This is a long four part story:
Part 1 - the bike:
Last week I got the bottom bracket out of my Simoncini - it was not an easy task as it had not been out since it was put in in 1995/6. Took some pounding a cursing but out it came. Ordered the Compact Chorus group - spider breaks, ultra torque BB, carbon cranks, 11/25 cassett. Got the group today and will begin the build next week - will show pictures. Now for part 2.
Part 2: The Bike tuneup
This was century weekend for our bike club - a century both Sat & Sunday but Sat was a washout. I had been planning on riding the Tarmac now that the Simoncini was like the scarecrow in the Wizard of Oz - spread across the garage floor.
For those of you who have followed my posts you know the Simoncini is my distance bike. So during the rain on Sat the bike went back together with the old BB. I did get to use my new repair stand and was able to tune/clean the drive train up really carefully - it ran smoother than it has in years, better than any shop tuneup I have ever had, but I fiddled with it for several hours to get all the parts lubed and the derailers adjusted just so.
Part 3: The Century
Well Sunday was a beautiful day for Century - and what a great Century it was. Temps in the low 70's, low humidity, blue sky but a good breeze out of the NW.
I was expecting a course like it had been the last two years, moderate rolling hills and a gentle climb to the half way point and the a gentle descent to the finish. A pleaseant ride in the wilds of Saratoga County. An easy course to average over 17MPH on (last year was 16.4, the year before was maybe 15). Well they pulled a fast one on me - this year they stuck West Mountain in at mile 62 and no rest stops from mile 44 to mile 87, someone had complained the 100 had gotten too easy - jerk! I was also supposed to ride with one of my regular riding buddies - a strong rider but one who has bonked hard in the past and has not had a lot of ride time in over the last month.
While waiting at the start my friend does not show and I forgot my cell phone - the ride takes off on time, I go without him and I am concerned about finding a compatible riding partner. About 3 miles into the ride I seem to be riding with a woman who is also riding alone (very pretty I might add) and we seem to be working together quite well. Somewhere about 15 miles into the ride I see a rider in the pack ahead of use take a bad fall, he was drafting and hit the wheel of the guy in front - since I am trained in rescue I stop and check him out while another rider calls 911, soon after a doctor pulls up in her car and I hand him over to her and off I go. My riding partner and I blow off the first rest stop at mile 25 - we are averaging 19MPH at this point. Now I have a history of burning myself out riding with (chasing) pretty women who are way better riders than I and I am starting to think I am in trouble. We keep on until we hit the second rest stop at mile 44. We stop - refuel, fill bottles and she picks up her friend who is starting from this point (she could not get there early enough to start at the beginning - fresh legs and another pretty woman to ride with). My friend who I was supposed to meet pulls in to the rest stop - he had gone by the wreck, didn't see me on the ground with the victum and stoped at the first rest area when we blew by - I didn't see him there as I looked when we passed.
All four of us start off and we hit West Mountain at mile 62. By this time I am starting to feel it. Climbing the mountain I was going so slow I could have drafted a turtle. I was the last one up and I figured it was the last I'd see of the ladies, just over the top my friend was waiting and at the next turn near the bottom there were the ladies. We were a group again! By the way - did I mention we pick up a third pretty woman along the way - life doesn't get any better.
Mile 85 I hit something god-awful in the road, don't know what it was but there was a loud bang as I hit it - the bars almost got knocked out of my hands and my front tire went flat. Everyone stopped, we had been pushing hard since mile 44 with no stop so we all pulled food out of our pockets and I fixed my tire as fast as I could, we were running out of water but only 3 more miles to the rest stop.
At the last rest stop with only 13 miles to go it was mostly use the facilities and fill one water bottle. My friend met his wife who was finishing the metric so he rode the last bit with her and I decided those three young ladies needed me to show them the way - so off I went. Well they had plans of thier own - seeing that it was getting close to 6 hours of ride time they picked up the pace to make sure they finished under 6, I slipped a little bit behind as I could not stand while climbing the hills because I did not get quite enough air in my front tire and I did not want a pinch flat, then after a hill with about 3 miles to go I get stuck at a red light - they got through at the end of the green and that was that - I finished on my own.
After the ride I sat down and had a cold drink and a sandwich and my two new friends found me and eat with me while we disussed our kids and the adventure together. I did not ask what thier average was but I did the ride with a 16.8MPH average which also put me in at just under 6 hours ride time. I felt tired but good. The ladies left before my other friend and his wife got back in - and as always - I didn't get phone numbers.
My original riding partner came in later with his wife - she was grinning from ear to ear having just completed her first solo metric - together they have done a century on a tandem. My other regular morning riding buddy also did the metric with his wife and two kids - they showed up about that same time. We all had a great time after the ride. Nobody bonked, everyone felt good.
Part 4: The future
This was my second century this year, if the weather holds I will do another this weekend. Then there is another on the 27th and the Seagull on the 4th of October. I have a riding partner for the Seagull but am going solo on the next two. This will be the first year I have done more than one century in a season I should finish with 5 this year (plus three metrics, three 75 milers and one 85 miler). The bike build will probably start on the 15th as that will give me almost two weeks to complete it between centurys. I can't wait to see how the Simoncini rides with the new gears. I will loose my lowest gear because of the triple I currently have - but I wll gain two higher gears. I must confess - I did use my lowest gear climbing west mountain.