Harpoon Brewery to Brewery Rideby Bike tour guru
The Harpoon B2B (or for those of you who aren't familiar with this acronym, Brewery to Brewery) ride.
1 Day - 148 miles
Boston, MA to Windsor, VT
Not exactly a race, but certainly not a leisurely recreational ride either!
And even though this was my 3rd time riding, I have to admit, I was still a bit anxious! Granted, I had been riding more than usual as of late (thanks to my visit to Croatia and my 'training' days with the Aspen boys), but I still hadn't logged a lot of miles, or at least as many as I thought I should have prior to attempting 148 miles into the mountains of Vermont.
I knew my trusty 'domestique' Charlie was going to help pull me along, but was a really ready to even draft the distance? (especially when I heard the weather forecast, bright sunshine, lots of humidity and temperatures in the mid 80s.)
I decided the best defense was to embrace my fear and let it empower me. So 2 days prior to the ride, I went about a very regimented 'preparation' plan (in addition to tapering down my mileage - I made sure that I paid attention to my nutrition, hydration, sleep, and got a massage). So by the morning of the ride, I would be in the best place I could be, physically and mentally.
And strangely enough, my daily routine turned into something like an excerpt from Bridget Jones' Diary (or at least that was what one of my friends commented, I wasn't quite sure what she meant by that??)
Friday: 6/18 Day Prior to Ride
-crepe with smoked chicken
-pasta with chicken parmesan
-2 coconut waters
-in bed by 9:30pm
Saturday: 6/19 'Race Day'
-woke at 4:45am
-1 coconut water
- espresso (or as I now like to call it, espress-GO!)
-1/2 blueberry muffin
Let the day begin!!
I think I went a little overboard letting that fear empower me - went out like a bat out of hell - averaging 21 mph for the first 48 (miles, not states, that is) - almost too fast a peleton for me to be going the distance. But along the way I managed to consume:
-2 full water bottles
-couple of Block Shots
I was still a bit nervous about the whole undertaking...but gradually embracing it. Charlie led me unscathed to the 1st rest stop where we spent a brief 5 minutes and I popped 2 Advil.
Let the hills begin!!
We set out on the road again, Charlie leading me along, and at the 50 mile mark, the hills began. Even though we had 'rested' a mere 5 minutes at the stop, it took a good 10 miles for my motor to kick back in at full-cylinder. I finally got in a great climbing rhythm (and my groove back) as we attacked the first set of climbs. And what goes up, in the B2, goes down even faster. As the sun started to get warmer and beat down on us, I was happy for the downhill wind action and the shaded climbs! Onward and upward, as Charlie and I rode along, passing people along the way as the road ahead grew thinner and thinner.
I couldn't believe when we reached the next stop and realized we had already traveled 94 miles! Damn, I felt fine! Who knew? I decided to just go with it, especially because I heard the upcoming climb - the hill of all hills on the B2B 'the monster - Leviathan'- was coming up, hence I decided to fuel up:
-pickles (Kosher dill, c'mon, I LOVE pickles, great salt factor, too)
-few Cliff bars
Levine, meet, Leviathan.
It was 5 miles up and then continued with rolling hills for another 5 miles. I'm not sure why but it wasn't that bad I guess I was just really 'on' that day! Honestly, had this been any other day, I'm not sure how I would have fared, if you are not accustomed to long hills and hot sun beating down on you, I think this beast of a climb could really hurt! And with Levine-athan down, it was mostly sweet downhill and relatively flat roads ahead.
We made it to the 124 mile stop where Charlie and I got off for more refueling:
-more Kosher pickles (for me)
Next stop: Windsor(land)
Back on the bikes after mile 124, I was getting ready for the ride to come to a finish, I felt great but let my workhorse Charlie pulled me to the 148 finish - and since both of us were still feeling strong, we decided to sprint up the last hill, knowing there was a cold Harpoon waiting for us!
1 celebratory UFO down, we jumped in the Connecticut River to cool off, and then headed straight to the beer tent for another refreshing Harpoon
At this point my fickle knee started to swell and decided to seize, oh well, I wasn't too worried, I was done with the ride and perfectly content to be drinking a beer and eating some food!
With my 3rd Harpoon B2B under my belt, I hopped on the bus, got home and went to bed a happy (and no longer anxious) man.
Yes, it's a long ride, but a gorgeous one. And it's also great to be part of a group where everyone is pushing their bodies to a new limit - great energy! LOVE IT!
You should join me next year!