So today was the Tour de Cure in Brighton Michigan. I rode in the event last year, but only for 25 miles because I was fairly new to riding and didnt have many miles in. This year though I decided to step it up and go for the Century Route.
I got there at 6am to register and grab some food. I stayed the night in a hotel and figured I would just grab breakfast at the starting point after checking in for the ride. After eating a bagel and half a banana I got my bike ready and headed to the start line. After a quick speech by one of the event organizers we set off at 6:30. I was able to hang in the front for a while thanks to it being early and my legs were fresh. By the time we hit the first rest stop (Hell, Mi) I was somewhere in the middle of the very scattered group of riders. After a banana and some pretzels, I hurried up and left. I didnt want to spend too much time at the rest stops and tried to keep my time at them at a minimum.
By the time I reached the second rest stop (about 32 miles) my real derailer was jumping around pretty bad in my lowest four gears (I used them quite a bit due the hills...its pretty much flat where I live and a whole lot hillier in Michigan) so I asked the mechanic if she could fix it. After a few minutes adjusting it, everything was fine.
The next 30 or so miles was kinda tough. Around 50 miles I started to get a twinge in my left leg and I thought that I was gonna start cramping up. Luckily nothing came of it, although I did take it as easy as I could up the hills as to try not to aggravate it any more. Now, somewhere after the third rest stop at ~60 miles I heard a ping and just thought that a rock had deflected off my wheel into my rim. Unfortunately that wasnt it. I looked down at my rear wheel and noticed it wasnt rolling true (it wasnt bad, enough to notice though) I stopped a few miles up and checked the spokes and realized that there was pretty much no tension on that spoke. Oh well, I had to keep going.
I made it the next rest stop (same one as the second, just came in from a different direction) and asked the mechanic again if she could check my wheel. She looked at the spoke and told me that it was broken. She tightened it as best as she could and I took off. 5 miles later it came undone and was loose again, and I noticed the spokes rattling. I looked at them closer and noticed there were now 2 spokes that were holding no tension. Somehow, the two spokes somewhat cancelled out each other as far as the wheel going out of true. I could barely notice that the wheel was out of true.
I made the next rest stop another quick stop (85 miles) because I was getting to the point that I just wanted to be done. I tell you what..those last 15 miles sucked. Between having just rode 85 hilly miles, and being in the saddle for over 5 1/2 hours I was just sore. At some point in the last 10 miles I ended up riding a bit with a guy who had a Garmin 305, and it said that we were at about 3500' feet of climbing (mapmyride shows 1400'...anyone know which would be more accurate? im guessing the 305). That may not sound like a lot to some of you (Beanz ) but compared to where I normally ride, thats about 3450' more than I climb on average
By the time I crossed the finish line, not only was I beat, but I had rode 101.9 miles in 6 hours and 45 minutes. The majority of the ride I was by myself.
There were at least 2 times during the ride that I just wanted to quit. Right around 65 miles, and when closing in on 80 miles. The urge was pretty strong but I fought through it and came out on top. One thing I have come to realize about riding a century, is that it is just as mental as it is physical.
6 Hours, 45 Minutes, 54 Seconds
15 mph average
85 average cadence
2 Broken spokes