My first time doing it, my short report. Started late, around 7. Maybe if we started earlier I wouldn't have the same complaints.
Muggy through Irvine to San Clemente, overcast and a little drizzly even, then beautiful in SD.
I was struggling through irvine a bit as I had already ridden 80 this week and wasn't even really aware the profile was pretty much uphill for 20 miles. Except for one "climb," couldn't really tell.
Not so much a fan of the course, at least the first 30 miles. You end up bunched with a ton of people. Some can ride, some cannot. Some (Mira Mesa Cycling Club for example) like to blow by you on the right without so much as a call out. Nice (only point them out because they were conspicuous in both their orange kits and their tendencies to pass on the right.... or even between in one case). Lots of other folks passing on the right as well.
A little bit of a winding circuitous course through North SD to get to lunch, then to avoid PCH through Carlsbad, I guess it was.
I am not a fan of riding in big crowds. I am less of a fan of riding in big crowds where I don't know you. I am training for IMAZ and using this as a training ride. Last thing I wanted was someone else to take me down. Yeah, I know, I read the threads before, I know a lot of people do it, would have been my own fault if I crashed due to a group. Lots of times I found myself hammering around a big group just to gt some clear space at the front.
We took measures to avoid the crowds when we could. I was so thankful when my buddy took us on an alternate route through San Clemente - instead of going under the freeway, turn right on some residential street that goes west of the freeway instead of east. We also took the street instead of the walled off bike path, figuring rightly that everyone would get bunched up in there)
Also went via Camp P. They said it was closed but our small group rolled through with our IDs. It was HEAVEN.
Also saw a lot of blowing lights etc., although it's an open course, not everyone was on the century.
Oh, a thanks to the OC Velo group that got me back to my buddies... we had just got on the bike path above Camp P and were cruising along, I gave up the pull right at a hill (
) and karma got me as I got dropped, the OCVelo guys came by and dragged me back to my group.
Ride time was 5:40 for 104. Waited around for about an hour, cuple beers, then got right on the train. Mr. Mardi Gras came through a couple times with his beads
If you came through our car, we had two tables set up across eachtother with beer, wine, 4 different kinds of cheeses, pate, mortadella(sp?), other meats etc., brownies, and a big bald english guy handing out food to cute girls (and everyone else too)
Trucks were there and waiting with bikes when the train pulled up.
Unless my friends can make me forget the ride down and only remember the train ride back up (which was memorable), unlikely I'd do it next year. No fault of the organizers. Very well put on and supported (trash cans full of ice and soda/water at the end... brilliant). It just seems easier to do it on your own.