Several 50+ Forum members rode in the Civil War Century out of Thurmont, Maryland this past Saturday- Bobby C, JimF, Neal H and myself that I'm aware of. Others??
The ride sold out and reached its limit of 1600 riders.
Neal drove up from NC and spent an extra day or two soaking in the history of the area. My brother and I drove up from Charlotte (about 7-8 hours with stops) on Friday and then drove back after the ride on Saturday. Needless to say that made for a really long day-getting up on Saturday at 5 am, riding a bike for 6+ hours and then driving for 8 hours.
The century is a really nice route. They had a detour that added a couple miles this year and I had 105 miles on my Garmin. There were two distinguishable climbs with a total of about 7200 ft of climbing-with nothing very steep (about 12% for a short stretch). In fact the first climb was right at the start and was 7.5 miles long-that will wake you up instantly!
This was a show and go ride and based on the 7.5 mile climb at the start it is probably wise to do that versus a mass start. A mass start would shut the road down for a while and create some rider safety issues. My brother and I had planned to start riding at 7:00 but a little dragging around got us on the road at 7:30.
There was maybe a couple miles of fresh chip and seal but there had been enough vehicular traffic through it to provide a narrow path for bikes. The contractors must get paid by the chips as they really laid it on thick!!
I'm sure the countryside was very scenic but the weather on Saturday was overcast with an occassional mist. We even hit some thick, cool fog crossing over South Mountain. In fact it got pretty damp from some wet roads and the water dripping off the tree cover. That was the one stretch I was wishing for warmer clothing other than my short sleeve jersey.
I don't recall exactly where (maybe the first 25 miles??), but I spotted JimF on the road sporting his 50+ jersey. He was cruising along very nicely.
The 100 mile route takes you through two battlefields-Antietam (Sharpsburg for us Southerners) and Gettysburg. I've got to plan a trip to come back and spend a few days doing those by bike and foot.
I stopped at one rest stop and they do those as nicely as anyone. There was just about anything you'd like to have........the yellow jackets were really enjoying the apple slices and gatorade. In fact the riders would not dare get close to the apples as the yellow jackets had already laid claim to them!!
Like other rides, it was really terrific to meet and talk to other 50+ members, especially those I had not met before.
Here are a few pics I took:
Here is a picture of the start/finish area. They do a nice job of setting up cover and provide sandwiches at the finish for those that would like to make one:
One of the treats for finishers is the local ice cream. I can't eat the stuff but it looks like a lot of people enjoyed it.
Here is JimF finishing up his 100 miler!!