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They say you never forget your first time...

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Road Cycling ďIt 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.Ē -- Ernest Hemingway

They say you never forget your first time...

Old 05-13-12, 10:43 AM
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hokie cycler
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They say you never forget your first time...

Yesterday was my first century and what a memorable one. The ride was the Cap2Cap in Richmond and Williamsburg, Virginia. Over 2,100 riders with some starting in Williamsburg and riding to Richmond and back and the majority starting in Richmond and going to Williamsburg and back. Absolutely beautiful weather, sunny, not a cloud in the sky and temperature rising from a morning chill in the high 50's to the mid 70's. Last year I did the 50 mile route after one month of prep work and I was instantly addicted. On that day I decided this ride would be my first century and I rode over 4,000 miles since that day and loved every minute of it. Riding in the rain occasionally, through the winter and then in the spring where I started ramping up the distances to get ready for 100. 77 solo miles last weekend and I knew I was ready.

My bike computer (Bontrager Node 1) battery was low and I decided to replace it the night before and managed to get it reset successfully. As soon as we started rolling, something didn't make sense. I know you ride faster in a group but we were just getting started and it was showing my speed in the high 20s. I didn't realize the default units are kilometers! So I rode my first English century in metric. I rode with a group from the local club that I have been riding with all year and rolling through the Virginia country side past colonial era plantations, farm fields and through forests we made Williamsburg averaging over 21 mph with a very slight tailwind. The first half seemed almost effortless as we skipped the rest stops at 12 and 38 miles and stopped at 27 miles.

After a turkey wrap at the halfway stop, we started our train rolling back home. The return route is a little hillier, and the net is uphill and into the slight wind. At mile 72 we stopped at a rest stop and all was well. The volunteers were so friendly and rang bells and cheered as we rolled into and out of all the rest stops. A few miles later, our group had fractured and reassembled after a few hills and I noticed a slight discomfort in my right knee. I didn't think it was a big deal but at the final rest stop at mile 86, I tried to squat down and the pain was much greater so I hobbled back on my bike and watched the group take off, there was no way I could keep up on one leg so I limped along solo and with a few stragglers for 5 or 6 miles until the knee loosened up and was nearly back to normal. As luck would have it, a train crossing stopped everyone 5 miles from the finish and I managed to catch up. The final 5 miles were at a very fast pace and after a short but steep hill the full skyline of Richmond came into view and from there it is a short downhill to the finish. What a glorious sight.
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Old 05-13-12, 11:34 AM
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Yesterday's ride was awesome! It was my first century ride as well.

The ride back was much prettier, though that big open sky just before Charles City Courthouse is one of my favorite moments of the ride.
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Old 05-13-12, 11:58 AM
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Good job!

Perfect weather for it. I was going to ride in it as well, but the wife had to work. So instead, I am doing this one next week in Lynchburg.

https://www.stormingofthunderridge.com/

On the brutal side, I also did the Powhatan Historic Bike Tour in April. Steady to heavy rain, high winds and 50 degrees. Not a good way to start off the year.
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Old 05-13-12, 12:03 PM
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The Cap2Cap was my first century as well. My riding buddy and I got a late start in the morning and didn't take off until 8:05. We somehow finished before the others in our group that started on time at 7:30. We had just finished eating our BBQ when our other friends rolled in and told us that they got stuck behind the train. Now I know they weren't making it up! I had a blast on the ride and will be doing it next year if I'm still in the area.

I already posted this in another thread, but here's the route in case anyone is interested:

https://app.strava.com/activities/8453616
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Old 05-13-12, 01:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Smiziley
Yesterday's ride was awesome! It was my first century ride as well.

The ride back was much prettier, though that big open sky just before Charles City Courthouse is one of my favorite moments of the ride.
The long stretch on Route 5 in Charles City County was tough to beat with the sunny skies and gentle breeze at your back. The newly paved road was not too shabby either. Ironic that we were riding alongside the Va. Capital Trail and not on it.
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Old 05-13-12, 01:08 PM
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Originally Posted by ilovecycling
The Cap2Cap was my first century as well. My riding buddy and I got a late start in the morning and didn't take off until 8:05. We somehow finished before the others in our group that started on time at 7:30. We had just finished eating our BBQ when our other friends rolled in and told us that they got stuck behind the train. Now I know they weren't making it up! I had a blast on the ride and will be doing it next year if I'm still in the area.

I already posted this in another thread, but here's the route in case anyone is interested:

https://app.strava.com/activities/8453616
It was a long slow coal train and the group waiting for it was at least 40 or 50 by the time it passed. It was like a caution flag being thrown with 5 laps to go in NASCAR.
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Old 05-13-12, 07:51 PM
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Originally Posted by hokie cycler
The long stretch on Route 5 in Charles City County was tough to beat with the sunny skies and gentle breeze at your back. The newly paved road was not too shabby either. Ironic that we were riding alongside the Va. Capital Trail and not on it.
Agreed. Though I did cut over and use the trail. No point in doing the distance without riding on it. Also, looks like you were just ahead of me. I don't have Strava or any smartphone stuff, but the on-bike computer said 5:59:40 when I crossed the line.
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Old 05-14-12, 03:42 AM
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wow that ride does sound pretty awesome. i can only imagine the feelings on the last 5 fast miles. i bet the whole groups energy just cranked up!
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Old 05-14-12, 06:30 AM
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Congratulations; sounds like you had a great time.
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Old 05-14-12, 06:42 AM
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Congrats on your first century. It was a great day for the Cap to Cap. I think it was a record crowd. How are your knees feeling today?
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Old 05-14-12, 06:45 AM
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Congratulations ...Good memories to last forever.
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Old 05-14-12, 08:20 AM
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This was my 3rd century and I tell you, it doesn't get any easier. Ilovecycling and I started about 40 minutes late so we missed any opportunity to join a pack so we were on our own pretty much the whole course. The rest stops were pretty nice and had an adequate amount of food. I was surprised to see gels and energy gummies at each stop. Water didn't taste like garden hose water, although I'm sure some of the water was supplied by a hose. =)

It was definitely the smallest century I've done to date. I don't think we were passed by anyone. A lot of the times, it didn't feel we were riding a century event. But that partly had to do with us starting so late. We couldn't have asked for better weather! My cyclist tans lines are becoming more apparently... woohoo! Looks like I'm wearing warmers.

A couple of things that could be improved for next year: I think signage on where to go could have been more visable. There were times where we wondered if we were going the right way. There were a few spray painted arrows along the way, but not as visable as i would have thought. Some of the people that were directing us where to go weren't as obvious. No signage, to special t-shirts, no flags, etc. Also, it was nice that they had vegetarian wrap option but it was loaded with feta cheese. Since I am vegan and don't consume dairy/cheese, I took a bite and had to spit it out once I realized there was cheese in it. Maybe I'm just being too picky, but it would have been awesome if they considered peopl that are vegan or lactose intolerant. I'm sure a lot of people had to skip out on that. Also, at the end, they had bbq with pull pork sandwiches and pork and beans. It would have been nice if they offered other options like chicken or something since a lot of people don't eat pork. We weren't given any numbers or anything so no professional photos were taken during the route as in other rides I've done.

I'm just being picky, but overall it was a good time. Not sure if I would do this particular event again though.
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Old 05-14-12, 08:22 AM
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https://connect.garmin.com/activity/177516447
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Old 05-14-12, 09:14 AM
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Nice man! CG
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Old 05-14-12, 09:29 AM
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I dont remember which was my first century
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Old 05-21-12, 06:13 AM
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Originally Posted by CoMotionRider
Congrats on your first century. It was a great day for the Cap to Cap. I think it was a record crowd. How are your knees feeling today?
Knee is feeling fine, not sure what happened but it was fine after the ride.
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Old 05-21-12, 06:18 AM
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Originally Posted by dayday82
This was my 3rd century and I tell you, it doesn't get any easier. Ilovecycling and I started about 40 minutes late so we missed any opportunity to join a pack so we were on our own pretty much the whole course. The rest stops were pretty nice and had an adequate amount of food. I was surprised to see gels and energy gummies at each stop. Water didn't taste like garden hose water, although I'm sure some of the water was supplied by a hose. =)

It was definitely the smallest century I've done to date. I don't think we were passed by anyone. A lot of the times, it didn't feel we were riding a century event. But that partly had to do with us starting so late. We couldn't have asked for better weather! My cyclist tans lines are becoming more apparently... woohoo! Looks like I'm wearing warmers.

A couple of things that could be improved for next year: I think signage on where to go could have been more visable. There were times where we wondered if we were going the right way. There were a few spray painted arrows along the way, but not as visable as i would have thought. Some of the people that were directing us where to go weren't as obvious. No signage, to special t-shirts, no flags, etc. Also, it was nice that they had vegetarian wrap option but it was loaded with feta cheese. Since I am vegan and don't consume dairy/cheese, I took a bite and had to spit it out once I realized there was cheese in it. Maybe I'm just being too picky, but it would have been awesome if they considered peopl that are vegan or lactose intolerant. I'm sure a lot of people had to skip out on that. Also, at the end, they had bbq with pull pork sandwiches and pork and beans. It would have been nice if they offered other options like chicken or something since a lot of people don't eat pork. We weren't given any numbers or anything so no professional photos were taken during the route as in other rides I've done.

I'm just being picky, but overall it was a good time. Not sure if I would do this particular event again though.
I thought the signage was pretty good, all the turns were marked and most had volunteers directing you. There were T-shirts given out as part of the registration and they did have a photographer taking pictures while people were massing at the start and also as you left Rocketts Landing. I also saw a few photographers on course and if it's like last year, the photos will be available soon. They decided not to do numbers this year and I'm not sure why. I think if you had been there at the mass start your opinion might be a little different.
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