Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: South Florida
Bikes: LOOK 595 Ultra/Campy Record 10Sp, restored Guerciotti/Campy C-Record 6 Sp, and TIME RXR/Campy SR 11Sp.
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Did it last year. There were about 70-80 people in it if I recall correctly. Not doing it this year though.
Great weather with no wind or heat to speak of until about 1-2 PM. Like someone said above, the "hills", if you want to call them that, come after about 130 miles or so. All of the sudden tiny hills that look half the size of a bridge or overpass feel like huge mountains if you want to keep the pace. Add to that the heat/wind and you have a serious combination.
Best thing you can do is to stick with a group in which you feel comfortable with the pace and safety. My longest ride last year prior to it was about 135 miles solo, and I finished it despite some of the most painful and nasty leg cramps a human can endure for the last 20-25 miles. Best guess is I did not drink and eat enough. It took me 10.5 hr including breaks, which were more than I planned and longer too as I was stopping whenever the group would stop. I figured it wold be easier to finish with them than try the dumb solo approach and getting burnt on my own.
One thing I would seriously recommend is to try to find someone to drive your car behind you or leap frog over you every 20 miles or so. A team car or support vehicle. This ride has little to no support whatsoever, and it would be extremely difficult for you to get a mechanical problem, fall, etc. and get quick attention. Besides, you will need a ride back once you get to the other side anyway. Have them carry all the drinks, food, etc. you will need, which will make you stopping much easier. Also, it will prevent you from getting stuck on the other side until your ride is leaving. Once got to the other end, took a shower, ate something very light (amazing how after all that food is the last thing in your mind). did some chit chat, and I was ready to go within the hour. If I did not have my ride there I would have been stuck there waiting for the last people to come in god knows when to take the organized ride back.
Next year hopefully..............
Arguing with ignorant people is an exercise in futility. They will bring you down to their level and once there they will beat you with their overwhelming experience.