Clydesdales/Athenas (200+ lb / 91+ kg) Looking to lose that spare tire? Ideal weight 200+? Frustrated being a large cyclist in a sport geared for the ultra-light? Learn about the bikes and parts that can take the abuse of a heavier cyclist, how to keep your body going while losing the weight, and get support from others who've been successful.

A hard first century, complete!

Old 08-25-08, 08:13 PM
  #1  
BikEthan
JRA.
Thread Starter
 
BikEthan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Boston, MA
Posts: 505

Bikes: '07 IRO Mark V, '01 Cannondale Jekyll 3000, '07 Rivendell Atlantis

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
A hard first century, complete!

On Saturday I completed my first century in Deerfield, Massachusetts at the D2R2, a ride that is notorious for its difficulty in the Northeast. I started the ride with one goal: to finish (hopefully before dark and more hopefully before 12 hours).

The start was at 6 AM for the 112 mile/170K "long ride." Stage one was 35.9 miles and 5750' total climbing. According to the cue sheet: "This section is hard, but it is just a warm-up. Pace yourself accordingly."

I drove from my nearby friend’s house to the cornfield where the farm festival was to be held later that day. It was a cool morning and the sun had not yet risen.

The cornfield was a surreal scene of sleepy bicyclists wandering around in Spandex, stumbling towards the complimentary coffee with a contradictory but undeniable sense of anticipation for the ride ahead.

The mist in the valley was thick enough that I felt it upon breathing. On one of the first climbs there was a paddock, covered in mist, with two ghostly horses huddled against the cool damp air. They glanced at the pack of riders with an air of curiosity as we passed.

Right off the start, I met a nice fellow and we chatted amiably for a bit. He was definitely the faster rider though and quickly disappeared into the fog during the first few climbs.

Even though I wasn't trying to keep up with anyone, I was foolish, didn't heed the advice of the cue sheet, and was initially pushing a bit too hard. I was so caught up in the scenery and the experience that I wasn't eating or hydrating enough either. Because of this, by mile 40 my legs were starting to cramp up a bit. I was getting dropped on the climbs, but bombing the twisty dirt road descents—so much fun! Since I was already having some problems I took a good amount of time at the first rest stop to eat, drink and recover a bit.

Then began Stage 2, during which I took breaks at the top of climbs to eat and drink. I figured this would give my body time during the relative rest of the descents to get sustenance and hydration to muscles before the next climb. I moderated my efforts on the climbs as much as possible and eventually the cramping subsided, unless I was on a really steep and or long climb.

The next 25-30 miles were a series of beautiful woods and dirt roads. One road could only be loosely defined as such—the term "cow path" comes to mind—although the cue sheet mentioned a couple of "jeep tracks"—it must have been one of those. I quickly found that one of this ride’s great challenges was the varying terrain, everything from newly paved roads to single lane dirt roads to effectively ¾-lane dirt roads. Some of these were barely maintained if they were maintained at all; they more closely resembled wide, Northeastern woods singletrack than they did roads. My bike was well suited to this although my real concern wasn't the bike, it was the engine!

Near the end of Stage 2 were some awesome rollers along Green River in Vermont. I kept up a good clip on this section and was having a lot of fun. I took some time on the upwards sections of these rollers to look somewhere other than down the road in front of me. The sun was shining through leaves and making the dirt road take on a late summer hue.

The high-speed fun came to a stop at a covered bridge marking the just-over-half-way point and the lunch stop. I got to talking with a few people, took some time to eat and ended up taking too long a break, dropping me at the back of the 170K pack. Somehow the next 15 miles went quickly despite the long climb immediately after lunch (I was glad in retrospect that I took some time to digest my food.) I hadn't been looking at my distance on my cyclometer because I didn't want to get discouraged—I was mainly trying to maintain a 10-11 mph average. But curiosity got the best of me so I took a look and saw that I was at mile 80, five miles longer than my longest ride to date which was last weekend! Surely it would all be downhill from here. HA!

Despite the cramping early on and the long, hard climbs I was genuinely having fun until the real pain at mile 90 on Patten Hill, which should be notorious if it isn't. This was a brutal climb: long, steep and deceptive, looking like it was over two or three times before the actual crest of the hill, and even then the crest was not a sharp break, but a gradual hump that lessened out a simple, steady incline until it mercifully started going down the other side of the hill. Even before this gradual hump I was starting to fade, my legs were no longer cramping but my arms and legs started to become somewhat defiant, or at least not as attentive to what I was asking of them. I realized that if I didn't stop riding and walk for a bit I would likely not make it the rest of the way up that climb. I had to walk up approximately the last quarter of the hill.

Not long after this I stumbled via bicycle into the last rest stop before the finish. I arrived late and realized at the time that I would not likely make the qualifying time of 12 hours. But the volunteers stayed on until the last of the stragglers wandered through and kept us fed and hydrated. I had some nice conversation and realized at this point that I really was going to finish the ride! That and I was a mere 4 miles from completing my first century! I set off, simply intent on grinding out the last 14 miles. I had, as one of the volunteers said, "passed the crux of it," the crux being the hill I had just scaled.

The hill descended into a series of rollers and a few short climbs and then a rather speedy decent to a T-intersection. Near the bottom, I looked down to realize I was at 99.6 miles! I kept glancing down and just at the intersection at the bottom of the descent the magic 100 came up! I yelled "YEAH!" to no one but myself (I hope).

The most memorable part of the ride after that was the second, wide singletrack road, even narrower and more trail-like than the first. They do define the word "road" very loosely in some areas.

A short paved climb and then things started going downhill, literally, and for the best. There was a marker flag somewhere I didn't expect it to be. I checked my cue sheet and realized I was two turns and a little under two miles from the finish: the distance of my daily commute, but without the traffic, lights, pedestrians or other impediments.

The last two miles were surprisingly flat, although given the nature of the rest of the course I think this was more a product of necessity than design. I soon rounded the final turn and saw the tents set up around the Farm Festival that marked the end of the ride. I rolled up to the tent where the final checkpoint was and turned in my card... I was done.

Surprisingly I could still walk (somehow I didn't really expect to be able to after all this.) I took my meal ticket and downed a large and much needed meal, as well a nice cold beer. The food was really so-so but it tasted five-star. I spoke with many people who congratulated me upon hearing that I completed the "Long Course." Upon hearing that this was my first century, they informed me that I'd find most others easy, shook my hand, and sometimes told me I was crazy.

All in all, the weather was amazing, 85 degrees, and low humidity, but the heat wasn't too noticeable as the ride was mostly in the shade. The scenery and views were amazing. I grew up a few miles south of where this ride took place and I miss it very much. New England farm country at its bucolic best: dairy farms, sheep, and horses, fields, farmers, trees, covered bridges, and alleys of maple trees.

Surprisingly, I felt quite good although quite tired after the ride. My knees were a bit sore, although they stopped hurting while I road to work this morning—very weird, very unexpected, very welcome.

I'd like to thank everyone on the forums for their words of advice, caution, and support! One goal down...now I need a new one! I may even do this again next year!



Stats:
8932 calories
109 miles (according to computer 112 according to ride organizers)
Total climbing: 11,300 feet
Average speed 10.5 MPH
Max speed 40 MPH
Ride time 10:24
Total time 12:36

edit: Even after losing 5 lbs during the ride I was still at 205 lbs... still a clyde!
__________________
2009 Bike Friday Season Tikit (commuting folder)
2007 Rivendell Atlantis (touring, general riding, errand runner, stuff hauler)
2007 IRO Mark V (SS)
2006 Rockhopper Comp Disc (Icebike)

Last edited by BikEthan; 08-26-08 at 05:46 AM.
BikEthan is offline  
Old 08-25-08, 10:28 PM
  #2  
Mr. Beanz
Banned.
 
Mr. Beanz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Upland Ca
Posts: 19,896

Bikes: Lemond Chambery/Cannondale R-900/Trek 8000 MTB/Burley Duet tandem

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Wow, cool job! Don't you just love those hills that you think are about to end but don't?...Nice on the guys that stayed out late for support!

Total ascent? 5k early on is some good climbing!

Nice report but no pics!

Last edited by Mr. Beanz; 08-25-08 at 10:30 PM. Reason: can't let the guy slide with no pics!
Mr. Beanz is offline  
Old 08-26-08, 01:29 AM
  #3  
bcc
Large Member
 
bcc's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Canterbury, UK
Posts: 212

Bikes: 2008 Cannondale Bad Boy 700

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Wow, fantastic report. Congrats on the century (and a bit!), especially given how hard it sounded.
bcc is offline  
Old 08-26-08, 04:33 AM
  #4  
Mazama
Bikezilla
 
Mazama's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Flori-Duh
Posts: 881

Bikes: Co-Motion Mazama

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Awesome, especially with the elev. involved. Congratulations!
Mazama is offline  
Old 08-26-08, 05:14 AM
  #5  
Crabster
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Cape May NJ
Posts: 101
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Thank you for writing up your experience. That was awesome. I hope to be able to a Century one day.
Crabster is offline  
Old 08-26-08, 05:27 AM
  #6  
10 Wheels
Galveston County Texas
 
10 Wheels's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: In The Wind
Posts: 30,995

Bikes: 2010 Expedition, 03 GTO

Mentioned: 15 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 709 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
Nice Story. Great, You Did it. Wow all the those hills. Nice details of the ride.
Thanks for posting.
__________________
Fred "The Real Fred"
10 Wheels is offline  
Old 08-26-08, 06:48 AM
  #7  
BikEthan
JRA.
Thread Starter
 
BikEthan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Boston, MA
Posts: 505

Bikes: '07 IRO Mark V, '01 Cannondale Jekyll 3000, '07 Rivendell Atlantis

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by Mr. Beanz View Post
Wow, cool job! Don't you just love those hills that you think are about to end but don't?...Nice on the guys that stayed out late for support!

Total ascent? 5k early on is some good climbing!

Nice report but no pics!
11,300 ft total ascent according to the organizers. Forgot to put in the total climbing thanks for the heads up!

Unfortunately one of the frequent occupational hazards of being a photographer is that you either don't have any small point and shoot cameras or you just don't want to be bothered with taking photos while doing something "fun". That being said, I apologize for the lack of photos, but the only camera I could bring was a DSLR and the idea of lugging that thing up all those hills was enough to make me want to leave it at home. Next year I'll get a smaller camera and post pics.

Originally Posted by Crabster View Post
Thank you for writing up your experience. That was awesome. I hope to be able to a Century one day.
You'll do it. It is mainly a matter of setting the much more attainable goals along the way. At the beginning of this season the longest ride I had ever been on was 40 miles and that had been about 10 years ago.
__________________
2009 Bike Friday Season Tikit (commuting folder)
2007 Rivendell Atlantis (touring, general riding, errand runner, stuff hauler)
2007 IRO Mark V (SS)
2006 Rockhopper Comp Disc (Icebike)
BikEthan is offline  
Old 08-26-08, 09:22 AM
  #8  
B Piddy
Keep on, keepin on
 
B Piddy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: La Crescent, MN
Posts: 228

Bikes: IRO Jamie Roy Custom build, Giant Sedona, '06 Trek Madone 5.2

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Wow great job! That's a heck of a lot of climbing
B Piddy is offline  
Old 08-26-08, 09:40 AM
  #9  
natbla
Senior Member
 
natbla's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 369

Bikes: 2011 Chinese Carbon Road, 2012 Giant Talon 1 29er, 2018 Mongoose Salvo Supa

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Great job! I miss that part of the country. SO what was your bike set up that you road? Was it a traditional road bike with standard road wheels and tires, or something else?
natbla is offline  
Old 08-26-08, 10:24 AM
  #10  
Caliente
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Central Ohio
Posts: 87

Bikes: 04 Specialized Allez Comp. 99Trek 4500MTB. 84 Raleigh Marathon.

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Great! Sounds like a fascinating ride!!...and tiring!
Caliente is offline  
Old 08-26-08, 10:27 AM
  #11  
BikEthan
JRA.
Thread Starter
 
BikEthan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Boston, MA
Posts: 505

Bikes: '07 IRO Mark V, '01 Cannondale Jekyll 3000, '07 Rivendell Atlantis

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by natbla View Post
Great job! I miss that part of the country. SO what was your bike set up that you road? Was it a traditional road bike with standard road wheels and tires, or something else?
I rode my Atlantis which was built up with touring in mind, pretty ideal for this ride really. A Brooks B-17 Imperial test saddle (see the Classic and Vintage forum), 35mm Pasela Tourguards, a mountain triple, responsive enough --without being twitchy-- geometry, wide 48mm drop bars on it, with cross levers, a dyno hub with lights (in case I took a REALLY long time), and fenders. I took the racks and double leg kickstand off as I knew they would just be getting in the way and adding weight. I can give you more specifics on the build if you're curious. I think this kind of bike or a Cross bike are the ideal choices for this ride. Mountain bikes with suspension slow you down a bit too much on the faster sections, and road bikes, eep!
__________________
2009 Bike Friday Season Tikit (commuting folder)
2007 Rivendell Atlantis (touring, general riding, errand runner, stuff hauler)
2007 IRO Mark V (SS)
2006 Rockhopper Comp Disc (Icebike)
BikEthan is offline  
Old 08-26-08, 10:38 AM
  #12  
andrelam
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Buffalo NY
Posts: 1,035

Bikes: Gerry Fisher Nirvana, LeMond Buenos Aires

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by BikEthan View Post
11,300 ft total ascent according to the organizers. Forgot to put in the total climbing thanks for the heads up!

Unfortunately one of the frequent occupational hazards of being a photographer is that you either don't have any small point and shoot cameras or you just don't want to be bothered with taking photos while doing something "fun". That being said, I apologize for the lack of photos, but the only camera I could bring was a DSLR and the idea of lugging that thing up all those hills was enough to make me want to leave it at home. Next year I'll get a smaller camera and post pics.



You'll do it. It is mainly a matter of setting the much more attainable goals along the way. At the beginning of this season the longest ride I had ever been on was 40 miles and that had been about 10 years ago.
That is one monster of a 1st Centry ride to complete. I was VERY thankful to get through my 1st century ride two weeks ago, but all I had to do was climb the Niagara Escarpment... that is NOTHING compared to the kind of hills/mountains you were climbing. Impressive!

Happy riding,
André
andrelam is offline  
Old 08-26-08, 11:27 AM
  #13  
zpl
Bike Fun Fanatic
 
zpl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 621

Bikes: 2008 Salsa Casseroll, 2012 Surly Disc Trucker

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Ethan, that's a truly remarkable first century to attempt. Kudos to you for successfully completing it.

If you're from Boston, do you have any interest in doing another century next month? The Tri-State Seacoast Century is about to close its registration any day now. The ride starts in Hampton, NH and follows the NH/MA/ME seacoast. Nice and flat. It will be the second year I'm riding it.
zpl is offline  
Old 08-26-08, 12:40 PM
  #14  
BikEthan
JRA.
Thread Starter
 
BikEthan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Boston, MA
Posts: 505

Bikes: '07 IRO Mark V, '01 Cannondale Jekyll 3000, '07 Rivendell Atlantis

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by zpl View Post
Ethan, that's a truly remarkable first century to attempt. Kudos to you for successfully completing it.

If you're from Boston, do you have any interest in doing another century next month? The Tri-State Seacoast Century is about to close its registration any day now. The ride starts in Hampton, NH and follows the NH/MA/ME seacoast. Nice and flat. It will be the second year I'm riding it.
I'd actually be psyched to do another century! However I am buying a house in the very near future and will need every weekend I can get between now and then for packing. If you're planning on doing it again next year though look me up!
__________________
2009 Bike Friday Season Tikit (commuting folder)
2007 Rivendell Atlantis (touring, general riding, errand runner, stuff hauler)
2007 IRO Mark V (SS)
2006 Rockhopper Comp Disc (Icebike)
BikEthan is offline  
Old 08-26-08, 02:46 PM
  #15  
zpl
Bike Fun Fanatic
 
zpl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 621

Bikes: 2008 Salsa Casseroll, 2012 Surly Disc Trucker

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by BikEthan View Post
I'd actually be psyched to do another century! However I am buying a house in the very near future and will need every weekend I can get between now and then for packing. If you're planning on doing it again next year though look me up!
Heh, unfortunately my wife and I are planning to move to Portland, OR this winter. But we'll be back in New England eventually.
zpl is offline  
Old 08-27-08, 12:32 PM
  #16  
BikEthan
JRA.
Thread Starter
 
BikEthan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Boston, MA
Posts: 505

Bikes: '07 IRO Mark V, '01 Cannondale Jekyll 3000, '07 Rivendell Atlantis

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by zpl View Post
Heh, unfortunately my wife and I are planning to move to Portland, OR this winter. But we'll be back in New England eventually.
Heh... well I hear it's a much better biking city than Boston (gross understatement). Have fun out there!
__________________
2009 Bike Friday Season Tikit (commuting folder)
2007 Rivendell Atlantis (touring, general riding, errand runner, stuff hauler)
2007 IRO Mark V (SS)
2006 Rockhopper Comp Disc (Icebike)
BikEthan is offline  
Old 08-28-08, 04:00 AM
  #17  
CJKarl
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Essex CT
Posts: 103

Bikes: 1 Giant and a shed full of Treks

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I live in CT and vacation up in that area of MA. All I can say is "I'm not ready for those hills (mountains)"
CJKarl is offline  
Old 08-29-08, 02:16 PM
  #18  
bigmasher
90 rpm
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Boston, MA
Posts: 15

Bikes: Litespeed Siena, Serotta Big Dig, IF Deluxe, Kestrel 200sc

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Congratulations, Ethan- Sounds like a blast, and kudos too for achieving a personal goal.

I'm working toward an October century but without nearly as much climbing.

~BigMasher

ps I'm the guy you sold those SKS RaceBlade fenders to a while back. Sorry to hear you're moving out of the neighborhood, but sounds like you're moving up.
bigmasher is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Thread Starter
Forum
Replies
Last Post
Dfrost
Classic and Vintage Sales
5
10-27-16 02:46 PM
baltostar
Touring
8
06-20-15 06:28 PM
JustMe
Southern California
11
09-11-12 09:20 PM
1nterceptor
Commuting
0
02-07-12 10:40 PM
mkdevo
Charity Events
5
04-09-07 08:20 PM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service

Copyright © 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.