Finished my century for February today.
Date of Ride: 2/27/2013
Type of Ride: diy solo century-Larimer & Weld counties, CO
Actual Mileage: 101.0 miles
Ride Time: 7:05:48
Total Time: 9:24:00
Avg. Speed: 14.2 mph
Weather conditions: dry, clear, sunny, started at 25 degrees at 8am and got up to 37 degrees by rides end.
This ride sucked. Not a single mile was enjoyable. Wind always seemed to be in my face, and I could never find a groove.
Worst of all, a lot of the roads I chose were still partially covered in snow/ice/slush from the recent storms. This created a few dicey situations, and, because of where I was, I didn't have any better alternatives nearby.
But it's over. The next 8 months should be enjoyable centuries.
Edit: thought I'd share a picture from the ride.
I got the February ride done on Sunday as well. Weather was mild, not much wind until the last hour or so. Did a loop up into Hunterdon County. I didn't even bring a camera.
Total 105 miles. Average moving speed came out to 14.5.
I almost didn't get a century in for February. I'd set out a few Saturdays ago, since it seemed like it would be the only day I'd be able to take, even though it was in the lower 20s, windy and snowing. I made it to mile 50 and decided to bail -- I was doing loops close to home. I thought that was it, that I'd broken a 61 month streak of centuries every month.
But then a day opened up, it turned out to be nice, so last week I got in my February century, it was in upper 20s through lower 40s, roads were dry, windy but not bad, and I did a route that psychologically because of how it's set up works well for me on lower motivation days. 100.48 miles, 3900 ft ascent, avg'd 13.6mph, ride time 07:23:21, I was out for 07 : 50 : 00, winds 10-25 from SE -- headwinds for maybe 1/4 of the route -- and the day started out sunny which for me is a huge help.
So February's done, and it's almost always the hardest month. And as L.L.Zamenhof said above, the next 8 months should be enjoyable centuries.
Date of Ride: 2/27/2013
Type of Ride: diy solo century-san diego county, ca
Actual Mileage: 104.6 miles
Ride Time: 7h 24m
Total Time: 8h 26m
Avg. Speed: 14.1 mph
Altitude Climbed: approx. 6,929 ft
Weather conditions: dry, clear, sunny, gusty winds (up to 20-25 mph in backcountry), mid 60's-low 70's
synopsis of ride: headed south then west via otay lakes rd to tackle honey springs rd and the great western divide again. usually ascend honey springs because it is the most challenging of the 3 ascents in the region and the least interesting descent by far. gusty winds after summiting the honey springs climb all the way to japatul grade, then occasional blasts remainder of ride. some good tailwind action on the japatul grade descent. city/urban riding first 10 miles/last 40 miles, about 5 surburban miles and nearly 50 miles of good riding with no lights and only 6 stop signs.
first significant ride on a frame i nearly tossed after thinking it was compromised but got good news on it from an expert. aluminum w/carbon stays a big difference from usual mid-80's steel ride. great for climbs but tough on the body on less than perfectly surfaced roads.
passed about halfway up the honey spring rd climb by a guy in full radio shack kit & matching team bike that looked like chris horner. he was gone so fast it was ridiculous. his next race is supposedly paris-nice on march 3rd. if it wasn't him, it was his doppelganger that also climbs like a mutha. hmmm...
Date of Ride: 3/05/2013
Type of Ride: diy solo century-san diego county, ca
Actual Mileage: 108.4 miles
Ride Time: 6h 55m
Total Time: 7h 32m
Avg. Speed: 15.7 mph
Altitude Climbed: approx. 6,292 ft
Weather conditions: cloudy first hour and last 3 hours. dry, clear, sunny in between. nw winds (up to 15 mph in foothills), low-mid 60's
synopsis of ride: north along 15 fwy corridor and headed east on miramar rd into poway. up scripps-poway parkway to hwy 67 north into ramona. north on hwy 78, descending into san pasqual valley and headed west into downtown escondido. little lunch stop for street tacos at the 55 mile mark at anita's taco shop on e mission blvd. took valley parkway to harmony grove west to san elijo hills area. shot across to the 101 and then headed south along the coast back to metro san diego and balboa park area. definitely breezy in the ramona/hwy 78 area. descent of the 78 was no fun since it was a pedalfest against a headwind.
Yesterday I rode 200 km across the mountains of west Izu (Shizuoka prefecture, Japan). BRM309 200 km by AJ Nishi-Tokyo was my first official brevet of the year. I completed it in an official time of 12:58, i.e. just over half an hour under the 13 1/2 hour time limit.
The scenery was beautiful and the weather perfect but the course tough. With a highest point of 450 m (1500 ft), I first found it hard to believe that this course should really have more climbing (3159 m, 10500 ft) than the 300 km Fuji brevet I did last May (2800 m, 9300 ft), but except for the first and last 10% and some short stretches through the towns on the coast, this was a pedal-powered roller coaster! On the smaller roads grades of 8-11 percent were not uncommon.
I loaded the Bike Friday into the Prius the night before (no need to fold the bike or take off the wheels), went to bed at midnight and got up at 4. A little after 6 I got off Tomei expressway at Numazu and drove near Mishima station, where I found a 1000 yen ($10) a day car park. One couple dressed like randonneurs was already setting up their bikes in there.
An hour from home on the expressway it had suddenly struck me I had left my reflective vest at home. No vest, no brevet! But it was already too late to turn back. Fortunately the organisers had some stock and sold me one. To start with I was wearing new bib shorts and new jerseys (two layers for the morning and evening chill) by GS Astuto.
There were 60 riders in two blocks of 30, starting at 7:30 and 8:00. They started us in smaller groups. I was wearing my heart rate belt and wanted to aim for a consistent workout throughout the day, but I worked much harder during the first 50 km than I had intended and less hard later on. When you have some other fast guys to follow (which would save you having to navigate) it is tempting to hang on at whatever cost. We headed through town and along a river to the south. After 20 km the route started climbing, peaking at a tunnel about 450 m above sea level, then down to the coast. We made the first 50 km in 2 1/2 hours, putting me more than half an hour ahead of the pace needed for completing in time, and that is what I also finished with.
I glimpsed Mt Fuji across the bay from near Toi.
The coastal road went to Matsuzaki through many tunnels and a couple of climbs. After Matsuzaki we climbed the second highest pass on a small mountain road and it was very pretty. Plum trees (ume) were in bloom everywhere.
PC1 was at 95 km, almost at the half way point, but there had also been a safety check at the first tunnel (lights!). We were given pastries baked in the shape of bicycle cranks.
From the control point we headed west to the coast, which we mostly stayed on. As mentioned before, the coastal road goes mostly up and down. It only becomes level again at the north west corner of Izu. The top third of the west coast was the hardest part. There were few villages, no shops and it was gradually getting dark. I had somehow expected the second half of the ride to be easier than the first because the maximum elevations were much lower, but it was actually harder. Between Toi and the north coast there were no flat portions in towns between descents and climbs, because there were no towns (or more appropriately, there were no towns there because there was no flat land).
The following was a sign we had to spot and then write down the Kanji characters, as part of a quiz question. As a Kanji-challenged foreigner, I got dispensation to bring back a picture instead:
Izu used to have a lot of terraced rice fields built into the hills because there wasn't much flat land. Much of these fields now lie fallow or have been turned into sugi tree plantations contributing to the hay fever epidemic in Tokyo.
Mt Fuji at dusk:
Having my brevet card checked at the finish:
A failed attempt today. Well, kinda.
I went out this morning at 7:15 with the mindset of not forcing myself to finish if I wasn't into it or if the weather sucked. Well, both were the case.
When I left the house, it was about 23*, and snow was covering everything while still lazily coming down. The clouds were supposed to blow away within a couple hours and the temperature was supposed to get into the high 40s. Well, neither happened while I was out there. I stopped riding at noon and the warmest it got was about 33*, and only at a few points did the sun poke out from the clouds. I didn't feel the need to push myself to get to 100 miles since it's still pretty early in the month and I expect to get an opportunity with better weather.
I finished at 61.5 miles in 4:03 riding and 4:48 total time. I really hope bailing on the century doesn't come back to bite me in the ass, as I could have easily been done by 3:00, and now the sun is shining bright.
The snow did provide some gorgeous scenery though.
Date of Ride: 3/12/2013
Type of Ride: diy solo century-san diego county, ca
Actual Mileage: 109.5 miles
Ride Time: 8h 07m
Total Time: 8h 18m
Avg. Speed: 13.57 mph
Altitude Climbed: approx. 9,003 ft
Weather conditions: clear, sunny, dry, low 70's-low 80's
synopsis of ride: did a julian 'figure 8.' started from descanso and headed through guatay/pine valley to sunrise highway & the laguna mountains.
ascended sunrise highway, topping out just over 6,000 ft. still plenty of snow roadside to pretty things up from last week's big storm. hit the s1/hwy 79
junction and turned towards julian. descended to santa ysabel with a spirited tailwind which turned into a vicious crosswind heading north to lake henshaw.
grabbed the s2 east towards ranchita (the perennial headwind coming from ranchita was present but less than usual-only 5 to 15 mph). continued on the s2,
dropping into the desert/anza-borrego state park. right at scissors crossing to ascend banner grade back into julian. a left back onto hwy 79, through
cuyamaca state park and back to the car via the great downhill on new pavement. beautiful ride with little traffic on a tuesday.
Yesterday's 166 km ride made March my first month this year with not one but two century rides.
I left home in Tokyo at 07:25, back at sunset at 18:00 for 10 hours 35 minutes elapsed time. My pace was slow, given the mostly flat course largely following the Arakawa, one of the largest rivers in the Kanto plain. Only in the valley near my destination was there some climbing.
The place I was heading for is called Kuroyamasantaki which means "black mountain - three waterfalls". It is an old favourite of mine. I've been going back there for almost two decades and it has never lost its magic for me. These three water falls in a quiet mountain valley near Ogose in Saitama prefecture are not very touristy. There are no tour buses, no big hotels and only a few souvenir shops run by local grandmas and grandpas. The whole place feels like from a different era, forgotten in time. There are some altars near the falls, where you often see flowers, burning candles and offerings of fruit or other food. Sometimes Buddhist ceremonies are performed, with chanting and drums. It all runs at a very different pace from busy Tokyo.
At the Arakawa:
Tea fields and old store house:
River below the falls:
First set of falls:
At the falls:
The lower fall:
The upper fall:
The Bike Friday carrying food and water:
Date of Ride: 3/26/2013
Type of Ride: diy solo century-santa monica mountains: los angeles/ventura counties, ca
Actual Mileage: 113.6 miles
Ride Time: 8h 15m
Total Time: 8h 52m
Avg. Speed: 13.80 mph
Altitude Climbed: approx. 11,802 ft
Weather conditions: clear, sunny, dry, mid 60's-low 70's
synopsis of ride: started about 5 miles west of hwy 27-topanga canyon road. headed up the 27 to the hamlet bearing left on old topanga canyon rd.
beautiful scenery on this stretch all the way to the junction with mulholland dr. left/west on mulholland all the way until bearing right on little sycamore canyon.
stunning views of the boney mountain wilderness but the descent on yerba buena (i was warned) was so difficult, there was no time to enjoy them without stopping.
some steep pitches on the cotharin rd segment but the descent on deer creek to pch was invigorating. turned right on pch in search of a lunch spot
and ended up finding one in camarillo 25 miles later! shoulda turned left...reentered the mtns via potrero rd by cal state channel islands and encountered a vicious
double-digit sustained climb. eventually made it farther along to the area immediately west of lake sherwood on potrero rd.
with all the ranches and grasslands-really pretty and worth the suffering.
took a right (south) on the 23 and came across another brutal pitch but clambered up to mulholland and descended decker rd to pch.
a left on pch this time (lesson learned) back to the car. a very challenging century and truly gorgeous ride in terms of scenery, solitude and climbing.
Date of Ride: 3/30/2013
Type of Ride: diy solo century-Kenton County KY
Actual Mileage: 100.1 miles
Ride Time: 5:58:42
Total Time: 6:56:58
Avg. Speed: 16.7 mph
Altitude Climbed: 5,092 ft
Weather conditions: dry, clear, sunny, and warm weather at 60-68 degrees.
This was almost the century that wasn't. I went for a ride the evening before and broke a spoke. I somehow didn't notice it until the next morning as I was setting up the bike. As a result I didn't get started until near noon. The rest of the ride was uneventful.
Went to Death Valley for the 2nd March in a row. It's a great time of year to ride there. Got in 103 miles and ~12,000 feet. I really like the route I did, which you can find here.
April should be a big month. I'll be doing the Devil Mountain Double on the 27th.
Date of Ride: 4/3/2013
Type of Ride: diy solo century-san diego county
Actual Mileage: 100.1 miles
Ride Time: 7h 00m
Total Time: 8h 01m
Avg. Speed: 14.3 mph
Altitude Climbed: approx. 2,998 ft
Weather conditions: clear, sunny, cloudy, dry, mid 60's
synopsis of ride: metro san diego century. compact road riding through balboa park, downtown, point loma, the beaches, mission bay and mission valley. relatively flat.
i suppose the highlight was climbing texas street near the end of the ride and not feeling as much of an issue as it should have been.
I just realized I never put in my March century info. It was not a very nice March around here but I found a day that was decent, did a ride around Cayuga Lake on my Volae Voyager recumbent: 101.52 miles, 4,000 ft ascent, avg 14.1mph which I was real happy with given that I hadn't riddent by 'bent since last October.
Date of Ride: 4/12/2013
Type of Ride: diy solo century-san diego county
Actual Mileage: 107.4 miles
Ride Time: 7h 54m
Total Time: 8h 49m
Avg. Speed: 13.6 mph
Altitude Climbed: approx. 10,269 ft
Weather conditions: clear, sunny, dry, mid-upper 60's
synopsis of ride:decided to tackle the amgen tour of california 2013 stage 1 in reverse. just seemed more interesting that way to me. set out from kit carson park in escondido and headed north in circuitous fashion to lake wohlford rd which i hadn't ridden before. really pretty scenery and traffic not too bad. rambled over to cole grade rd and made a right on hwy 76, heading east for the dreaded palomar south grade ascent. severity of the climb wasn't as bad as i remembered (it's been about 7-8 years) but the climb itself was longer than i recalled so it evened out. pit stop at the palomar mtn general store for a pepsi, peanut m&m's and water then off to descend east grade to lake henshaw. pavement was really rotten on the descent and downright dangerous in a few places. very unfortunate since it has those great, sweeping turns and you can navigate the entire descent without braking once. at least you used to be able to. there were a few curves i decided to brake on not knowing exactly how bad the pavement was out of my sightline. hwy 76 east again to the 1.5 mile ascent of mesa grande north heading south-a truly gorgeous day along mesa grande today. right onto the 78/79 shared roadway and another pit stop at don's market in santa ysabel. then the (mostly) descent to ramona via the 78 and old julian rd. dropping down into the san pasqual valley brought a tremendous headwind and made the last 12 miles a bit of a drag. highlights for me were the lake wohlford area, palomar ascent
(flowers are out in force now) and the mesa grande stretch. really bummed about that east grade descent off of palomar tho. was really looking forward to it. oh well.
I completed my second official brevet of the year, a 201 km loop across the mountains west of Tokyo. In January I had already shadowed a 200 km brevet without signup. I managed to complete all three 200 km brevets so far (with signup and without) under the time limit of 13 1/2 hours.
I got up at 03:45 for a 07:00 start.
Trying to keep up with other riders to save myself the hassle of navigating I worked pretty hard for the first 50 km, with my heart rate above the range I reach in training runs for extended periods. I started eating on the bike about 90 minutes after the start.
About one third of the distance, my rear fender fell off - metal fatigue of the aluminium bracket that attaches it to the frame! I just picked it up again and stuffed in my saddle bag. Fortunately we didn't have any rain all day. It was relatively cool out there. I was wearing my winter tights and either one or two layers of jerseys.
Throughout the ride I was quite happy with my progress relative to other riders. I didn't feel particularly slow, but half way into the ride I was only 30 minutes ahead of the 15 km/h minimum pace, so I couldn't feel easy.
The next climb after that I started solo from a convenience store and didn't see anybody else for a long time. I was starting to question if I was still on the right road. Just like on my previous brevet in Izu peninsula, Google Maps on my Android was quite inaccurate away from the cities, often placing me kilometres from where I was, which is not a good basis to decide where to turn at the next junction. So I enabled the course on my Garmin Edge 500, which worked pretty well, just as it did in Izu. I think that will be my main navigation tool from now even though it looks very basic compared to Google Maps.
After finding the PC on the last big mountain after which the ride was named and having some food there I started to relax, knowing there would be no more big climbs for the rest of the trip. There were still plenty of hills, but nothing too bad. The only problem was dense weekend traffic from people heading home in the late afternoon.
I bumped into some friends of mine on the way back to the start/goal who turned out to be on the same brevet. We rode together for the remainder of the course, mostly me leading the group. We counted down every single remaining km for the last 20 km or so and it was great to see we were still ahead by a safe margin.
It was a terrific feeling to arrive after just under 13 hours on a course with over 3,000 m (10,000 ft) of climbing. The total for the day, including getting to and from the event, came to 213 km.
At the start location:
Mt Fuji from Yamanakako:
Mt Fuji in evening light:
At the R24 tunnel between Tsuru and Doshi:
At the finish (2nd from left):
My Bike Friday on the right:
I'm up to date!
I guess I forgot to post that I rode the "Spring Forward 200K" with the PA Randonneurs. Nice ride. Good tailwind for much of it, nasty headwind for the rest (go figure!). I took no photos.
Then last Saturday I rode just over 100 miles with forum member Photogravity, who completed his first century, and posted some photos here. I was riding my 1940's Fothergill; he was riding his 1950 Norman Rapide four speed which really is one of the most beautiful bikes on the forum.
The 100 mile loop, starting and ending at my house, took us down into the Pine Barrens of New Jersey. I did not actually ride the whole way; for a while I thought I could walk along the edge while pushing the bike through the water, but when I got to the greenbriars I thought, nuts to this. Here is a photo of me yelling "I'm going to take my shoes off!" After that I had to wade about as far as you can see in the photo. The water was never deep enough to flood the bottom bracket of my bike. Cold, though!
The rest of the route was mostly dry (and mostly paved, too!).
RHM, you`re making me feel like a serious weenie.
Started this since December last year. Done for the months of Dec. 2012, Jan, Feb and March. Don't have any pictures. But will start having more pictures and better account of rides starting this april. ..
Hopefully .. !
No, you mustn't take me seriously. I'm not even a RUSA member.
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