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Old 11-18-08, 12:56 PM   #1
Pat
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Horrible Hundred

The FL Freewheelers put on a century in Clermont, FL every November. It is run through the biggest hills in the Florida's central "mountain" district. The really are not mountains, of course. But some do hit 14% for short stretches. There is one area that has most of the hills. The route goes through it north to south, east to west, west to east and south to north. If you don't have many hills, you have to use what you got. It does end up with something over 4000' of climbing which isn't bad. I have been doing the ride for over 20 years.

Of course, it is getting so I wonder if doing the 100 instead of the 70 might be a better idea but so far I have persevered.

Sunday was cold. Well cold by FL standards at being in the low 40s shortly before the start. But the sun came up and the temp climbed into the mid 60s pretty quickly. There was a brisk breeze out of the NW. I thought it was going to be a problem but it wasn't.

This year, for a change, there were police at all the busy intersections and they gave cyclists the priority. It somehow took some of the challenge out of it. No more dodging high speed trucks on SR 50. I guess I could go back and do it later. I don't think so.

I found a riding partner at mile 48 and we rode the rest of the way together. He was decently strong and did good pulls. I like pulling too. So it worked out well. We had a group of 4 others for awhile. Each time one of them took a pull, they tapped themselves out and were off the back. I guess it was testosterone poisoning. The last of them, pulled hard up a long gradual hill and I was pushing myself to hang on. Then he is over and off the back like he was nailed to the road. I mean sure it is impressive to do that but don't you think having follow through would be more impressive?

At about mile 80, you hit a string of hills with Mount Sugar Loaf being the climax at mile 86. My partner pulled ahead on the papa then buck hill. But I caught him. Then I out paced him upt Sugar Loaf. After that, I think he was done and he pretty much hung on my wheel from then on. That was fine. He had done some long pulls and probably too much earlier.

I just heard that some friends of mine went there. They noted to temperature and the winds. They made the decision to go to ******* Barrel for breakfast instead.

Well, it will be there next year.
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Old 11-18-08, 01:07 PM   #2
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Hmmmm. Doesn't sound horrible to me.
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Old 11-18-08, 01:10 PM   #3
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Hmmmm. Doesn't sound horrible to me.
That's what I was thinking! Temps in the 60's, not much wind and only 4,000 feet of climbing!

It should be the Wonderful Hundred!

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Old 11-18-08, 01:13 PM   #4
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Hmmmm. Doesn't sound horrible to me.
It it just what it is called. It is easily the hardest century in the state. It has a reasonable amount of climbing. As a result, it is very popular with cyclist from south FL. Down there the biggest hills are high over passes or bridges over the intercoastal waterway.

You could construct a harder century in the state. Just run one in central FL in August when it is 95 degrees with high humidity, you could probably do it. No one runs centuries in June, July or August in FL for obvious reasons.
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Old 11-18-08, 01:16 PM   #5
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Have to admit that 4,000 ft of climbing in Florida sounds excessive to me. But 8 x up 500ft is enough. Bit like our hills round here but they are 10 to 15%. 6 of those and I definitely need PIE. Then I do 400ft climbing on the flat bit back home.

Wonder what Flatlands are like to ride?

Sounds like a good ride for this end of the season. Distance about right and just enough climbing to say it is interesting. But Rick has got it right-"It should be the Wonderful Hundred"
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Old 11-18-08, 01:45 PM   #6
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But 8 x up 500ft is enough. .
Not 500 feet.

The highest elevation in florida:

Florida Highest Point Britton Hill, FL 345

It is amazing to be able to get 4,000 ft of climbing when the highest point is 345 feet. more like 12 x's 345
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Old 11-18-08, 02:38 PM   #7
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If you don't have many hills, you have to use what you got.
When I lived in (flat) Dallas I used to ride downtown on Sundays and ride up the parking garages. They were the biggest hills I could find, and, they were cooler than riding out doors.
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Old 11-18-08, 02:54 PM   #8
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Pulling is somewhat of an art..........you have to know your limits and alway leave enough in reserve to hang on the wheel of the next person who should be a little fresher when you drop off. Boy, have I learned that the hard way. I can ride wheels of really strong riders for a long time- but put me out front while keeping the same pace and I can be toast in no time, especially if you toss in a little grade. I've learned to not drop off the front on a climb unless I have a lot in reserve. Take it to the next crest as it is much easier to grab the next wheel.

For me the the ride is probably appropriately named. I really like rides with a few more hills.......I've done rides in the "flats" and it seems you never get a break from pedaling. Add some headwind and they can be more mentally challenging for me that a hillier ride.

In fact my brother has a really hard time doing longer flatter rides as he has to have position changes to help with the hangovers of a broken hip from getting hit by a car a few years ago. He is fine on climbs but flat give him fits comfort wise.

Sounds like you rode really well Pat-maybe you should think about adding another loop after doing the 100 just for good measure!
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Old 11-18-08, 07:44 PM   #9
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We've had this same discussion in year's past, when someone from Florida writes about this ride. I guess it must be a big deal in Florida.

Here's the elevation chart. Highest point is 307', over "Sugarloaf Mountain." I think that's the only point that goes over 250'. The nominal elevation is around 100', so most of the climbs are in the 100'-150' range.

http://www.horrible-hundred.com/elevation.html
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Old 11-18-08, 07:53 PM   #10
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I like how that graph makes this course look pretty hilly. This a function of using a compressed scale. If the same route were plotted on a graph where the scale went from 0 to 1000', it would look much flatter.
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Old 11-18-08, 07:56 PM   #11
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People who are accustomed to rides with a few long, gradual climbs can often be surprised by the effort required to ride lots of short, steep climbs.
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Old 11-18-08, 08:03 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by stapfam View Post
Have to admit that 4,000 ft of climbing in Florida sounds excessive to me. But 8 x up 500ft is enough. Bit like our hills round here but they are 10 to 15%. 6 of those and I definitely need PIE. Then I do 400ft climbing on the flat bit back home.

Wonder what Flatlands are like to ride?

Sounds like a good ride for this end of the season. Distance about right and just enough climbing to say it is interesting. But Rick has got it right-"It should be the Wonderful Hundred"
All Flat Rides here on The Texas Gulf Coast.




Highway45 S toward Galveston
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Old 11-18-08, 08:12 PM   #13
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I rode in the MDA Challenge ride in the Clearwater area on Sunday. A good part of our ride was done on the beaches. I can tell you the wind was a bit more formidable there as there was nothing to block it out as it came in from the NW off the Gulf. Not really a fun ride solo into a 15-20 mph wind, even when it is flat. Of course the second half of the ride was into the wind, always seems to work that way.

I was thinking about the Horrible Hundred and was glad I wasn't there, but it sounds like the wind wasn't as much of a factor in the middle of the state.

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Old 11-18-08, 09:21 PM   #14
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People who are accustomed to rides with a few long, gradual climbs can often be surprised by the effort required to ride lots of short, steep climbs.
+1...as is often pointed out, Lance did a lot of riding in the Hill Country of Texas, where a 500' climb would be a big one, but where you can get about a half dozen of those 100 to 200' climbs in a couple of miles, followed by another 20 miles of the same.
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Old 11-18-08, 09:37 PM   #15
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I understand RAGBRAI has more climbing than Ride the Rockies
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Old 11-18-08, 10:56 PM   #16
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Have tandemed in Central Florida; the closest 'mountains' are in Cuba!!!
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Old 11-19-08, 02:18 AM   #17
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Don't know how many of us can remember our First ride.

Mine was on a flat route and was a family concern with a group I knew. 20 kids and their parents. 28 miles were done and there was only one hill. 200 yards at about 5% slope. All the kids made it but only half of the adults. Turns out that one of the parents that did not make it was a soccer player for the town club. He can run around for 90 minutes on a football field and reckoned he was fit. But the one hill on a flat run and he was cooked.

I live in a hilly area and they are part of the rides. Doesn't matter how fit you are- If you do not do slopes- then you will struggle. But listening to others reports on Flat rides-Think I might struggle to stay with the pack.
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Old 11-19-08, 11:55 AM   #18
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I understand RAGBRAI has more climbing than Ride the Rockies
Here in Wisconsin, a state not known for its mountains, there are a lot of hills and many opportunities for a lot of climbing.

The Horribly Hilly Hundreds ride is a 200Km (124 miles) ride with 10,700' of climbing, the single highest climb being 910'.

The Dairyland Dare ride offers 100Km, 200Km, 266Km, and 300Km routes. Their respective climbs are:
100Km - 7,685'
200Km - 14,988'
266Km - 19,423'
300Km - 22,360'

It is difficult to get into either ride as registration is limited and they usually sell out by noon of the first day. The Dairyland Dare is limited to 400 riders. Last year 32 did the entire 300K course.

I have a Dairyland Dare glass on my office desk. But it isn't because I rode in it ... I bought it on sale at a Trek store a month after the event. I doubt I could complete the 300km ride in a week, given how hilly it is.
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Old 11-19-08, 12:30 PM   #19
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The nominal elevation is around 100', so most of the climbs are in the 100'-150' range.

http://www.horrible-hundred.com/elevation.html
I climb that much every morning riding in to work!!!
The Horrible Five. Climb into the wind to spend 12.5 hrs. on the job!!!

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Old 11-19-08, 12:42 PM   #20
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Wonder what Flatlands are like to ride?

There used to be the YeeHaw Junction Ride which was an out and back century with virtually 0 climbing.

Riders tend to get into huge groups and pacelines. The only way you can drop anyone is by going really, really fast. Of course, to drop people, you have to be a whole bunch stronger.

I did the Space Coast Century some years back. I was in the lead group about. It took up a whole lane. It was about 3-4 abreast. We were riding on 4 lane divided causeways. Many riders were obviously neophytes so I had to watch them. It was easy. When we went slow, I would glance at my speedometer and it was at 26 or 27 mph. It was like crusing at 19 mph solo. So I figured that I would just hang back and continue with the front group until I ran out of water.

The strange thing was that when people realized that they had to slow down, it came as a sudden revelation. They did not work their way to the rear. They just rode off the road at 25 and usually crashed. There were 3 broken collar bones on the ride.

The front people seemed to belong to a club. They had a couple of vehicles that kept them supplied with snacks, water and goodies. We were down to about 25 people when I had to pull off for a water refill at around 65 miles. If I recall right, I had an average of 24 mph at that point. It was "slow" because we had to stop for a few lights.

I don't really like to ride in really big very fast groups with a bunch of cyclist of varying abilities, sense and experience anymore. Too many bad things happen and I don't heal as fast as I used to.
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Old 11-19-08, 02:59 PM   #21
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Wonder what Flatlands are like to ride?

There used to be the YeeHaw Junction Ride which was an out and back century with virtually 0 climbing.

Riders tend to get into huge groups and pacelines. The only way you can drop anyone is by going really, really fast. Of course, to drop people, you have to be a whole bunch stronger.

I did the Space Coast Century some years back. I was in the lead group about. It took up a whole lane. It was about 3-4 abreast. We were riding on 4 lane divided causeways. Many riders were obviously neophytes so I had to watch them. It was easy. When we went slow, I would glance at my speedometer and it was at 26 or 27 mph. It was like crusing at 19 mph solo. So I figured that I would just hang back and continue with the front group until I ran out of water.

The strange thing was that when people realized that they had to slow down, it came as a sudden revelation. They did not work their way to the rear. They just rode off the road at 25 and usually crashed. There were 3 broken collar bones on the ride.

The front people seemed to belong to a club. They had a couple of vehicles that kept them supplied with snacks, water and goodies. We were down to about 25 people when I had to pull off for a water refill at around 65 miles. If I recall right, I had an average of 24 mph at that point. It was "slow" because we had to stop for a few lights.

I don't really like to ride in really big very fast groups with a bunch of cyclist of varying abilities, sense and experience anymore. Too many bad things happen and I don't heal as fast as I used to.
You just described what our expressways are like every morning and afternoon, only at
65 to 70 mph.
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