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Share the Road Century - ride report

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

Share the Road Century - ride report

Old 09-04-06, 05:20 PM
  #1  
40-Dan
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Share the Road Century - ride report

I feel like I'm going to die.

I was COMPLETELY unprepared for the hills on this route. What a difference 40 miles or so makes in North Georgia. According to my Edge, the last full century I did in Fayette County had right at 5000' of climbing over 100 miles. This one had over 6000' on the 70 mile route. Doesn't sound like a big difference now that I type it, but, boy, did I feel it on the road.

For the first 35 miles or so, I felt great. I was climbing like I had never climbed before. I felt unstoppable. Then, it caught up with me. Also, the constant up and down made it really tough to find and stay in a group for any length of time. Climbs stagger folks out all over the hill, and I descend really fast due to my, erm, size. This was also a problem for at least a few others based on conversations at rest stops.

I REALLY wanted to quit at the last rest stop (mile 50), and WOULD HAVE had there been any SAG vehicles on the course. More about that below.

The last 20 miles consisted of one stop to rest at 10 miles to go, and another with 5 (had to lay down in the shade at that one). But, I made it. It's over. I survived. And that DOES feel pretty good, even as tired as I am.

COURSE:

The course was well marked with a couple of notable exceptions. I did talk to more than a couple of riders who took wrong turns very near the beginning. Roads were, for the most part, well paved, again with a few noticable exceptions which were very short. There WAS quite a bit of the route that was in FULL sun which kinda hurt, but that sort of thing is often hard to avoid.

As mentioned above, the real killer was the hills. I know it was no 6-Gap, but DANG!!!! I'll never complain about the rollers in my home area again. Honest!

SAG STOPS:

I don't have a lot to compare with, since this was just my second organized ride, but the SAG stops left a bit to be desired. There was a fairly decent selection of cookies, fig newtons, crackers, bananas, etc., but there was no ice anywhere to be found. And the Gatorade was always so watered down as to be pretty ineffective. Lesson learned - carry your own drink mix. Also, the lack of porta-potties was very noticable. Didn't affect the boys much, but the girls were kinda screwed.

Now the big thing: NO SAG VEHICLES to speak of. On my last organized ride, Spinning Thru Time Century in Peachtree City, there was a vehicle coming by every half hour or so. The only one I saw on this entire trip was responding to a fairly significant accident (along w/ the local FD) right after the 2nd rest stop (word I got was that everyone was OK, just some nice road rash). As mentioned above, I was DONE at mile 50. Completely spent. Yes, I was able to summon up the intestinal fortitude to go ahead and finish, but I could just as easily have completely bonked. That would NOT have been good.

INTERESTING SITES:

Only one, really. The "theme" of the ride was to promote awareness, obviously, of cyclists and the rules of the road. Right after leaving the first rest stop, there was a teenage kid driving a camaro coming the other direction honking constantly and waving his arm, apparently for us to get off the road. I'm sure he was a bit more threatening to those riders who had just turned around for the 50-mile route and thus were travelling the same direction. From my side of the road he was just sad, in a funny kind of way.

I guess that's about it. Here's a link to MotionBased for the route / my ride. All in all, I DID have a good time, but, D-MN I'm glad it's over. Here's looking forward to the Wilson next Sunday.

Dan
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Old 09-04-06, 07:51 PM
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Pedal Wench
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Dan - did you finish really late? I did the century, and came across a guy laying out in the shade right about 5-miles to go, on that stupidly steep hill on a small road in that industrial park area right near the end. Was that you? It must have been close to 3:30pm. (I did a SLOW century!)

I didn't see a single SAG vehicle either, or a portapotty. Luckily, I knew where all the store stops were.
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Old 09-04-06, 08:42 PM
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40-Dan
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Time was about right, but that wasn't me. I was wearing a Georgia Tech jersey.

Everyone who passed me asked if I was OK. I was, but I just needed a little break.

Dan
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