We left home at 5:00 am for a 6:00 am start over 60 miles away. We should have left earlier - we showed up for the ride after the mass start. After loading the bikes with the requisite stuff and signing in we departed the parking lot of the Fish Tale Brewery at around 6:20 am. As we were loading up the bikes, one rider returned she had gone the wrong way at the start and another rider had a quicker deployment then us and started the ride just before we did.
This is a beautiful ride and we made the first control just at the closing time - so a late start wasn't costing us much time - but the hills and the mugginess were starting to get to us. One hill was 10% grade going up and 10% going down the other side and then we reached Cramer Hill Road which the nice farmer at the roadside pointed out that he thought it was a 20% hill - probably more like 14%.
After we reached Vader in the afternoon - we spent a bit too much time there cooling down and I probably had needed a real meal at that point but just didn't feel like eating much. I also filled my sport bra with ice - ice is supposed to feel cold against your skin but it didn't. That should have been a good warning sign.
We headed out of Vader with the recumbent rider who was about to pull the plug but decided to carry on. I about quit the ride at Tennessee Hill when I started puking and couldn't get my heart rate below 160 bpm. Sitting under a tree in some wood chips for about a half hour and getting some more calories down my gullet soon put me to rights and I was able to continue. We stopped in Chehalis where we encountered another cooked rider who had been at the air conditioned convenience store for over an hour. We hung out here for about a half hour and cooled down and departed when the temperature outside had dropped to a breezy 97 degree Fahrenheit. From there the day improved and we finished the ride at 8:45 pm - which was out of the 13.5 hours which are allotted for a 200 kilometer ride. The ride was actually 236 km and the temperature average for the day was probably 90.
Out of 53 starters - there were 40 finishers so we were not alone in our inability to deal with the heat.
Highlights of the day included a beautiful ride through the Capitol Forest - I'll take the D Line its a really nice road. Hearing about Martha jumping in a kiddy pool to cool off and Allison being afraid the redneck with the rotweiller was going to come out and yell at them for being on their property.
My first DNF :-( - but it was TOO DAMN HOT!!!!