Breakaway to Sugarloaf Race Recap

Today I discovered that there are ACTUALLY hills in Florida! Who knew?!




Before setting out to tackle 50km of hills, I filled up with a blueberry bagel and peanut butter.




Mark’s breakfast was a little more involved: PB bagel, banana, yogurt, and CLIF bar. That boy can eat!




We drove out to Clermont, about 45 minutes away from Orlando, for the Breakaway to Sugarloaf bike ride. The event had three distances: 18 mile, 31 mile, and 62 mile rides.




Mark and I decided a while back to only complete the 31 mile ride, since we were unsure about hills and lack of training. We met up with our friends to wish them good luck before they set out on the 62 mile bike ride!


The crazy 62 mile group:







…and Caitlin’s dad.



After waving goodbye, I met up with blog reader Kristen. She was also completing the 31 mile distance, and we decided a few days ago to stick together during the ride.




Before setting out on the ride, we consulted the map. I am not at all familiar with this part of town and I was so glad to have this with me.




After only about two miles, it sunk it just how hard this ride was going to be. Training on flat surfaces does not prepare you for hills. Not at all.


The first aid station was around mile 8. I was so happy to get off and stretch.




Each aide station had a place to hang up bikes so riders could walk around, stretch their legs, and get a snack.




I had two fig newtons at the first station.




Sadly we had to get back on our bikes and start pedaling. We rode about 9 more miles and then it happened. Caitlin told us we would pee our pants when we saw Sugarloaf mountain… and I almost did!    



This picture, which I stole from Caitlin because I didn’t want to lose momentum on the hill, does NOT do this hill justice. It was HUGE. Kristen burst out laughing, and I said, “is this a sick joke!?!” It was insane!


The worst part is that there is a “false flat” which is about 20 yards. You can see what you think is the top of the hill and then it keeps going up. You are tricked!


I had to get off my bike and walk it up the hill. I was so proud of Kristen who hung in there and pedaled all the way up. She looked like she was working as hard as possible and only going about 4mph. GAH!




I felt a little lame, but a few other cyclists had to do the same thing. I caught Mark walking a couple times, but mostly just to encourage me along. 😀




Once we got to the top of the hill, I was so extremely excited to see the second aide station. We stopped for about 10 minutes. Obviously, we were not in a rush!




I had a donut hole (epic!)




…and refilled my water bottle half way with gatorade.




Once again, we got back on the bikes.


As the saying goes, “what goes up, must come down.” Whoever said this must have been a cyclist on Sugarloaf. The downhills were the BEST part. I loved speeding down the hills.




I am a very timid cyclist, and I can’t go down the hills without a little break resistance. Mark however pedaled his bike as fast as he possibly could, and managed to get his bike up to 43.0 mph at one point! INSANITY! The speed limit was 35… luckily there were no cops around! 😉




It started to rain around mile 25. This is also when my left knee (not the same one that I injured during the marathon) started hurting in the same location as it did on the right. YIKES!


I took it pretty slow and just told myself that I couldn’t give up. I knew that I could ice it and take ibuprofen when I got to the car, but there is NO GIVING UP!!! Giving up would be MegaLame.


As we approached the end of the ride, it was pretty anti-climatic. There were no screaming fans and no finish line. I literally just rode straight to my car! I was so happy to see my car.


I did one of these numbers. Remember my twenty mile run during marathon training? Similar concept!



I immediately grabbed a banana to quiet my growling stomach.




Then, posed for a group picture: Kristen, Me, Mark.




Go team!


I finished feeling wiped. I am so glad that I didn’t do the 62 mile death ride!




It took a total of two hours, 52 minutes, and 13 seconds including stops to complete 30.35 miles of intense hills. I was proud!




Honestly, it was a really hard ride for me. It wasn’t really the distance that was a challenge, but the fact that I was not used to riding on hills. I pretty much had to learn which gears to shift to and the right timing. I wish that I could have practiced before today!


My chain kept popping off when I tried to switch gears. It was really frustrating me at first, because I had to keep stopping and figure out what was wrong. UGGGH! It fell off about 4 times before I figured out the problem!


It was a fun ride, but I don’t really think hills are awesome. I felt unprepared for them! I really want to do a full metric century (62 miles) but ONLY on flat ground!


Here is a map of the elevations… Crazy, right?!


Megan - Garmin Training Center(r) 4182010 45725 PM.bmp


My knee is hurting, and I’m falling asleep at the computer. I’m off to rest!


❤ MegaNerd

40 Responses

  1. HOLY COW! You rocked it!!! Great job!!

  2. Congrats!!! That’s so impressive… who knew Florida was so hilly??? This makes me want to up and leave and go ride a bike for miles and miles… if only I didn’t have five exams Tuesday…eek!

  3. Ahh you should be so proud of yourself! Sugarloaf mountain looks like hell, I’m not surprised you had to walk for a bit.

    It looks like such a fun race though – a race where you can eat donut holes is my kind of race!! The surroundings are beautiful too.

    Thanks for the recap, I loved reading it!

  4. Wowzers, well done you!! Hills do an incredible job of throwing one off the pace (I had a ton of unexpected ones on my last hald mary, BAH!) so big congrats 😀
    Have a good relaxing day!

  5. Congratulations! Hills can definitely be KILLER… but you made it through!

  6. That’s awesome, congrats!

  7. Congratulations! You did great! I hope your knee feels better!

  8. Intense!! I tried riding hills for the first time today and it was sooo tough, I had to get off my bike at one point too.

  9. Congratulations on your race!!! You did great 🙂

  10. CONGRATS!!! What an accomplishment! No finish line?! No screaming fans?! That would make me sad after all that work haha.

  11. That hill is SCARY! Crazy.
    Congratulations to you (and Mark and Kristen) for an awesome job today.

  12. That’s so awesome — you deserve a cold beer and a day of relaxation. Wow, hills are totally killer.

  13. Congrats on the awesome bike race!!! Go relax and rest your knee!!

  14. Go you! What an accomplishment! Biking hills is killer. 😦

  15. Congratulations on an awesome ride! I have lived in FL my entire life and never seen a hill like that! CRAZY!

  16. Congrats, lady! You should be so proud of yourself, we all are. 🙂 Get some rest!

  17. Ughhh I LOATH biking when hills are involved! Good for you – I’m impressed 🙂 Epiccccc

  18. Great job girly! The more time you spend on your bike the more comfortable you will become and before you know it you’ll be pedaling down hills too!

  19. CONGRATS on the race man!! thats so cool that you did that!! I need to get on signing up for a bike race.

  20. ps. you and mark are so cute!!

  21. Sounds like a tough ride – but you did it! I’m sure you’re really proud of yourself for getting it done.

  22. Congratulations on finishing your ride. That hill looks insane!

  23. Congrats Megan, that is amazing!

  24. congrats!!! you’re awesome!

  25. Great job!!

  26. Congrats on finishing 🙂 That mountain looks KILLER! I would probably pee in my pants then bike the other direction haha

  27. Congrats on your race!

  28. Good work, Megan! You could definitely do a full metric. It’s just about putting in the time on the bike. Hills are tough, but if you do them in your rides it can get your muscles ready for them. But still, they’re never easy! Good work.

  29. congrats on finishing! that huge hill looks scary.

  30. Great job! That looks like a huge challenge.
    We have a Sugarloaf Mountain in Maryland but it’s mega steep. I see bikers there often but I can’t imagine ever riding up it on a bike. It’s tough enough just to drive up!

  31. Holy CRAP.
    You´re tough, Megan! That was definetely a CRAZY ride!
    CONGRATULATIONS on finishing!
    Have a great day recovering!
    Brazilian XOXO´s,

  32. Congrats on an awesome race! I’m sorry to hear about your knee pain, I’m having some troubles now myself. 😦

  33. Congrats on completing your goal. In my local jogs, I usually run through 100 ft change in elevation and I’m always impressed by how these small hills can make your muscles burn and slow you down. You should try the HRM and see how your bike rides compare to running. Do you also use the bike cadence accesory for your GF 305?

    • I just started using my HRM while biking. I should compare it to running.

      I do not use the cadence feature, I honestly did not even know about it! I’ll look into it.

      Sent from my iPhone

  34. Congratulations on completing it!!! As a fellow flat-lander, I totally see the challenge…and definitely would have walked some of it 😉

    You rock!!

  35. Nice job, Megan! The hills are insane. It doesn’t even look like Florida!

  36. WooHooooo!!!! Rock on Baby Girl!!!! I’m SOOO proud of you!!!
    I love your blog! I feel like I’m in a journal of your life, even though I can’t be there with you! Thank you for all the efforts you make in your life!!!! 🙂

  37. […] 19, 2010 by MegaNerd After yesterday’s half metric century bike ride,  I pretty much had no appetite. It was weird! However, Mark was extremely hungry, so we […]

  38. […] Kelly, I felt absolutely NO knee pain! Success! This sure would have been nice to know during the half metric century ride. […]

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