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Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

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Old 08-25-08, 04:55 PM   #1
Banzai
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My first HH100 ride.

6h 13m.

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.
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Old 08-25-08, 05:11 PM   #2
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Don't be upset about the time. You'll improve. You finished and that's enough for the first time.
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Old 08-25-08, 05:21 PM   #3
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What did you do for food for 6+ hrs? No proteins? Did you train for 6+ hrs?
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Old 08-25-08, 06:32 PM   #4
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What did you do for food for 6+ hrs? No proteins? Did you train for 6+ hrs?
Fig Newtons.

Yum!

I wanted to do better than 6 hours. I was targeting about 5.5, or maybe even 5 if I felt really strong. FWIW, the 6 hours counts my time stopped...I never stopped my clock. So actual rolling time was a bit less. I may have easily hit 5.5 had I managed my stops and my nutrition/hydration better, and stretched my ITB at the stops.

No, I hadn't trained for 6+ hours. New baby, busy job, etc etc. I have done a number of training rides anyway, and I ride 23 miles round trip for my commute everyday.

Not my first century, and I had hoped to finish stronger. But it was really fun, and I'm glad I went. Can't wait for next year!
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Old 08-25-08, 06:42 PM   #5
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you did fine.....congrats!!...I had a great time as well.
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Old 08-25-08, 06:43 PM   #6
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Fig Newtons.

Yum!

I wanted to do better than 6 hours. I was targeting about 5.5, or maybe even 5 if I felt really strong. FWIW, the 6 hours counts my time stopped...I never stopped my clock. So actual rolling time was a bit less. I may have easily hit 5.5 had I managed my stops and my nutrition/hydration better, and stretched my ITB at the stops.

No, I hadn't trained for 6+ hours. New baby, busy job, etc etc. I have done a number of training rides anyway, and I ride 23 miles round trip for my commute everyday.

Not my first century, and I had hoped to finish stronger. But it was really fun, and I'm glad I went. Can't wait for next year!
It was definitely fun...a little warm but a blast.
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Old 08-25-08, 07:27 PM   #7
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Did you ride solo the whole way? If you have some group riding experience, the key to a better hhh time is waiting til a pace line or group passes you that you think you can hang with, whether that be 16,18, 20,,22 whatever- you will be surprised you can go several miles faster and use less energy. My first hhh which was probably 12 years ago was at least 6 hr, i don't even remember. this year i did 4'29"- so hang in there
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Old 08-25-08, 07:29 PM   #8
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my goal is to be at around 5 hours in 2 years....this year was 6:10
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Old 08-25-08, 07:36 PM   #9
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Dang, I am just happy that I finished the 100K in 5 1/2 hours!
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Old 08-25-08, 07:41 PM   #10
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Dang, I am just happy that I finished the 100K in 5 1/2 hours!
congrats!!!...great job!
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Old 08-25-08, 08:11 PM   #11
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Your story is pretty typical. Congratulations on sticking it out and not taking the Ride of Shame back to town.

Next time don't go so hard at the start and take on more food and fluids along the way. You'll be in better shape when the heats get up.
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Old 08-25-08, 09:16 PM   #12
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my goal is to be at around 5 hours in 2 years....this year was 6:10
You pretty much crossed right in front of me! Maybe you were one of the guys who passed me there at the end as I limped on "home".

Was there a BF get-together that I missed the word on? Would have been cool to put some faces with names.
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Old 08-26-08, 06:53 AM   #13
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For those of you who did the ride...

Any thoughts on my consideration for running 25mm tires on box section rims to smooth out that chipseal? That thought was rolling about my brain shortly after Hell's Gate.

That many miles of chipseal was murder on the arms and shoulders, and I feel contributed as much to fatigue as the heat/humidity did.
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Old 08-26-08, 07:22 AM   #14
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26"x2.125" tires smoothed it right out.
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Old 08-26-08, 07:28 AM   #15
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I did the 100 miles in 6:52:38... my first century. The OP isn't kidding about that chip seal... it was a rough ride most of the way and I was getting bad leg cramps after Hells Gate... the last 20 miles were brutal but I gritted my teeth and rode through.

Support was fantastic and I'm looking forward to next year already!
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Old 08-26-08, 07:57 AM   #16
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Nice work finishing in that time

You don't need wider tires. Just lower the pressure in your 23s. I'm 180 lbs, and I'll often run 100psi rear/90psi front on really bad chipseal. It'll speed you up too (on the rough stuff). You want to let out tire pressure until the vibration stops completely.
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Old 08-26-08, 08:11 AM   #17
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Did you ride solo the whole way? If you have some group riding experience, the key to a better hhh time is waiting til a pace line or group passes you that you think you can hang with, whether that be 16,18, 20,,22 whatever- you will be surprised you can go several miles faster and use less energy. My first hhh which was probably 12 years ago was at least 6 hr, i don't even remember. this year i did 4'29"- so hang in there
No...I rode with a few friends and we jumped on every passing train until the last 10miles where we just went our own pace. We finished right around 5:30 which included about 30mins at rest stops and 2 long mechanicals (about 20mins). We could've easily shaved 30mins off our number but first time HHH and didn't want to push it in the heat since we didn't know the course at all.
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Old 08-26-08, 08:12 AM   #18
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For those of you who did the ride...

Any thoughts on my consideration for running 25mm tires on box section rims to smooth out that chipseal? That thought was rolling about my brain shortly after Hell's Gate.

That many miles of chipseal was murder on the arms and shoulders, and I feel contributed as much to fatigue as the heat/humidity did.
No doubt...my buddy rode his crosser and seemed much happier. I thought about airing down the tubulars to 40psi.
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Old 08-26-08, 10:33 AM   #19
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For those of you who did the ride...

Any thoughts on my consideration for running 25mm tires on box section rims to smooth out that chipseal? That thought was rolling about my brain shortly after Hell's Gate.

That many miles of chipseal was murder on the arms and shoulders, and I feel contributed as much to fatigue as the heat/humidity did.
What works for me is training in Louisiana. Those roads at HHH were immaculate compared to the crud I roll on. At least they used the smaller grain chip seal instead of the cheaper boulder size chips.

23mm Conti 4seasons at 115psi on Ultegra->Open pros for Cat 4 race FWIW
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Old 08-26-08, 11:39 AM   #20
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My front tire was Avocet (nice smooth and round) in 28, running about 90 by the thumb test. I weigh about 185, plus a full hyrdo pack and bottle etc. Rear was 25 at about 110. Had no probs w chipseal... but them I'm on a steel bike, not a C-dale.
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Old 08-26-08, 12:05 PM   #21
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Nice work finishing in that time

You don't need wider tires. Just lower the pressure in your 23s. I'm 180 lbs, and I'll often run 100psi rear/90psi front on really bad chipseal. It'll speed you up too (on the rough stuff). You want to let out tire pressure until the vibration stops completely.
Thanks for the words. I appreciate it.

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What works for me is training in Louisiana. Those roads at HHH were immaculate compared to the crud I roll on. At least they used the smaller grain chip seal instead of the cheaper boulder size chips.

23mm Conti 4seasons at 115psi on Ultegra->Open pros for Cat 4 race FWIW
Ouch. Maybe I shouldn't be whining about the TX chipseal then.

I was thinking of a wheel build on Open Pros. Dura-Ace hubs are a ton more expensive than Ultegra...and a ton lighter too. Anyone think they're worth the price difference?
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Old 08-26-08, 12:27 PM   #22
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Thanks for the words. I appreciate it.



Ouch. Maybe I shouldn't be whining about the TX chipseal then.

I was thinking of a wheel build on Open Pros. Dura-Ace hubs are a ton more expensive than Ultegra...and a ton lighter too. Anyone think they're worth the price difference?
They're not worth the price difference in any practical sense, but they are really nice hubs. Good neato/bling factor. Not much speed difference.
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Old 08-26-08, 01:11 PM   #23
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6h 13m.

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
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Old 08-26-08, 01:19 PM   #24
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I finished in 6:11 according to the race clock at the finish. Right near you guys. I got a 2nd wind in the last 15 miles so if you saw a guy on a tarmac go by towards the end that was me.
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Old 08-26-08, 01:37 PM   #25
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I finished in 6:11 according to the race clock at the finish. Right near you guys. I got a 2nd wind in the last 15 miles so if you saw a guy on a tarmac go by towards the end that was me.
You and a lot of others.

I was so far into exhaustion/dehydration/food deprivation that the last 15 miles are all a painful haze.
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