Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Florence, KY
Bikes: 1954 Hetchins M.O., 1959 Viking Severn Valley, 1970 Raleigh Pro, 1972 Fuji "The Finest", 1974 Raleigh Superbe&Comp, 1976 Raleigh Team Pro, 1996 Giant Iguana, 2000 Bob Jackson Arrowhead
Sufferfest 2006 (aka - the Seagull Century)
Here it is Monday, and I'm just coming back from the dead today. For a 100.4 mile ride that's nearly dead flat, this was an absolute beast. The reason - a 25 mph wind (with gusts to 50mph) blowing against the route for about 35 miles, across the route for about 40 miles, and providing some benefit for about 25 miles. It was cloudy, rather cool, with a little bit of rain, and despite wearing arm and leg warmers, my legs never really got "warmed up". It also didn't help that the night before the ride, as I was preparing my nice, light Fuji, that I discovered far too much play in the bottom bracket. I had to ride the big, heavy, Miyata - oh well.
Despite the misery, there were some bright spots. I did work pretty well with a couple of groups - one near the start, and another just as we started to gain a bit of benefit from the wind. Then there was the Assateague experience. Going over the bridge to the island last year the wind was blowing about 30 mph in my face. This year, it was gusting to near 50 from the side. I almost had to join the folks who were walking their bikes across the bridge.
After lunch (on Assateague), there was a fellow who was lightheartedly telling a friend that we had bragging rights because we were riding in a nor'easter. He was saying we could tell folks about the 35 foot waves and the whales being driven onto the beach by the strong winds. I had to one-up him - told him that if he went to the top of the dune, and looked to the northeast, he would see England.
At the pie stop, the whole bottom of my left shoe came off when I tried to unclip. Fortunately, the SAG mechanic was resourceful, and used about 5 yards of electrical tape to semi-permanently put me back together. I spent the last 15 miles hooked onto the rear of a train of fairly strong female riders who were getting led by two ladies on a tandem. By the time we made it back to Salisbury, there were 4-5 other guys who had hooked on too.
I was sooo glad just to get this one over. What could have been a very pleasant five and a half hour jaunt in the saddle was transformed into a nearly seven hour effort of sheer will and survival by the evil wind. I will NOT
be doing this one again next year.
Sorry for no pictures. I was too mad to take any.
In search of what to search for.