us slogged on through the final 21 miles back to the car. I absolutely stunk climbing in the second half of the ride. I was hungry and dehydrated. But, once we turned into the 20 mile descent with headwinds, we were able to make some good time in a paceline. We beat the cars down to the bottom! All-in-all it was a nice ride. The San Antonio valley was definitely all dried out and nothing like it was 2 years ago when we passed through in April. Though, it was still beautiful in an arid sort of way.