This should probably be in Long Distance Cycling, but I don't know anyone in there.
I did my first century/200K/ride up Palomar Mountain today (Palomar is a 5000'+ peak in San Diego County). Yes, I figured I'd kill 3 birds with one stone. Sometimes I'm not that bright.
I almost cried.
The ride that was supposed to take 9-10 hours took 12 hours. We started at 7 am. The total elevation gain was over 9000'. I went with the local randonneuring group in SD. They turned out to be fantastic people. There was another n00b besides myself along for the ride today. The ride started out well enough: 2000' climb followed by a really fast downhill, then on to Palomar Mountain. Palomar is famous for it's long grades. The one we did was about 14 miles of solid climbing, the first 6 miles between 6-9% grade, the second half at about 8-9%. It took over 2.5 hours to get to the top. Fortunately I ride a triple. My mantra going up the hill was "I will never buy a compact double" repeated about 2 million times. These climbs were done in the first 50 miles of the ride.
I made it to the summit without too much trouble, but the other n00b was really suffering. We made it down the mountain and then had several longer stretches of 3-4% grade for about 4 miles. The other n00b ended up bonking and we had to wait for him at a check point, and then get him set for a ride home. The delay took a good hour.
We then proceeded on our way home, up more stinkin' hills which my guads were not happy about. My mantra for the last 3 hours was "jacuzzi tub, jacuzzi tub".
At 5 pm the sun had pretty much set and it got cold. I don't have a decent light on my bike (since this was supposed to be a daylight ride) so had to sandwich between two riders with good lights. I was riding with all men, and pretty much got dropped on most downhills, and uphills too as my guads started screaming. I ended up earning the respect of those in the group who were impressed that I finished even though my longest ride previously was 83 miles. Total miles today: 127.
And I didn't whine even though I really, really wanted to. (Chamois Buttr FTW)
BTW, this torture-fest was the brainchild of one of the riders today, a guy who looked to be in his late 60's. He rode from his house 20 miles away to and from the ride, total mileage >160. And he did the entire thing on a single speed.