Here are a few comments about the ride:
The peloton (it wasn't a race, but what should I call it?) started splitting at about Mile 10. We were moving at 22-24 MPH, and some of the faster guys broke. Almost instantly an echelon formed from the white line on the right, with the echelon staggered to the left and the last rider IN ONCOMING TRAFFIC. There were probably 25 riders in the line. At that point, I said "no thank you". It was an inefficient formation, with little organized rotation, and it was DANGEROUS. This was a charity ride, not a road race. I know a couple of the guys that were in the echelon, talked to one of them after the ride, and he too said it was totally stupid what some of the riders were doing. I'll NEVER understand the hubris, machismo, or whatever it is that makes these guys pull stunts like this.
HOW NOT TO USE REST STOPS
The group I dropped back with kept the leaders within sight even as we approach the 30 mile turn. But at Mile 29.5 or so, the front group passed us going the other direction. They had already made the turn. I was thinking "how could they have possibly stopped and refueled?" So when we reached Mile 30, we figured it out: there was no rest stop. And none in sight. I was out of water, and needing food too. One of the SAGs stopped, but the driver didn't know if there was supposed to be a support stop. She gave us some water bottles (touched by an angel!), but there wasn't enough. I downed 4 oz or so from one of the bottles, and we kept going. By the time we reached the previous stop, I had been out of water for about 20 miles. In 90 degree heat, that's not good. We found out later that there was a rest stop just past what most of our odometers marked as 30 miles. Geez.
POST RIDE EATS
After the ride, I was beat. I haven't felt that bad after a ride in...well...probably never. I was overheated, thirsty, and exhausted. The 60 miles felt worse than any 85 miler or century that I've done. It was a combination of the weather (97F when I reached my truck), the poorly timed stops and lack of fuel and water, and the South Texas winds. I made a beeline for the coolers. I downed 8 oz of sports drink, and another 8 oz of water. I grabbed another water, then made beeline #2 for the post ride meal: PIZZA! The lady serving asked me if I wanted cheese or pepperoni, and I politely asked for one of each. I hit the table, and scarfed the cheese slice. Delicious greasy thick crust pizza....then my stomach said wait. But I didn't listen. I ate a bite of pepperoni. As soon as that slid down to my gut, I realized that I wouldn't be eating one more bite of pizza. I was very close to totally rejecting the food, if you catch my drift. No more pizza for me after rides.
I don't mean to be negative. There are great rides, and there are good rides. This one was just on the low end of good, but I was happy to be there and support the team and the cause.
Almost forgot -- here's a few photos!
Team President Gets Us Started
Very Rough Double Pace Line and Stain on Road
And finally -- here's a link to the full album, although I really didn't get too many good photos.