Did an organized century yesterday-first time doing this route. Great weather and route. Scenic views in the NC mountains. All but one of the climbs seemed fairly short except for the featured climb. I was needing to get in some extra time in the saddle and this was perfect for it. They offered 3 routes-30 miles, 70 and the 100+. All told I had about 108 miles with 7500 ft of climbing. The descents were about as much fun as you can have on a bike.
However some really strange things occurred during the event:
It appears they really designed this event around the 70 mile route. The featured climb was about 5 miles long and they had it timed. It was at 50 miles on the 70 route and 80 miles on the 100.
Only about 10-12 of us signed up for the 100.
They mismarked the route where the 100 route split off the 70 mile route at the 45 mile mark. All of us wound up out in the beautful very rural area of NC before we realized we were on the wrong roads. To make it worse the arrows not only directed us there they were still out there on the route. I was the only one with a gps on my phone so after a lot of time and debate I figured out where we needed to be. Most others got frustrated and just went back and got on the 70 mile route. I think only 3 of us eventually did the 100.....with several extra miles and climbing. One of the three missed another turn as it was not marked.......
Since only a small number of us did the 100 they opted to NOT do the rest stop on that extra loop. They told us that at the start so at least we knew. However with the extra miles that turned into quite a long distance between rest stops for some.
I managed to loop back to the same rest stop where the 100 route split off. We gave them our bib numbers as requested so they would know we made it back as that loop was apparently not sagged.
The next and final rest stop was at the top of the climb so I decided to just take enough fluids to get to the top of the climb. I didn't want to carry the extra fluids with me up the hill!
When I got to where the timing mat was supposed to be noone was around. I pulled off to take a nature break and that was a big mistake. Both legs cramped to badly I couldn't get back on the bike. After trying to calm them down for a while I didn't have a choice and swallowed my pride and tried to walk it off. I thought the sag vehicle might come by and I could get some assistance.
After about walking a mile I was okay again and got back on the bike.
I made it to the top but by the time I got there the folks had abandoned the rest stop-I couldn't even tell where it was supposed to be. I had used up all my fluids on the climb and trying to help with the cramps. So, about 20 miles to go, no fluids and apparently they had left the event unsupported. And while very beautiful I was out in the wilderness-at least it seemed that way to me.
We were out there longer than expected but it really wasn't our fault as we had a lot of issues with the extra loop we were doing.
I don't have any problems riding on my own as I do that all the time. However they should have let me know that they were stopping support of the route so I could have been prepared. The organizers took a realy huge risk doing what they did......