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  1. #1
    Senior Member Coloradopenguin's Avatar
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    The Maine Event - a first century report

    Time to toot my own horn! Rode my first century on Saturday with my 24-year-old son Kevin, supported by his girl friend and my wife. The route was entirely our own, between Portsmouth, New Hampshire, and Portland, Maine, beginning on the coast and moving inland at Biddeford. Except for a 10-mile stretch coming into Scarborough, the route was either traffic-free or had nice shoulders. RouteSlip.com and Google Earth are wonderful planning tools.

    Our stats were nothing to write home about: 103.3 miles, 13.8 mph avg ride speed, 7-1/2 hours in the saddle, about 4,100 feet of climbing over rolling hills, just over 10 hours to start to finish. Coming into the ride I have logged 1,700 miles this year, the longest ride being 75 miles.

    Rented a Specialized Roubaix Elite for the ride. It was a close match to my Sirrus geometry, and I fine tuned the fit on a shake-down ride Friday night.


    That's when my wife and son surprised me with custom jerseys for the event! Graphic of Maine and a lighthouse on front, lobster on the back with the title The Maine Event.


    Started the ride at 7:30 a.m., and enjoyed the sunrise over Portsmouth bay as we worked our way over to Kittery and then up the coast along Rt. 103 to York


    where we stopped to admire the Nubble Lighthouse and shed our first layer.


    Then it was up Rt. 1A to Ogunquit and out to the beaches -- we missed our turn back to 1A and ended up doing a 2-mile out and back (the only misque of the day, but it was fun to ride along the salt marshes). Back into Ogunquit, and at the 20-mile mark that distinctive hiss from Kevin's back tire brought us to a halt for a tire repair. Little did we know he would have 4 flats along the ride, appproximately every 20 miles. They made for good breaks, but cut down on our "touring" stops.

    We were very glad to be on bikes in Kinnebunkport, where cars and buses clogged the streets to a standstill. We accidentally found ourselves on along a marathon route, and thought we were really special as everyone cheered us over the finish line. A couple miles out of town we had our second flat. We started with 2 fresh tubes. The first went in at Ogunquit, and second in now. Pumped it up, and discovered the tube was leaking. So out came the patch kit. As we sat along the road patching tubes, three cars and a policeman stopped to see if we needed help, and we kept the locals entertained for about 40 minutes. We decided to call our support team to have them pick up a couple more tubes, and to meet us for a picnic lunch at Salmon Falls -- about 62 miles into the ride.


    At Biddeford, our route turned inland to see the rolling countryside of Maine. Right on cue, a couple miles out from lunch Kevin had his 3rd flat. By now we were getting pretty good at fixing flats and were quickly back on the road to meet our lovely support crew for a pleasant picnic alongside a slow-moving river.


    The best part of the ride was the 20 miles north of Salmon Falls through Bonny Eagle and Standish.


    Colors were just starting to show, but the road and scenery were both top notch. Working our way back along Rt. 114 we joked about the flat tires and watched the odometer as it approached 80 . . . at 80.4 it happened again as we neared Gorham. All we could do was laugh, and I suggested my son should buy new tires after the ride!

    Our final leg kept us south of Portland and ended up at the Two Light State Park near Cape Elizabeth around 5:40. This was the only stretch with heavy traffic, but the shoulders were adequate in most spots. We finished feeling strong and after a shower went out on the town to enjoy a lobster dinner in Portland. We carried our own food (gels, dark chocolate, bananas and power bars), sports water and plain water. About 70 miles in, while out of the saddle on a hill, I felt a twinge of a cramp in my thigh so I stopped to eat a banana, and had no further problems.


    (note our jersey design!)

    My son and I agreed the century ride was a lot of fun at our modest pace, and we will make it an annual event. Over dinner we decided to try northern Maine, with hopes of seeing a moose! We also figured we spent over an hour fixing flats.



    The ride was memorable, not because we both attained our first century ride -- but because we did it together. I hope my son realizes just how special he made this ride for his ol' man.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by Coloradopenguin; 10-09-07 at 08:36 PM.
    "Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body,
    but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming --
    WOW!!! What a ride!"

  2. #2
    Bike Curious.... bobby c's Avatar
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    Fantastic. Something your son will never forget - what a gift for both of you!

    Nice pictures as well.

  3. #3
    Senior Member ilmooz's Avatar
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    Congratulations! From the pictures it looks like you traced a very nice and scenic route. An easy pace (minus the flat fixes) that lets you to take it all in is probably the best way to enjoy it.

  4. #4
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    Outstanding! Congratulations on the century and on being able to ride it with your son. What a deal! Great pix as well.

    My brother lived in the Portland area many moons ago. We visited him up there, and I can recall the names and sights of some of the places you mentioned. That had to be one great ride.

  5. #5
    Elite Rider Hermes's Avatar
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    Great pics and report.
    "Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." Einstein

  6. #6
    Erect member since 1953 cccorlew's Avatar
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    Hey! 1st century, decent time. That is somehing to wite home about! Well done. That's some climbing too.
    You rented the bike? That sounds interesting. How did you like it? And which model?

    Congrats again
    WANTED: Not a darn thing. I've got it all. Life is good.
    Website at curtis.corlew.com Bicycle blog at ccorlew.blogspot.com

  7. #7
    Let's do a Century jppe's Avatar
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    Just terrific!

  8. #8
    Clipless faller rainycamp's Avatar
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    Great ride report. Would love to see more like this one. Guess I'll have to step up and contribute.
    2008 Specialized Allez Elite Compact
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  9. #9
    Senior Member Terrierman's Avatar
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    Congratulations on whuppng the MASSIVE frickin crustacean on your plate in the bottom photo. And on a terrific ride too. WTG Colorado Penguin! Oh, BTW, is your support crew available for rent?
    It's all downhill from here. Except the parts that are uphill.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Coloradopenguin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cccorlew View Post
    That's some climbing too.
    You rented the bike? That sounds interesting. How did you like it? And which model?
    The climbing was a cumulative effect of the rolling hills. Other than a handful of modest grades, it was easy rolling hills -- much easier than the long, steady grades around my home in Colorado.

    I decided to rent rather than pack up and fly out my Specialized Sirrus ($75 each way). Found a LBS in Portsmouth that had Specialized and Cannondale road bikes to rent. The Specialized Roubaix Elite had a similar geometry so I opted for it. It also had a triple like my own bike. Cost $50 per day.

    I did miss my rear rack and truck . . . had to carry everything in a backpack and my shoulders were sore by the end of the ride.

    I really liked the Roubaix, but could not convince my wife it would make a great souvenir.
    "Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body,
    but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming --
    WOW!!! What a ride!"

  11. #11
    Senior Member late's Avatar
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    Hi,
    You might want to continue up the coast next time. I have ridden from here to Bar Harbor.

    Inland things get dicier. You can go a long ways between places to get water and such. But I have some suggestions for inland trips I can go into later. Riding near the coast is nicer, IMHO. My favorite places to include in a bike trip are North Conway NH(just over the border), Camden, Bar Harbor, and a B&B in Hallowell. You can include Freeport as well. You could fly into Portland, ride to Camden or Bar Harbor and fly out.

    One thing, as you move away from the SE corner, the riding gets a bit more challenging.

  12. #12
    Senior Member ?? Beverly's Avatar
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    Your first century and with your son......life is good Congratulations!
    =============================================================
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  13. #13
    But on the road more MTBLover's Avatar
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    What a fantastic event and a great ride report! And such good support too- right down to the jerseys- wow! I rode my first (imperial) century a couple of weekends ago, so I can appreciate how you must feel. And the route (and having your son as a partner) must have been the proverbial icing. Well done, and congrats!

    So when's your next one (I always ask that )

  14. #14
    Wheezing Geezer Bud Bent's Avatar
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    Congrats, it sounds like a great ride!
    Bud
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    They told me it's ok to post mileage over in the commuting forum, so you'll probably find me there these days.

  15. #15
    Senior Member George's Avatar
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    It sounds like you had a great ride and a great bike to do it on. All the pictures I could open, were on the bottom , but it sure is pretty country. I would love to do something like that with my son, but we're both so busy. Anyhow congratulations on a great ride and report as well.
    George

  16. #16
    Senior Member jazzy_cyclist's Avatar
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    Congratulations; so excellent that you could share this ride.

    My wife and I did the Seacoast century a few weeks ago which included Portsmouth north up to York Beach. Back in July we did ther Lobster Ride century which was further North near Rockland. That is all nice riding turf (if the weather is good).

  17. #17
    Senior Member Coloradopenguin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by George View Post
    It sounds like you had a great ride and a great bike to do it on. All the pictures I could open, were on the bottom. . .
    George,
    Figured out what happened to the photos. We'll try this again.
    "Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body,
    but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming --
    WOW!!! What a ride!"

  18. #18
    Senior Member Coloradopenguin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MTBLover View Post
    So when's your next one (I always ask that )
    Good question. Don't know when, but I know there will be another, an another . . . Not a lot of organized century rides in my neighborhood, so it will probably be something on my own again. I've got a couple of routes already scouted out -- weather and daylight are now the challenges.

    One nice thing about renting the bike, I was able to test out a true road bike and found I liked it. But not enough to rush out and replace my Specialized Sirrus Comp. With bar ends, I'm comfortable with the flat bar, and actually prefer the braking and shifting of the flat bar.
    "Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body,
    but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming --
    WOW!!! What a ride!"

  19. #19
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coloradopenguin View Post
    The climbing was a cumulative effect of the rolling hills. Other than a handful of modest grades, it was easy rolling hills -- much easier than the long, steady grades around my home in Colorado.

    I decided to rent rather than pack up and fly out my Specialized Sirrus ($75 each way). Found a LBS in Portsmouth that had Specialized and Cannondale road bikes to rent. The Specialized Roubaix Elite had a similar geometry so I opted for it. It also had a triple like my own bike. Cost $50 per day.

    I did miss my rear rack and truck . . . had to carry everything in a backpack and my shoulders were sore by the end of the ride.

    I really liked the Roubaix, but could not convince my wife it would make a great souvenir.
    Great ride and what a first for you- and in a pretty good time. Now on a road ride like this- You have to keep to a minimum so still abit of work to retraing the mind to what you really need. And as the wife bought you those fantastic jerseys- I don't think it would take much to retrain the wife on a years supply of Birthdays- Xmas- Fathers day all in one go.


    At upsetting the GOW (God of white) How was the BLUE and white roubaix- did you have any after effects or pain? (Other than the butt or anything caused by the extra milage) Did you notice any difference on the Compfort -or speed- or ridability?
    How long was I in the army? Five foot seven.


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  20. #20
    Senior Member Coloradopenguin's Avatar
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    Stapfam,
    The BLUE AND WHITE ROUBAIX was a terrific bike. All carbon, with a smooth ride. I found it was very comfortable transition from my Sirrus. I was a little worried about changing seats for the long ride, but in the end -- pardon the pun -- the factory seat was very comfortable. I did spend some time on my shake-down ride the night before adjusting both height and front-back positioning. Must have hit the sweet spot pretty close because there were not tender spots to deal with.

    There was a big diffence in out-of-saddle climbing. I found it was much easier to get out of the saddle on climbs, although my inexperience in this method left me searching for the best gear on some longer climbs. My son noticed I was attacking hills throughout this ride. On earlier training rides on the Sirrus I tended to hit the lower gears and spin up hills. I attribute this to the bike.

    Like I noted earlier, I was fine with the drop bars but have decided there isn't much difference with my flat bar equipped with bar ends. I seldom used the drops on the ride -- with the backpack it was not very comfortable to be bent over that far, and wind was never a problem on this ride.

    The encouraging part of all this was how good I felt after the ride and on the morning after. There was a little muscle soreness, but not any worse than I have after 30-40 miles. The bum felt fine, and there was absolutely no wrist/hand pain.

    The Roubaix is definitely a great bike.
    "Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body,
    but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming --
    WOW!!! What a ride!"

  21. #21
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    dude that's awesome. those are -my- backroads

    nice to see them on BF and in a good thread on a good ride

  22. #22
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    I think you have to Sell the wife or Mug the next door neighbour. Everything you have said points to this- or something similar- being your next bike.

    On the drop bars- I only use the drops into a headwind or in a pace line. Rest of the time I am on the hoods and if you look at most roadies- They are only in the drops when hammering- but they are nice when you need them.

    I noticed adifference in saddle quality when I changed to a road bike. The cheap stock saddle on the OCR was comfortable. It has been replaced for a better quality but Same shape same fit and same lack of pain- so I think you have found a position on the bike that suits you.

    The hill climbing- I sit for most of the hill but when I have no Gears left- out of the saddle and it works. And the gears seem to be better on the road bike aswell.

    Now on backpacks- On the bike- I keep the saddle wedge for tube repairs. I also have a Small camelback that takes the bladder and it little bit more. Just fine for a waterproof or a couple of extra tools. The Camelback is comfortable. I have yet to find any other backpack that is as good, but other than water- I try not to carry anything else in it.

    End of year sales are coming up and all I can say is that your next bike is due. The mere fact that you did 100 miles with so little pain and effort definitely points to that.

    Sorry to be the bearer of such bad news for the wife- but You can always buy her a bunch of flowers- or a new car or something to ease the purchase.


    Edit It sounds as though I am trying to force you into a bike purchase- But all I am saying is that if you can go there- You have found the next bike.
    How long was I in the army? Five foot seven.


    Spike Milligan

  23. #23
    Senior Member George's Avatar
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    George

  24. #24
    Senior Member George's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by George View Post
    I did change the saddle out to a Alias, very nice, so far.
    George

  25. #25
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    Wow! Great ride. Great report and great pics.


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