Having completed my first century last September, I made it my goal for 2008 to ride two centuries this year. I was hoping to do one in June, but that never worked out. Fortunately this past Saturday the weather in NH was expected to be clear of thunderstorms and with reasonably low humidity, so I jumped at the opportunity to get my first century of 2008 in.
The concept of doing a solo century was pretty daunting to me, so I managed to set up the route in such a way that a middle leg of the ride could be done as a metric century. Chris (aka LordBass) decided to join me for this and thus here is a tale of two centuries: my imperial and Chris' (first ever) metric.
I began the ride at 6 AM and completed about 25 miles in the early morning. A family of wild turkeys greeted me toward the end of that leg.
As I returned to my starting point, Chris was right on time and we promptly embarked on a journey out to the Nubble Lighthouse on the Maine seacoast.
Chris with his 80's steel Bridgestone:
A couple of cool riding shots that came out:
A quick rest stop we took near a stream just outside of Ogunquit, ME:
The ride to Nubble was uneventful, except for a JAM who came unbelievably close to taking out Chris at an intersection. Fortunately Chris' bike handing skills held up and his recently upgraded brake pads were put to full use.
In contrast to my last ride to Nubble Light, this time the visibility was excellent.
On the way back from Nubble, I decided to use a sample packet of Perpetuem, which I had never tried before (yeah, you know where this is going). Sure enough, within minutes of my first few swigs of it, my stomach was having none of it. I struggled with violent gastrointestinal cramps and gas for the rest of the ride. I've had good luck in the past with Sustained Energy and will be sticking with that from now on!
As we rode the final 10 miles or so of the metric century leg of the trip, I started struggling and could barely force myself to eat another gel due to the nausea. Bad combination - I needed the fuel to avoid bonking, but knew that getting sick would be even worse.
When we arrived back to our cars, Chris celebrated his new milestone, but I still had another 10 miles to do to round out my imperial. With more stops than I care to admit, I finally finished the 10 miles and completed my imperial century.
100.08 miles in 07:11:23 ride time (13.9 MPH)
It was more than a half-hour slower than my first century (6:35), but as far as I'm concerned, just completing a century is a feat in itself, whether it takes 5 hours or 10.
A couple of comments on new gear I was using for this ride:
Planet Bike SuperFlash rear blinky - I had just picked one of these up and turned it on for the early morning portion of the ride. About 15 miles in, another cyclist passed me and commented that he could see the light a half-mile back. This thing works!
Giordana Forma bib shorts - I got these $200+ bibs recently from Chainlove for under $100 shipped. They are the nicest bibs I have ever owned by a long shot. There was practically no saddle discomfort to speak of during this century, which definitely was not the case during my previous one. I credit the bibs for kicking butt (excuse the pun).
Camelback Podium water bottle - Yes, it's convenient not to have to open and close my water bottle valve. Just pick the thing up and drink from it. I like 'em.