For those of you familiar with cycling routes in and around Austin, The Dam Loop is one that should be familiar. I had the pleasure of riding it for the first time this morning.
Let me just say that 85% of the ride is gorgeous and quite manageable--rolling hills, scenic vistas, and mansion upon mansion upon mansion! I got to ride across the Lake Travis dam for the first time (hence the name of the ride) as well as "The" bridge on 360. We went from Jack & Adam's (our local triathlon shop) down Mopac to 360, up to Bee Caves, out Bee Caves to 71, turned right to hit 620, (*note: up to this point I'm just fine and dandy), up 620 (tougher hill here just after the dam, but it's all good) to 2222. At this point, there is a monster of a hill...but we would have gone down it (note the operative phrase "would have"). Rather than subject our team to the thrilling/terrifying prospect of going 50 mph down a huge hill on a fairly busy road, we took a detour through River Place (also known as "hell" or "gives new meaning to 'the Hill Country'" or "what the f@*! did I just get myself into"). If you'd like a mental picture, imagine this terrain, but with roads. You think I jest, but River Place is like our own personal little corner of Vietnam. But with, you know, American-style houses and less of a rainy season.
I'm proud to say I made it up the three hills. Hills my car would have had a hard time making it up in anything other than 1st or 2nd gear. I think at one point a 85-year-old resident of River-nam may have passed me going up hill...walking...but still I made it without stopping and without falling over, a defiance of both the laws of physics and common sense. I don't remember the next 5-10 miles after that very clearly, other than my coach coming to my aid with a caramel Gu (sounds kinda nasty but it was like sweet mana at the time--note to self: protein bars do NOT equal energy bars/Gu! Go to the store!).
After finally making it back to home base, 50 miles, 2 water bottles, 1 protein bar, 1 gu pack, and one ba-gillion hills later, we had to go run 2-3 miles. Danggit.
Gotta love multi-sport.