Well it is all over with, I finished Levi's King Ridge Gran Fondo 2010! It was the toughest day I have ever had on a bike. I had problems beginning on the first climb and they didn't get any better. My problems appear to be from some sort of electrolyte imbalance. It was pretty humid and I sweat a lot to begin with, but I usually suffer from salt being caked all over me, not today. I was sweating, but there wasn't any salt. I drank gatorade and other electrolyte replacement drink during and actually before starting. I noticed that my sweat didn't really contain any salt on the King Ridge climb and on the second "big" climb on Hauser Bridge Road I started cramping. I typically never cramp, and what was even stranger was the fact that I was cramping in my quads. Once I made it over the Hauser Bridge Road climb I was just hoping to make it to Portuguese Beach before the Coleman Valley climb, I wasn't even thinking about finishing at that point, I was just trying to make short term goals to make it a little bit further. My cramps were so severe that I couldn't really stand on the pedals. More than once I had cramps that made it nearly impossible to stop and get out of the pedals before falling over, I never did fall over, but there were several close calls.
Once I got to Portuguese Beach I ate some PB&J sandwich quarters and filled up on electrolyte drinks, just trying to stave off any more problems. I set off over Coleman Valley Road, this was mile 76 of 102.8 and I was hurting. I had quite a few stops and starts to get over the hill, but I made it and headed for Occidental as my next goal. Once I hit Occidental I knew there wasn't anything that was going to keep me from finishing. I had tweeted earlier on King Ridge that I was afraid that I might not finish due to my cramps. Cathy got the tweet and jumped into action getting our friends to tweet words of encouragement to me. Thank you to everyone that set messages I really appreciate them! I finally made it back to Santa Rosa and the finish at 6 hours and 38 minutes of riding time, 8 hours on the course, not too bad considering how crappy I felt.
Well I will put some more reflections on the Fondo and some thoughts on the cyclocross season to come. Goodnight!