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Clydesdales/Athenas (200+ lb / 91+ kg) Looking to lose that spare tire? Ideal weight 200+? Frustrated being a large cyclist in a sport geared for the ultra-light? Learn about the bikes and parts that can take the abuse of a heavier cyclist, how to keep your body going while losing the weight, and get support from others who've been successful.

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Old 05-04-08, 06:48 PM   #1
zpl
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Portsmouth Tour de Cure (Rainy) Clyde Ride Report

So I did my first Tour de Cure ride today from Portsmouth, NH, and man was it rough. I chose the 75 mile ride. The forecast called for rain and temps in the 40s (F), and boy did it deliver. The ride started just a tad late - around 7:15 AM - and the rain was very light. I was wearing a waterproof jacket I picked up the day before and some water resistant cycling pants over a pair of bibs + leg warmers. For my hands I had full finger gloves (not waterproof) and for defeet I had some smartwool socks and toe covers over the shoes.

For the first ten miles or so I thought, "I can do this - this isn't so bad" and was helped along with a nice tailwind heading south on the NH seacoast. However, the rain picked up quickly, and by the 20 mile mark I was pretty soaked over most of my body. From then on it was staying warm that was critical, and that was a struggle. Miles 30-40 were the worst in terms of rain, as it came down heavily and my glasses became perpetually fogged so I had to put them away. This made it very difficult to take advantage of the descents, because I couldn't see well at all with the rain pelting me at higher speeds. I wished I had a visor or cycling cap under my helmet to help with this.

For a while I rode and chatted with a woman who was also doing the 75 mile ride, but was getting chilled. She was wearing non-waterproof cycling tights and confessed that she was miserable and considering switching to the 50 mile ride instead. I believe a number of riders ended up doing this, and the thought crossed my mind on numerous occasions when the rain picked up. I told myself that as long as I stayed reasonably warm I was going to stick with the 75 miler.

When she broke off the route, I found myself riding alone for nearly the rest of the entire ride. I managed to get lost a couple of times and padded on a few extra miles to my trip, but the good news is after about 50 miles the rain scaled back quite a bit and even offered a reprieve here and there. There were some moderate climbs in the 50-60 mile range that seemed unusually difficult for me. In retrospect I think the soaked clothing weighed me down more than I had anticipated.

I "used up all my matches" on those climbs and was in bad shape for the coastal ride back. Remember the "nice tailwind" I mentioned above? Well now I was heading North, and it became a headwind. I have no idea how fast it was, but I struggled not to go into my granny gear just to be able to ride on perfectly flat road. Struggle turned into submission when eventually I gave in and was barely able to maintain 10 MPH. I was getting tired and this was the most demoralizing part of the ride.

After what seemed like forever, I finally turned inland and realized how bad that headwind was. Still, I was slowing down and my average speed continued to drop. At the final rest stop I asked someone what time it was and they said 2pm. What??? This ride was taking forever!

It turns out I finished the ride just *three minutes* faster (ride time) than I did my first century in last September. I ended with 82.9 miles in 6:32:11 (ride time) for a whopping average speed of 12.6 MPH. I assumed I was one of the last people to finish the 75-mile ride but in fact there were still a lot of riders out there.

Although this is the kind of ride I'd rather not repeat (in terms of the weather), I am glad I stuck through it and finished the full route I had set out to.

I also got to briefly meet blonduathlongrl from BF, which was nice. She rode with her Zipps today, but I didn't see an aerobar on her bike.
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Old 05-04-08, 08:03 PM   #2
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Great job in completing something with those conditions!!!!
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Old 05-04-08, 08:06 PM   #3
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Way to endure through it and make yourself complete the 75 miler! I know even in my day-to-day rides there are times when I have to push myself to go that extra mile or that longer loop. Nice job! (even if the weather sucked!)
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Old 05-04-08, 08:07 PM   #4
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Sounds like a ride from hell.....my favorite kind

Rides that challenge you and push you to your limits are the most satisfying.
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Old 05-04-08, 08:21 PM   #5
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Let's see if posting a photo works...here I am just before the start of the ride.
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Old 05-04-08, 09:26 PM   #6
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Yeah...yuck. I can handle the cold, or the wet. Just not both at the same time.

BDG is awesome, isn't she? Tell her I said "Hi" from SoCal.
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Old 05-05-08, 06:10 AM   #7
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hi!
a huge congrats to you!!

I'm really glad you said hello to me! cant believe someone from bf was parked right next to me!

well... Im one of those who turned around, the weather was really bad.. I know what you mean about your glasses, I couldnt see one thing out there. That cold rain was awful!
it certainly took a lot of courage to do this ride and you sir have that courage.. kudos to you.. even some of the elite team riders didnt even give this a try, that's how bad it was..
I was just so cold..
btw, no more earo bars! I have become a roadie! hehe
the zipps... they are staying till death do us part!

nice to meet you again and a huge congrats to you, that was quite an accomplisment!!
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Old 05-05-08, 06:22 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by zpl View Post
Let's see if posting a photo works...here I am just before the start of the ride.
You have a determined look on your face, which should have told everyone that you were finishing no matter what. Thanks for sharing the story of your ride, and of your toughness in finishing such a ride.
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Old 05-05-08, 06:59 AM   #9
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Awesome display of stick-to-it-ive-ness. Congratulations!!!
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Old 05-05-08, 08:08 AM   #10
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zpl..
I just heard from my team and noone went through with the 100 miles. It was too miserable, they ended up wanting to do 50 but there was a tree on the road so they had a detour and that pushed then to 60, they said that it felt like 150 miles and they physically had to push one of our rider to finish the ride, as he was under dressed and couldnt even move anymore. Some of them crashed because of the conditions but they are fine and one of them got a ride back to the start.

so here's another huge pat in the back for you.

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Old 05-05-08, 08:10 AM   #11
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Congrats, Scott! It was crap weather all weekend, and Sunday's rain the worst. Good on you for sticking through nearly the most miserable weather we can have in May.
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Old 05-05-08, 09:27 AM   #12
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Thanks for the kind words everyone. It was an ordeal but luck and preparation were in my favor. I just discovered a staple in my rear tire. I'm grateful that didn't cause a flat when I was out in the rain.
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