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  1. #1
    Used to be a climber.. GuitarWizard's Avatar
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    Great River Ride Century/170k Populaire

    Anyone up for it? October 8th out of Westfield, MA:

    http://www.bikereg.com/events/register.asp?eventid=3523

    I'm thinking of the 170k Populaire.....
    1999 Trek 2500 - hit by a car on it in May, 2011 and currently bikeless

  2. #2
    Senior Member
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    I was considering it, but have a couple of schedule conflicts. This weekend, though, I'm doing the Deerfield Dirt Road Randonee (imperial and metric century that are all unpaved back roads -- organized by the same guy who does the GRR)

    This despite having been on the road for work for the last two weeks and the last ride I had was a really leisurely 50 miler between Williamstown and Pittsfield last Saturday. I fear softness and decrepitude while being surrounded by all of these recently minted Boston-Montreal-Boston veterans.

  3. #3
    Senior Member JoeOxfordCT's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GuitarWizard
    Anyone up for it? October 8th out of Westfield, MA:

    http://www.bikereg.com/events/register.asp?eventid=3523

    I'm thinking of the 170k Populaire.....

    Are you still thinking of doing this ?
    I'm going to be there weather permitting......

  4. #4
    Used to be a climber.. GuitarWizard's Avatar
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    With the amount of riding I'll be missing...probably not. I really need to heal myself up first before anything.
    1999 Trek 2500 - hit by a car on it in May, 2011 and currently bikeless

  5. #5
    Senior Member tc83's Avatar
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    I am probably going to do the GRR, though it will be my first century... that is unless anyone strongly strongly cautioned me against attempting it (I hear its "grueling"). Anyone who has done it in the past, feel free to chime in on any advice/thoughts/opinions.

  6. #6
    Used to be a climber.. GuitarWizard's Avatar
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    If you're comfortable with climbing, and are in good shape, you should be able to complete it.

    While I haven't done that particular ride, I've ridden enough in the Berkshires to know how painful they can be.
    1999 Trek 2500 - hit by a car on it in May, 2011 and currently bikeless

  7. #7
    Senior Member JoeOxfordCT's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GuitarWizard
    I've ridden enough in the Berkshires to know how painful they can be.
    Any difference between the hills in Litchfield county vs. the Bershires ?

    I would imagine the hills in the Berkshires are longer ?
    The long hills don't scare me...it's the short steep ones that can make you want to cry.....

    Here's one that about a 15 minute ride from my house......275ft in 1/2 a mile....
    I try to stand it the whole way but inevitably I'm forced back into the saddle....
    Not because I've run out of gears.....but because I've run out of wind....

    http://www.routeslip.com/map.php?map=8705
    Last edited by JoeOxfordCT; 09-21-06 at 06:45 AM.

  8. #8
    Used to be a climber.. GuitarWizard's Avatar
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    They have plenty of both.....and some of the lesser traveled roads can be pretty rough, so that adds to the fun.

    If you want a challenge, try riding Rte. 57 from Southwick, MA to Rte. 8 .
    1999 Trek 2500 - hit by a car on it in May, 2011 and currently bikeless

  9. #9
    Senior Member JoeOxfordCT's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GuitarWizard
    They have plenty of both.....and some of the lesser traveled roads can be pretty rough, so that adds to the fun.

    If you want a challenge, try riding Rte. 57 from Southwick, MA to Rte. 8 .
    Southwick ?
    Have you ridden with Mirona at all.
    I believe that's where he lives....
    I guess he got hurt a little while back...got hit by an SUV......
    I have read his report on the GRR from last year.

  10. #10
    Senior Member tc83's Avatar
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    I'm into hills just as long as there is no Mt. Washington Hill Climb thrown in right smack dab in the middle of the GRR... just making sure that isn't what they mean when they say grueling

  11. #11
    Used to be a climber.. GuitarWizard's Avatar
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    Well, to give you an idea, I did a 62 mile ride in the Berkshires a few weeks ago.....climbed a bit over 4,000 feet. Keep in mind I descended for the most part of over an hour down Rte. 20 (there's a 25 mile stretch of nearly all downhill.....lots of fun) around the halfway point of the ride.

    I was pretty beat by the end of it. If you don't have a triple or a compact w/ low gearing, you're a lot stronger than I am.

    Nope, haven't ridden with Mirona, but we (my girlfriend and I) have a seasonal campsite in Granville on Rte. 57 on Prospect Mtn. I have a few nice loops in the area that I'll do. Rte. 57 is a brutal road, though.
    1999 Trek 2500 - hit by a car on it in May, 2011 and currently bikeless

  12. #12
    Senior Member JoeOxfordCT's Avatar
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    I have a similar type route in the Woodbury, Roxbury, Washington. It's slightly less than 50 miles with about 4,000 feet of climbing.

    http://www.routeslip.com/map.php?map=6541

    ....but descending for nearly an hour !!!!

    I've never experienced anything like that before.....maybe at the GRR.

  13. #13
    Used to be a climber.. GuitarWizard's Avatar
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    Wow.....that's a nice elevation chart.....

    I'm hoping to get back on the bike tomorrow.
    1999 Trek 2500 - hit by a car on it in May, 2011 and currently bikeless

  14. #14
    Senior Member JoeOxfordCT's Avatar
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    I'm riding this on Sunday....

    http://www.soundcyclists.com/Harvest2.htm

    I don't know how much climbing there is but the 100K will be the farthest I've ridden since that 50 miler last weekend....

    Since I work at Healthnet who is a sponsor of the ride they pay my entry fee.
    Did I tell you ? Two weeks after I took delivery of my Motobecane from BikesDirect I found out that Healthnet offers employees 60% off on whatever brand of bike that their professional cycling team is riding that year. This year it is Cannondale...last year Giant...etc.
    So for the same $900 I spent on my Grand Record I could have gotten 2K worth of a Cannondale......
    Oh well, I'm not leaving Healthnet anytime soon and I think their commitment to sponsoring a cycling team is pretty secure too so I'll ride the wheels off of what I have now and start saving for the next bike.

  15. #15
    Used to be a climber.. GuitarWizard's Avatar
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    What size is your Motobecane...I'm in the market for a "beater" bike for racing
    1999 Trek 2500 - hit by a car on it in May, 2011 and currently bikeless

  16. #16
    I can't find my pants mirona's Avatar
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    I'm 80% on this ride.

    I will have my wheels hopefully Wed or Fri. Then I can start riding again. Hopefully I'll be good to go by the time this ride comes around. Haven't done any substantial riding in a month and a half. My shoulder feels pretty good, but I don't want to push it.

  17. #17
    I can't find my pants mirona's Avatar
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    The GRR was my first century. It was pretty hard, but as long as you're in reasonable shape, it's doable.

  18. #18
    I can't find my pants mirona's Avatar
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    Next weekend. Anybody going? Weather should be alright.

  19. #19
    Senior Member tc83's Avatar
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    I'm 90% on it, going with a group of friends--- I think it'll be the first century for most of us. Some of them may have never done more than 30 miles.. :x I'm stoked though, look for a tall lanky guy on a felt.

  20. #20
    Senior Member JoeOxfordCT's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mirona
    Next weekend. Anybody going? Weather should be alright.

    Hi Mirona !
    Glad to hear you're feeling well enough to do the ride.
    I am planning on doing it as well.
    PM me if you want....I will be riding solo and not looking to set any speed records myself....
    My riding has been somewhat limited of last too...

    I have to figure out how early I'm going to have to get on the road to be in Westfield by 7:00....

  21. #21
    Senior Member JoeOxfordCT's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GuitarWizard
    What size is your Motobecane...I'm in the market for a "beater" bike for racing

    PM me if you are serious ....

  22. #22
    Respect Your Hill spindog's Avatar
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    If the weather is perfect - I will be at GRR.

    They change the route slightly from year to year. I hope that they are back to the original route which is extremely challenging and very beautiful.

    The route they used @two+ years ago was not one I would want to do again. The ride couldn't end fast enough. Challenging? Somewhat, but nothing terrible, and the route was ugly and the roads were pretty bad (my opinion). Of course 30 something degrees with a touch of sleet in the highest terrain just added to the misery.

    Dress appropriately. You can always leave an article of clothing in a SAG vehicle at one of the rest stops if you don't want to carry it. I did a century yesterday that had a starting temperature in the mid/upper 30's. I was more than happy that I layered as much as I did. There are always a couple of fools that start off only wearing short sleeve jerseys. I bet that I could have sold them my $2 turtleneck for $200.

    Remember - head (especially ears), fingers, and toes.

  23. #23
    Senior Member JoeOxfordCT's Avatar
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    Hey Guys,

    I have my fingers crossed.....
    So far the weather looks good for Sunday. Highs in the upper 60s. So morning temps should be 40s ???
    Mirona, since you've ridden this in the past, will we be able to give jackets and/or arm warmers to folks at the rest stop and have them brought back to the start ??
    That would be nice...

  24. #24
    Used to be a climber.. GuitarWizard's Avatar
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    Looks like really good weather for the ride this weekend.....just wondering who went and how they did
    1999 Trek 2500 - hit by a car on it in May, 2011 and currently bikeless

  25. #25
    Senior Member JoeOxfordCT's Avatar
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    I went. It was high 30's at the start. Good thing I brought extra clothes because I wore everthing I brought. I left the parking lot @ 7:45. The course was beautiful and once the weather warmed up and by the first rest stop I was comfortable. They allowed us to shed jackets, arm warmers, etc. and sagged them back to the start. I got swallowed up by a fast pack on the way to the first rest stop. I hung on, barely to the rest stop but they left the stop pretty quickly and I never saw them again which was probably just as well because I would have burnt myself out early trying to hang with them. Although what happened next was just as bad. I rode solo from the first rest stop encountering a few scattered riders here and there. The next rest stop was supposed to be @ 46 miles. I popped out of a side street onto RT 9 which is a state road with big wide shoulders that we don't have in CT. Well I start blasting down this road and it's pretty flat to gently rolling and I'm doing from 25-35mph and just flying !! Well I keep looking back to see if anyone's coming up behind me and ahead to see if I'm catching anyone and I don't see anybody.....I start to get nervous. I finally stop at a restaurant parking lot where I see a couple guys walking to their cars. I ask them where Notchview Reservation is, the site of the second reststop. They scratched their heads a moment and then I showed them my cue sheet. All of the sudden it clicks and the two guys look up at me and say you went two towns in the wrong direction !!!! So they tell me that I basically have to go all the way back on Route 9 the way I came.....which I do End result is at the 46 miles rest stop, I'm reading 66 miles... Oh well, I'm obviously paying much more attention to the road markers now...
    I hooked up with two riders right before this second rest stop and at the rest stop they are talking about trying to see if they can shorten the 108 mile route...one of them is kind of draggin a little. So when I hear that I get the same idea myself as I was not terribly interested in turning a 108 mile ride into a 128 mile ride. So I ride with them awhile after the rest stop but eventually I get ahead on the hills. Well there I all by myself again tooling along. Although the turns were all marked on the road I would have liked to see some additional markers on some of the long straight sections every couple miles just to let you know you're on the right track. I stopped once again to ask someone if I was on the right track and I was.
    Well I had been doing the climbs with a combination of standing and sitting. I usually stand a little more but when you don't know the roads it's harder because you don't want to stand, climb a section, and then turn the corner and find that the hill continues and have nothing left in the tank. Well since I'm not encountering too many riders on the road now I'm actually paying more attention to the cue sheet. I can tell I'm getting close to the third rest stop by elapsed mileage...except I have to subtract 20 from all the checkpoints. Well I come up to this hill and it's pretty big and I stand at the bottom and climb about half way up and then sit and sping to the top...then the road takes a turn and I find myself staring up the biggest, longest hill I've ever see on a bike. I'm reading my cue sheet now as I type this and I think it's East River Hill. I downshift into my 28t and begin to sit & spin....sit & spin...sit & spin....there are two riders way off in the distance and I just concentrate on them...not to try and catch them but just to have something to focus on. At least the grade of the hill was constant and once you dialed in a gear you just had to be patient, breathe and be patient. I Routsliped the hill: http://www.routeslip.com/map.php?map=10923 About 600 feet in a mile & a half.
    Once I crested the hill the third rest stop is just up the road. I sat there and rested & refueled and the two guys I met at the second reststop pull up and we begin talking again. One of them asked me where I'm from and I say Oxford, CT. and his eyes light up and he says, "Your the guy I see riding up Punkup Rd. every morning !". It turns out he lives about 5 minutes from me and commutes on a road I ride regularly in the morning. Small world !!
    At this reststop we're supposed to have 67 miles in. Of course I have 87...myself and the two other guys ask and it turns out that we can take the metric century route back from here. So we all take off for home. It's still another 20 miles and by the time I hit the parking lot I've registered 108 miles which is exactly what I was supposed to do....just not in so roundabout a manner..
    I heard from other riders that I missed a couple more big hills by cutting off that last loop but I guess they'll have to wait til next year. All in all it was a great ride. The scenery was beautiful. The roads were fine too...a couple of rough patches but no big deal. I did get to meet Mirona (Mike) at the first rest stop and see his new bike which was very nice. I never saw him again after that and assume he finished and left before I got back. The only knock I had was that when I got back to the finish my clothes that I had bagged to be returned from the first rest stop were not back yet.....I asked one of the organizers and she informed me that the truck I had placed my items in was still out on the road. So I ate from the after ride meal and stalled around a bit hoping the truck would show up but it didn't and I had to go so they told me to write down all the items I had left and I gave them my cell# & email address. I am hoping that they will send the items to me ??? Between the gloves, jacket, & arm warmers that's over $100 worth of stuff...
    It was a great ride. I'd do it again in a pinch. Thanks to Hipcycler for recommending the Endurolyte capsules which kept the cramps manageable throughout the ride. After doing the ride I think I can probably swap my 11-32 for an 11-28. Hats off to the folks who climbed East River Hill in a 39-27 or lower. Doing this ride made me realize that I have to work on my strengh in the flats. I had trouble hanging onto some folks in the flats...I'd catch them on the hills but I definitely need to be stronger on the flats.
    Last edited by JoeOxfordCT; 10-09-06 at 06:11 AM.

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