Yesterday I rode in the inaugural Big Ring Century - Metric Century ride. It benefited World Vision.
Here is the route:
Here is my fouled up Garmin map: (My Garmin Forerunner 305 once again cut off a portion of the start of my ride on the map. Me thinks it can't handle long rides)...
Here I am at the start:
Fellow riders at start:
The ride started off pretty well and I was pleasantly surprised by how well the riders did in a large group (and that includes me). I got funneled to the back of the riders fairly quickly but that was ok for me as it wasn't a race and I was focused on FINISHING. We got to a park and hopped on to a bike trail early in the ride...about 5.5 miles in. My legs and lungs were just NOT up to that hill. I got off the bike and walked my bike up the hill and that pretty much really shuffled me to the back and alone.
The course was mostly well marked but there was a point that I stayed on the bike trail when I was to have exited and gotten back on the street. There were no other riders near me to follow so when I missed the arrow/signage...I went a bit off course. I am pedaling along and on the road to my right, I see riders in the ride jersey on the road in the bike lane....so I got off the bike and walked it down the embankment between the bike trail and the road and rejoined the course. Ended up riding with a couple folks for a bit as we approached the back bay area.
Here are two of the women in that group ahead of me on the back bay road:
Got to the first pit stop/water/snack station at the 26 mile mark on SART at a park and the majority of riders had already blown thru and so they were nearly out of water and snacks. If I had one critique it would be that if you are going to have a pit stop, that you make sure it is overstocked and to have PORTA-POTTIES there! I was needing to use the restroom and there was not one to be had at the park they set up the pit stop at and they did not have porta-potties.
So I continued on my own up SART and eventually came upon a park that was having its' restrooms redone and there were two porta-potties there. One of them was unspeakably disgusting and so I had to wait for the other one for quite some time. But at least I was able to finally use the restroom and reapply chamois cream to the chamois on my bibs. I forgot to pack my old bike shorts in case the bib shorts became uncomfortable and I have to say that they were a bit annoying in that area but I survived.
Eventually came upon Angels Stadium (Anaheim Angels...I refuse to call them the LA Angels of Anaheim since they aren't even in LA County) and the Honda Center (Anaheim Ducks):
Exited SART at Lincoln and headed toward Nohl Rancho Road, Meats Ave and Via Escola which were one serious hill after another. I got off and WALKED my bike up each hill. I am not in shape for these and I wasn't the only rider walking my bike up. These hills started at the 40 mile mark basically. My granny gear was not granny enough. I also walked up a portion of Santiago Canyon road.
From the end of Via Escola to the end of the ride I pretty much was riding absolutely ALONE. I really wished I had at least one of my cycling group along on the ride with me so I was not riding alone so much. After the last pit stop on Nohl Ranch Road....to the end 20 miles later...I rode solo. It would have made the ride a bit more enjoyable if I had someone to talk to as the miles went by.
All in all tho, was a good experience and I was not the only one who had trouble with the hills so that made me feel a bit better about my failure to ride them.