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  1. #1
    littlecircles bmike's Avatar
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    Highlander? WNY Century

    Anyone from WNY doing the Highlander this weekend?

    I'll be in town riding (actually pacing and encouraging) a friend who has only done two centuries.

    He is doing the VT 50 next week, so we are probably doing the Lowlander, as he wants to save his legs for the mountains in Vermont.

  2. #2
    Respect Your Hill spindog's Avatar
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    I thought about it ... either the Highlander or the Lowlander. It is a LONG drive for me to get there which probably makes it not worth the haul from CT.

    Have you ridden it before?

  3. #3
    littlecircles bmike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by spindog
    I thought about it ... either the Highlander or the Lowlander. It is a LONG drive for me to get there which probably makes it not worth the haul from CT.

    Have you ridden it before?
    No.

    Going to make the drive Friday night. I'll stay at my old place, with my old roomie, right off the route!
    I've ridden several of the roads / climbs on the Highlander. I used to live between the climb up West Lake Road and the climb up Bopple Hill... probalby the toughest of the route. Commuted up West Lake Road for a summer. 18 miles round trip along the lake.

  4. #4
    Respect Your Hill spindog's Avatar
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    I do have Friday off and could drive up there (only if the weather is going to be perfect). Fortunately, there is a century on Saturday, one on Sunday, and a metric on Sunday if I want to stick closer by. It is just awesome to ride in a new area. I have never been to the Finger Lakes region.

    I need to monitor the weather outlook and check out hotels in the area and will cosider it a "possible maybe".

  5. #5
    rider of small bicycles geneman's Avatar
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    Guys ... you won't regret it. It's a very challenging ride. The word is getting out.

    In addition, it looks like the weather is gonna be great. May start out a little cloudy in the morning Sat, but the bluebird the rest of the day.

    Mark

  6. #6
    littlecircles bmike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by geneman
    Guys ... you won't regret it. It's a very challenging ride. The word is getting out.

    In addition, it looks like the weather is gonna be great. May start out a little cloudy in the morning Sat, but the bluebird the rest of the day.

    Mark

    Love the scenery. Lived out there for 2 years. Can't wait.
    Should be a great ride. The friend I'm riding with emailed today, worried about his performance - so we'll be taking in the sights and saving his legs for next weekend's VT50. I think he's going to do fine on the Lowlander... he's got 2 centuries under his belt - then next year I can get him to do the Highlander.

  7. #7
    rider of small bicycles geneman's Avatar
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    So, how'd it go? ... full report please

    Mark

  8. #8
    littlecircles bmike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by geneman
    So, how'd it go? ... full report please

    Mark
    I had a great ride. Paced my friend through the 100 miles, and he made it. Sore knee and sucking wind later, he finished. I thought he was going to break on the last serious climb out of Naples, but he pulled it out.

    We did the Lowlander version - 100 miles with 6k feet of climbing. All fun, all good. I was eyeing the Highlander but couldn't convince my friend to take it on. I think it would have put him over the edge, especially Bopple followed by Gannet Hills - as he asked me if it got any worse after climbing West Lake Road to Bristol Harbor. (I said No! )


    I felt fresh the entire day - except for 1 short stretch after I ate a little too much / something that didn't agree with me at a rest stop. (soft pedalled for awhile and it faded) At times I'd leave my friend on climbs and ride hard, circling back to pace him over the top. Good. Fun. Finished in a reasonable time - stopping more near the end so he could stretch and re-group. He told everyone in the office that I wouldn't let up and cracked the whip the entire day (not true - it was all about him!) - so I've gotten a few funny comments in my email. (Funny, as he's the owner of the company I do 99% of my business with!) We started riding together 5 years ago on the MTB out at Hi-Tor and Harriet Hollister - and he and another few gents from the office would kick the crap out of me. (I was also 50 pounds heavier and just getting back into riding) Last time we MTB'd he still kicked my arse - but I stayed with him alot longer. It was nice having the tables turned for a change, although I really didn't ride the Highlander competitively... but I did turn it up to 400 watts and I finally found that elusive 13th gear I've heard about!

    I ate the pasta dinner and got in the car and drove back to Burlington, VT. Long day!


    Odd how riding Brevets changes the outlook on "organized" rides. I was worried that I'd gain weight and eat too much on this ride. The first 30 miles had 3 stops, and there were 2 more before mile 50! Seemed about every 15 miles there was a stop. I guess its good to draw people into the sport - everything was organized, there appeared to be plenty of help and food / water - but lots and lots of stops.


    Somethings I noticed:

    • WNY has some very beautiful scenery (I've forgotten since moving to VT!)
    • Trek makes LOTS and LOTS of bikes!
    • Don't forget the digicam!
    • Riding with someone new(ish) on the road can be fun!
    • The Finger Lakes is pretty hilly... short and steep!
    • The NYS Thruway is mind numbing.
    • Bristol Mountain isn't very high for a ski mountain...
    • I saw 1 other IF on the road... talked to the owner at a rest stop. Nice!
    • Congrats to the woman we chatted with who had her knee bandaged (torn up the week before!) and was on a 90's MTB! (knobbies) I saw her pulling into the finish as I left!

  9. #9
    rider of small bicycles geneman's Avatar
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    Fantastic ... you'll have to come back next year to tackle the full Highlander. I did it a couple of years ago and a few of my teammates who are pretty strong racers did it this year. Their comments reflected mine from 2 years ago ... "it's just brutal." Sliter at mile ~65 is just a killer. And then that last climb out of Naples as you said just puts you right over the top. Better to have a compact or triple.

    Glad you made the trip and keep spreading the word.

    Mark

  10. #10
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    I rode the Highlander last year with Mojo Gogo. I felt no shame in using a 30-27 as my low gear. Nothing like climbing Bopple Hill Road sitting down That ride did bring new meaning to "steep" for me. Those roads are better described as walls.

  11. #11
    littlecircles bmike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by geneman
    Fantastic ... you'll have to come back next year to tackle the full Highlander. I did it a couple of years ago and a few of my teammates who are pretty strong racers did it this year. Their comments reflected mine from 2 years ago ... "it's just brutal." Sliter at mile ~65 is just a killer. And then that last climb out of Naples as you said just puts you right over the top. Better to have a compact or triple.

    Glad you made the trip and keep spreading the word.

    Mark
    Wanted to do the full Highlander this year... just couldn't convince my friend to do it. (and why not? he rode this this weekend!)

    The amount of climbing is similar to the brevet series I did this year. Lots of it, and steep bits right where you don't want em!


    Great ride. I'll be back again.

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