It doesn’t usually work out that I have many consecutive weekends free, but for the last 4, there was nothing to stop me from some nice organized riding. 4 weekends with a century each, though to be honest, 2 were metric.
Weekend 1: Blue Ridge Extreme-Waynesboro, VA. This was a metric for me, and one wicked one at that. It was well organized with an unique twist – a group start. About 400 started at 7:30 am with riders doing ½ metrics, metrics & a full century (though there was a shortcut on the century). I didn’t realize that this was a timed event, I just checked their website, I was 75 out of 136 metric riders. If I had known we were being timed, I probably could have been 74 at least. Jeez. My wife did the ½ metric and enjoyed the ride. This ride had by far the most challenging hill on it, Mt. Vesuvius. This route had over 7,000 feet of climbing, it seemed like most of it was on that one mountain (4 miles worth). The century had over 11,000 feet of climbing – yeow. The ride was well organized, great support and as an added bonus, the Inn at Afton (where the ride started) had showers for riders. Good food and drinks at the end – this one is a definite repeater for us. Also the event is in a beautiful part of the country – it was a 3 hour trip for us, one we’ll likely repeat.
Weekend 2: Bay Country Century – Owing, Maryland. This one (full imperial century) was less than 1 hour from our house, we drove to the ride early Saturday (before Labor Day). Last year this was my first century – it was very fulfilling but difficult because of weather (hurricane Ernesto had just passed). Support was poor, conditions extreme but it felt good to do it. This year the weather was much better and the event was better attended. Support was fine, though not as good as the Blue Ridge Extreme. Since it is relatively close to where I live, I’ll probably do it again. My guess is that there was somewhat less than 1,000 people who participated, though that’s just a guess.
Weekend 3: Civil War Century – Thurmont, Maryland. This one (full century) is also about an hour from our home. I did this ride with 4 friends, our pace was relatively slow due to one of the riders not being in peak form. There was 7,400 feet of climbing – a bit longer than the Blue Ridge Extreme metric. Very well supported, beautiful countryside something like 1,400 people riding. Unlike the other rides, there was no time when I wasn’t near other riders, lots of teams and camaraderie. This one was definitely a keeper, although it was a very hot day.
Weekend 4: Yesterday’s Pie Ride – Poolesville, MD. A relatively local ride with 5 others, half of us did a metric. Good times, organized by Cydewaze and his wife, a couple of younger BF'ers.
Most likely I won’t be riding many miles next weekend, though there’s always the possibility. I’ll be traveling so there’ll most likely only be time for a short ride.