Ironically on my Cannondale Six13. No, you just can't make that up. Yes, I'm slow, but it was a good learning experience.
Started out at a good pace, and my plan was to hit rest stops #4 and #8 only, which I felt would be adequate. However, the best laid plans...
I was WELL hydrated going into this thing, so in spite of having taken care of business before the start, by 5 mins prior to start I kinda had to "go". But I didn't want to leave the starting area, so I figured it could wait. By rest stop #1 I certainly had to, and by #2 my eyeballs were swimming and riding in the drops was uncomfortable. So I stopped. This was a tactical mistake I wanted to avoid...stopping at a point shared by 100K riders; it's bound to be a pileup.
It was, and after I fought my was back to the bathrooms, and then saw the horribly long line, I used a bush anyway. Which means all the time I lost could have been minimized by a more convenient bush without a crowd to fight through. However, feeling that I had derailed my plan badly, and endangered my goal, I decided to press all the way to Hell's Gate.
Lucky for me, the ladies at #4 were handing out cups of water by the road side.
When I reached Hell's Gate, I was on pace to finish in under 5h 30m. However, somewhere around mile 80 I cracked. Bad. My pace dropped in half, and people started passing me all the way "home".
I took only two "effective", rest stops, and they weren't that effective: Hell's Gate and #9. (I think). Which I believe directly resulted in my hitting the proverbial wall. All I did was re-load the bottles, slam back one cup of beverage, and run. I was eating my fig newtons on the road, but not nearly enough.
With 5 miles to go my right knee said "enough" (I've got some ITB issues) and started stabbing me with every pedal stroke. But I was determined to put forth a little bit of effort, and cross the finish line at respectable speed. Between the pain in my knee, and hitting the wall 20 miles back, it was very emotional crossing the finish line...much more so than other centuries I've done.
What would I do differently next year?
1)Use a bush. And don't make a "panic" change of my plan.
2)Probably sport 25mm tires on box section rims. I don't think it's exagerating to say that 75 miles were on chipseal roads. My arms and shoulders were giving out from being rattled all day long before my legs quit.
3)Plan on 3 stops, (#3, #6, and #9 would have been good) and actually use those stops. Re-hydrate, take more food, chow some bananas and oranges, then go. At the end after I cracked I got passed 3 times in a row by groups who were taking those rest stops, and I daresay they finished 30 mins ahead of me easily, at least.
So, there's always next year. Unless Mrs Banzai decides she wants to ride...then she'll likely want me to ride with her, and also unlikely we'll make Hell's Gate in time. Also, she doesn't know I just wrote that...and luckily she doesn't read the forums.
I've also tried to post this 3 times already. Either the forum is slow, or my sucky computer is.