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I did it - 148 miles - 2013 Harpoon Brewery to Brewery (B2B)

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I did it - 148 miles - 2013 Harpoon Brewery to Brewery (B2B)

Old 06-19-13, 08:13 AM
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I did it - 148 miles - 2013 Harpoon Brewery to Brewery (B2B)

You asked to fill you in as to how my B2B ride went last Saturday, the following is a brief account:

https://www.bikeforums.net/attachment...&thumb=1&stc=1

Looking back to February, I was mulling around with the thought of doing the B2B ride as I was working out at my weekly spinning class held at the Y bike loft, and also riding my trainer in the basement a few times per week. I had heard about the Harpoon Brewery to Brewery ride in the past, and a few of the guys at those sessions had done it so I thought I would look into it. I applied and in mid March I received an email notification that I was in, so now the pressure was on! I increased my weekly cycle training to almost 9 hours per week in hopes of being ready for this epic ride. I did the Boston Marathon ride, group training rides, numerous solo training rides, and the Tour de Cure century ride, all with the B2B in mind.

On ride morning I departed Cumberland, RI at 4:10, with bikes, and gear on board and plenty of nerves. I arrived in Boston just after 5, and was greeted by a Harpoon volunteer, and shown where to park. I half expected it to be a lot more crazy when I arrived, but the volunteers from Harpoon have a staggered start time based on your expected average speed, so the group is broken up a bit. I was able to unload the bike and gear, check-in, and pickup my jersey. I met up with friends Doug, Karl, and his friend John and we departed South Boston right around 6:00 AM, and the journey began.



I was able to ride city streets that would normally not be doable. The city streets were definitely a challenge to navigate with all of the holes, manhole covers, and other problems, fortunately no one went down, but once we were out of the city, the views were incredible. We were supposed to start out conservatively and then ease into the ride at a faster pace. We caught at least 2 of the groups who started before us before 10 miles in! The pace felt fast but doable. I was hoping inwardly that I wasn't burning all my matches too early. At mile 5 I had to pee but there was really nowhere to stop. At mile 10 John complained that he too had to pee. Karl said to just wait for the first rest stop at 30 miles and there would be port-a-johns. It turned out that the first water stop was at 47 miles, I had to hold it for 42 miles, Ugh..so much for hydrating ahead of time, especially when you're almost 59!!

Just after that stop we encountered the first major climb just past Townsend MA, the road turns upward through Willard Brook State Forest towards Ashby MA. The climb here isn't that steep, but it definitely is long at just about 5 miles in length. This section was actually quite nice, winding roads, streams, and lots of pine trees shading us from the rising sun.

As we rode into New Hampshire, the small rolling hills were soon replaced with steep challenging climbs. I hit speeds on some descents over 45 MPH, and then would be find myself climbing up tough grade for miles, and be down to less than 10 MPH. Route 63, in New Hampshire, greeted us with the Leviathan, a 5% grade climb for over 5 miles. When it takes almost a half an hour to make it up one hill, it really helps to have some solid hill training in your legs. All the repeat hill climbs Id done in Cumberland and North Attleboro for months really paid off. The Leviathan was tough, especially after 92 miles, but I felt in control the entire climb.

Riding through New Hampshire was absolutely beautiful. At least we had the views to help take out minds off of the pain. Harpoon, Destination Cycling and Mavic did a great job of support along the way. We had 3-4 planned rest stops that were fully stocked with all types of drinks, PowerBars, gels, fruit and fuel, Mavic repair techs, and Port-a-Johns. I saw a good number of riders with flats being helped by the road crews. Fortunately I did not have any bike issues.

The next stop was in Chesterfield, NH just after the Leviathan at mile 98. They had ice cold cokes in cans there, boy that was a great treat! My wife has been after me to stop drinking that stuff, and for the most part I have but I have to admit to drinking 2 cans!!

I had studied the course elevation profile often prior to the ride and knew where to expect hills. The two notable ones ( besides the Leviathan ) were at miles 125 and 135. On a normal training ride those hills would not be too bad, but at that point into the B2B they hurt. It was at this point where I got separated from Karl, John and Doug. At Chesterfield we had decided that we would skip the water stop at mile 130 and just continue on to the finish. On one of the climbs leading up to that stop John and Karl pulled away a bit, leaving Doug and me to chase after them. I did a long pull here to close that gap, went past the 130 mile stop, caught the group only to discover that John and Karl were not there and I had dropped Doug. I continued on as planned, however John needed to repair a cleat problem so they had pulled off at the stop after all!

After that I ended up doing the final 20 miles solo. Thankfully the scenery was really great, but there were rolling hills that were starting to take their toll. I also started to cramp, really bad at one point but I was able to work them out and just continued on. I could not wait to see the covered bridge that goes over the Connecticut river from Cornish NH into the Windsor VT area. The bridge was a little scary ( see photo) as it was long, quite dark inside, had wooden floors, and there was traffic in the opposite lane. I made it through into Windsor heading to the finish.

https://www.bikeforums.net/attachment...&thumb=1&stc=1


Interestingly, only about the last 3 miles are actually in the state of Vermont. There is a flat section through the town of Windsor. There is one final hill at mile 147 as you approach the brewery past the Windsor Municipal Golf Course: its not steep, its not too long, but it was aggravating for being so close to the finish!
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Cresting that last hill, you can now see the brewery and the large crowd waiting for the finishers, a welcomed sight!



A number of people have asked if I would do it again. Yes, without a doubt. I was on the bike for just under 8.5 hours, but it seemed like it flew by. I averaged 17.9 MPH for the ride. That pace was significantly impacted by the hills.

https://www.bikeforums.net/attachment...&thumb=1&stc=1
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Old 06-19-13, 08:32 AM
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Wow well done. I'm still in training just to do a century.

Charlie
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Old 06-19-13, 08:41 AM
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You rock.
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Old 06-19-13, 09:03 AM
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Thanks for sharing!...congrats on an amazing ride!!!
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Old 06-19-13, 09:17 AM
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Congratulations on that ride, its quite an accomplishment. Your report is first rate in its descriptions, well done sir, well done.

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Old 06-21-13, 08:57 AM
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Thanks every!

Last night was my first ride since the B2B, a 40 mile group ride. I was fearful that I would be tired and not be able to hang on the the fast riders. I shouldn't have worried as the residual fitness from all the training was there and I was quite able to hang.

I'm now switching gears to run and swim training to get ready for some triathlons coming up too soon. I hate to lose the big fitness though.
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Old 06-21-13, 11:03 AM
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Originally Posted by Dudelsack


You rock.
What he said!

LOL

Nice report, and a good pace!
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Old 06-21-13, 11:53 AM
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Rayman, great job!

Your average was excellent, very impressive.
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