Long Distance Competition/Ultracycling, Randonneuring and Endurance Cycling - (solo) Ride Across Ohio
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03-28-08, 08:16 PM
I'll be turning 40 this July and I've decided that my present to myself is a solo ride across Ohio... roughly 240 miles. I'm not going for a UMCA record, but figured I'd use their east-west (or vice versa) locations and see what I can do.
Two years ago I did RAIN and last year a solo double century - (4) 50 mile loops in each quadrant of my home county... so this is a natural progression. This year I've also signed on for RAINSTORM (http://www.triri.org/storm.html) the weeklong tour of Indiana that ends with RAIN (http://bloomingtonbicycleclub.org/tours/rain/rain.html).
I'm planning on early August, about two or three weeks after RAIN, w/ my wife sagging for me. No route finalized but suffice to say I'll be making it as short and flat as possible.
My question: Do I increase my chances of favorable winds by going West to East? Or do I get the hillier terrain over with early by going East to West and finishing flat? Eastern Ohio isn't all that hilly, but I figure 3/4 of the way into the ride, even the smallest hills will seem like mountains.
03-28-08, 08:47 PM
Sounds like you have a fun summer ahead of you. RAINSTORM should put you in pretty good shape, so I'm sure you'll be ready for the challenge.
I can't help you much with the route aside from the obvious. If you want to avoid hills, stay as far north as possible. I assume you've seen these (http://www.outdoor-pursuits.org/main/forsale/routes.htm). I was checking out the UMCA records and I saw that David Buzzee holds one of the records. I did a couple brevets in Ohio last year, and I'm pretty sure Mr. Buzzee is affiliated with the Ohio Randonneurs. Here (http://www.ohiorand.org/)'s their website. Bob Waddell is listed as the contact person on their website. Bob's a super nice guy and I'm sure he could point you in the right direction.
As for the wind, I'd say don't worry about it. Do whatever is easier based on what's closer to your home. If you plan to go West-East based on winds and the wind is blowing East-West (it happens), you'll be super demoralized. I would, at least. I'd say prepare your mind for a headwind and hope for the best.
BTW, I see that there is a South-North-South record but not a West-East-West record. Try to do that and you're guaranteed a record. ;)
03-31-08, 02:34 PM
I'm not going for a UMCA record simply because I'm too lazy to mess with the added cost, organization, planning of setting up the ride. That and being locked into a date. I'm going to plan two dates. The second will be a 'copout' date if the weather on the first is not to my liking.
I may use their start/end points, but possibly just a bit further north. I mapped out a route goes just north of my hometown (Fostoria, OH) that is 230 miles.
But I may also go with longer miles but larger roads, possibly using the new sections of US30 on the west half. US30 is brand new road for quite a few miles, wide berm and very lightly used. The east half in that case is undecided but 30 is heavily traveled.
Going east to west gets me home much faster afterwards (I'm only an hour south of the western 'start/end'), but necessitates an overnight beforehand. I'm in no hurry to decide because planning the route is part of the fun. I'll probably come up with a dozen before I finally make up my mind!
03-31-08, 10:54 PM
Both Bob and Dave are super nice guys and I'm sure wouldn't mind your picking their brains for insight on routing and other advice.
I've not ridden much in the northern part of the state, but central and south, things don't tend to be too windy in August, generally. If it were me, I'd go with whatever direction is most logistically easy for you. Sounds like you'll have plenty of training in this year so finishing shouldn't be an issue for you. Since you're not racing it, trying to pick up the slight advantage of an afternoon SW wind isn't that big of a deal. Good luck and be sure to post a ride report!
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