A Tale of Two PAC Tours

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom. Oh, wait, that is A Tale of Two Cities. But, today was definitely two different rides depending upon how fast you ride and whether you ride solo or in a group.

On the positive side, the temperature stayed lower today where “lower” is relative. However, to get that lower temperature, Mother Nature threw in a very, very strong headwind. It is hard to imagine any rider coming saying today was “fun”. Challenging? Brutal? Downright epically painful? Possibly. But not “fun.”

PAC Tour has time cutoffs for long days…oh, did I forgot to mention that this was a day of more than 140 miles, as well? Yes, 140+ miles and headwinds that showed that someone clearly did not talk nice to the weather gods this morning. But, I digress. Time cutoffs. Minimum time to a rest stop is 12 mph road time. This includes time spent at rest stops, time spent waiting for the human to pee on the side of the road, time spent waiting for the human to take pictures, etc. All time counts.

Today started well with light winds on a downhill. My pokey human managed to have a 16 mph road time one hour into the ride. Things were looking good; pleasant clouds looked like we wouldn’t bake as we road over South Dakota farm roads and the temperature was cool. And then a little more than an hour into the ride…..whump….the wind picked up….and not just a little. It went from barely noticeable to dangerous gusts. At one point the human and I struggled to stay upright until the winds settled in at just strong. Oh, it was going to be a long day.

But…here is where the world splits. The faster Real Riders were able to continue riding and meet the time cutoffs. While their speeds obviously dropped, they were riding above cutoff speed. They could continue, but their day would get very, very long. But, for the riders who ride on the edge of cutoffs every day? Oh, we were in trouble.

My human and I had that nice road time buffer one hour in….and by lunch, we were down under 12mph. And, we were not alone. Six of us failed to meet the cutoff and not just by a little and the gap between us and the faster riders was already more than an hour. So, we loaded into the van and headed towards town. Wisdom did prevail as we all opted to van all the way in instead of riding from the last sag.

I’ve said it before and I shall say it again…chapeau to the fast Real Riders who rode the whole day….today was tough. Chapeau!

Details 83 miles. 3478 feet of climb. 14.6 strain

Reading List

Over the Edge of the World Laurence Bergreen. Tale of Magellen’s voyage with the politics on and off the ship

Gut Giulia Enders. Mary Roach’s Gulp read better but still had interesting stories on human anatomy

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