Considering I had some “engine” trouble on Day One due to not fueling properly, Rebecca Rusch and I decided to use it as a “teachable” moment and gave a brief nutrition pep talk-a How Do You GU?, if you will- to the other riders during dinner the first night. We gave a basic over view of the products, the desired caloric and liquid intake per hour, and the importance of getting a recovery drink within 30 minutes of finishing a hard effort.
Day Two of our pilgrimage to Interbike took us, according to the promotional literature I had read, to the best “Year-Round Recreation In The Heart Of Utah’s Panoramaland”, Fishlake National Forest. Nestled at just over 9,000 ft., Fishlake National Forest covers 1,434,604 acres, and the lake itself provides water for many of the neighboring communities and agricultural valleys in the region. Speaking of valleys, we started our ride on the valley floor, at an elevation of just over 5,000 ft., which meant that our final resting ground for the night, the aptly named Fish Lake Resort, wouldn’t be that easy to reach considering that we were riding 100 miles, the last 30 of which were all uphill.
The first 66 miles of our day saw us tackle the rolling valley floor in a highly efficient double pace line, which not only gave everyone ample time to warm up but, more importantly, time to get to know other members of the group. It also gave me time to talk product, specifically Roctane, both gel and drink, and the new Electrolyte Capsules. At our mile 66 rest stop, it was great to see the riders be more calculated about what products they were grabbing to fuel the rest of their day.
Speaking of fueling for the rest of the day, I was more cognizant of what I was feeding my engine, being sure to eat enough solids, coupled with gels, as well as using more Roctane Ultra Endurance drink , and the GU Brew Electrolyte tabs. At mile 68, the climbing began, which meant that the highly, cooperative double pace line was no more. I found myself, albeit briefly, in the front group of six riders, which quickly exploded into four and saw me shot out the back. Not that I’m making any excuses, but at 180lbs on a good day, my achilles heel is climbing, so when the road tilts upwards, I tend to go backwards. Knowing that I had 30 more miles of ascent, I hydrated and took on as many calories as possible, and settled into a pace I knew I could manage for the remainder of the ride.
The final turn up to Fishlake came with 7 miles to go, at which point I downed a Roctane gel, took a swig from my bottle and put my head down for the final push to the top. At the summit I was rewarded with spectacular vistas of the valley below and of the towering mountains which were aglow with aspen’s popping with Fall colors. The good folks at Western Spirit had recovery beverages of all sorts ready, as well as salty snacks, so that we could begin replenishing the calories we’d burned and, more importantly, begin fueling for the next day.