Now that I've got your attention, here's my ride report from last Saturday.
The Fall River Century
was my very first century ride, back in '97. I've done it several times since, because it's nearby, up in the mountains, and features outstanding views of Mt. Lassen and Mt. Shasta, along with quiet back roads and great support.
Like most centuries, it's more a social affair than a hammerfest. But since I'm training for racing this season, I put out the word in my club that I was looking to partner up with a group that would go hard and try to break 5 hours (ride time). Not easy to do, considering the route has about 4,000 feet of climbing, with heat and wind typical late in the day.
Most of the club wasn't interested in hammering, but a couple were. Steve and Christina are both strong riders. He's been to USAC Masters Nationals for mountain bike cross country, and she's strong too. They were riding a tandem, so even better.
Dressed in our matching team jerseys, we shoved off a little before 7 am, knowing that it would be near 100 degrees later in the day.
The ride was a ton of fun, as we hammered the flats at 22-24 mph, and the downhills at near 50
. I took my pulls on the rollers and gentle uphill grades, and went on ahead on most of the longer climbs...they caught back up on the downhills or flats.
We skipped about half the rest stops, and spent only 5-10 minutes in the others. By 11 am, it was already getting above 90 degrees, and the winds were starting to pick up. Even though we were getting tired, we had stayed hydrated and fueled, so we still felt pretty strong as we pacelined back to the start.
Unfortunately, we missed the 5 hour mark, by a mere 6 minutes. But, for 100 miles in the mountains, an average speed of 19.6 mph is still pretty darned good.
Drinking a beer with them afterwards, I thanked them for the best ménage à trois I've had in a long time.