Apologies, for the long read.
As some know in here, I did the Capital to Capital, Cap2Cap, Century ride on Saturday, May 11. I started in Williamsburg, VA(Chickahominy Riverfront Park to be exact), rode to Richmond, VA and then back to Chickahominy Park.
I came in First!!!! First at arriving at the start venue--not to finish, LOL. First cyclist to arrieve at just before dawn(~0550), LOL.
After unloading and checking the bike, I puttered around the park riding in an easy gear off and on for around 40 minutes. One fear I had was the forecast of scattered thunderstorms during the day and as we were lining up, I swear I heard a low rumble of thunder way off in the distance. I noticed a few drops coming down as we lined up for the start.
When we began, on the side of the road leading the Park exit, there were two cyclists--one helping the other change a flat--neither even out on the road yet. (0730 with temps around 69ºF and humid--temps were in the 80s at the end)We climb up the bridge that goes over the Chickahominy River(a climb for me) and we are off. The rain begins to fall a little bit and we go riding. The roads are wet as we get a few miles past start and I suspect those areas had rain earlier that had not fallen on us since there was little to none falling on us now. We we get on some nicely paved roads. I increase my alertness since the smooth roads are quite wet. Around 7 or 8 miles in, and going downhill, I(we) notice a pack of cyclists stopped and several bikes down--it appears a pack had a crash but, hearing a report from a SAG driver, there not any great injuries--only the most injured cyclist that was taken by ambulance--had no broken bones. I pass by the first Feed Zone stop as it is only 10 miles out. I stop at all other Feed Zones. The Sun comes out around 0900 I believe. I get to Richmond at around 1020 (after stopping at two Feed Zones before) feeling really good. Unfortunately, I spend too much time in Richmond after re-greasing, food, milling about, and re-applying Sunblock--I don't get back on the road until around 1115 or so. Between the long stop, the now headwind, and some more climbs(Hey! Aren't we supposed to be going downhill back to Williamsburg), I was feeling the toll. A humorous note about a rather long steep climb shortly after Richmond, there are some Cap2Cap signs reading, "Worst Parade Ever," and "Shut up legs!"
At around the 70 mile mark, my feet are bugging me...probably "hot spots." I'm wondering if go to clipless, since the shoes have a more firm, if not solid sole(thus not the compression and the pressure on the foot more spread out), I might not have as much of an issue. In addition, I think the toe clips are creating pressure on my toe which has led to an issue I've been having(I don't have the clips tight--they're kept loose). Right now I use toe clips and ride with running shoes which have a much softer sole.
I spend more time at each of the last Feed Zone stops, mile 74 and 86, and stop at the side of the road several times to get relief for my feet(some for my hand too). One stop I make is because I see two cyclists on the side of the road changing a tire. Good I stopped as the guy helping the young lady broke his second tire lever and asked if I had any. I hand him two tire levers and after the tire starts to come off, he realizes that her tire is toast(blown). He hands me back my levers. A SAG vehicle begins to approach and we flag him down. It kind of sucks as she is only 10 miles from the finish.
After a while, with a few stops I take, the guy catches up to me and I give him the thumbs up and say that I'm fine and just trying to get my feet back. He stops anyway and lets me know there is only 3.2 miles left--nice guy. I finally get to the Bridge--one last climb to the end--and descend to the park. It is now 1530. 30 minutes before Food Service stops and an hour before all SAG support ends.
I have no idea of my traveling time since I forgot to reset the computer when we lined up at the start. I would guess there were about 4 miles on it and around 40 minutes or more extra time. Don't recall what the travel time on the computer was now. As for Feed Zones and stopping for my feet, I guess I that would be around 90 minutes, maybe a bit more. I think my time was close to my riding time for the TdC:Hampton Roads. This is good news for me as there is more climbing, hills and all, than the TdC Century.
Now, some, maybe many, would call this a flat ride and to those like JimF from Northern Va, it would seem so. There are some rolling hills and a few steep(to me) short climbs as well as a fair amount of low grade long inclines. I did not have to walk up any and a couple or few I was in a really low gear and small crank cog only going 6 to 8 mph. Many areas are well shaded and many areas that are quite exposed. I'm a tad pink but if I hadn't been wearing sunblock, and re-applying sunblock, I'd be a lobster.
I will have to decide if I will do this again as there are some dangerous areas, Route 5 in particular. There is a long section of completed trail along 5 leading to Charles City courthouse and will ride on that for that section if I do this again. Some traffic came really close and one driver(a real jerk) passed me and slowed down in front of me trying to slow me down--fortunately, he did not do that to the rider 2 or 3 hundred feet in front of me. There were definitely scary areas. Most of the ride was little traveled. Another disincentive would be what happened to some cyclists out of Richmond. They were hit by a tractor trailer during this year's ride--a hit and run.
During the TdC, IMHO, there was a more support, rest stops(one or two more on the TdC), road markings, route marshalls(none on the Cap2Cap) and police. The only police support I saw was for the first 4 miles and at the Richmond Feed Zone. There were fewer road markings and much were just signs that could easily be taken, moved, or blown away. The Cue sheet was better on the Cap2Cap, but that is mainly due to fewer turns and a less complicated route. I never missed a turn or got lost, but I heard from a few cyclists who did and had gone up to 10 miles out of the way.
Anyway, I still had a good time.
Meant to take more photos than I did during the TdC, but the threat of rain, the triple bagging of the wife's camera, and being packed in the handlebar bag, I only took a few at the end. Thinking about getting a good waterproof camera for myself. Here are the few I did take and if I see some uploaded by others, I post those later.
100+ miles later yet still smiling
Shot from above--just call me salty(surprised no deer chased me down as a salt lick)
Post ride meal....mmmmm, BBQ--choice of pork or chicken--I chose pork. The cookies and brownie went home to the wife--I was going to have pie.
Of course, pie, no sugar added blueberry.
crappy cell phone pic