Thursday, November 11, 2010

End of season Century Ride report

The fellas over at Infinite Cycles thought it would be a great idea to end the year with a big old group ride for 100 miles, or a century. I jumped in and helped plan the route, and decided it'd be fun to attempt. I also invited a friend to come along, whose longest ride to that point had been 60 miles, mostly flat.

So at 7:30 on October 30th, a group of about 16 cyclists set out on a gray morning just as the sun was rising. The group steadily declined until there were only 5 of us continuing on for the whole century route. Everyone else had decided to make it a 20 or 30 or 40 mile day. Going up Wasatch Blvd near the Sandy/Draper line caused quite the separation, as three of the stronger riders took off, leaving me and my buddy behind. They did wait at the Big Cottonwood Canyon park and ride lot, as we had determined, and we stuck mostly together up the east bench on Wasatch. My friend, however, was really struggling. Every time we encountered the slightest incline, he'd pop off the back of our little paceline. Eventually, about mile 70, among the buildings of the University of Utah campus, we told them to continue on and not wait up for us. We're big boys and we have phones and spare tubes and all that, so don't worry about slowing down for us.

Once we got out of downtown we enjoyed the very flat section of the ride through Rose Park and around the bike path that goes around the airport. At the gas station in the international center, we noticed how slow our average pace had dropped to and how frequent the rest stops were becoming, and we decided to call my wife and have her meet us at the WalMart another 5 miles up the road. The timing turned out to be just right, because the long-anticipated storms began arriving during that last 5 miles. All in all, we made it 84 miles in 5 hours, 20 minutes of riding time (and almost 7 hours of actual time).

I was feeling alright and I'm sure I could have finished the route, but with the frequent stops we were making for my friend's sake and how long those stops were becoming, we would have been gone all day. The route was brilliant, if I do say so myself, and I really want to give it a go again, perhaps solo. Sadly, it looks like the weather has become mostly un-ride-able for the foreseeable future, so it may have to wait until Spring.... depending on what kind of winter riding digs I may get for Christmas....?

No comments: