View Full Version : Seacoast Century

07-25-2007, 09:45 AM
The Granite State Wheelmen are having their Tri State Seacoast Century on Sept 22 & 23. Is anyone doing it? This really is the flattest century in the east! I'm considering a half century.


It would be nice to meet up with some other TE'ers!

07-25-2007, 10:30 AM
I would love to do this. I'm a newbie... but if I up my training now, I bet I could do it!

Just need to get it past DH... he's not so sure about all of my newfound enthusiasm and has yet to take me seriously on all this. But if I am doing this with a bunch of other people, maybe he won't think I'm crazy/ill prepared. LOL.

07-26-2007, 12:08 PM
I did this last year as my first century, after a few years of riding. It is pretty flat, with the exception of the climb up to the lighthouse in York and a little bit in Maine. But, just to warn you, the headwinds coming back were brutal. We were going about 13 mph in our grannies and my husband was so tired that he told me I "had" to pull him for awhile. So plan to go slower on the return part of the loop. It is very pretty.

07-30-2007, 05:15 AM
Okay, I'm signed up for this.
Whoo hoo!

08-29-2007, 05:21 AM
Will any other TEers be braving the fair winds of the Seacoast for a T-shirt and a Chips Ahoy?

We will be starting Sat. at 7, if anyone wants to meet up at registration.

I'll be riding 12-14 mph for this ride.

08-30-2007, 10:02 AM
Will any other TEers be braving the fair winds of the Seacoast for a T-shirt and a Chips Ahoy?

We will be starting Sat. at 7, if anyone wants to meet up at registration.

I'll be riding 12-14 mph for this ride.

I volunteering Saturday afternoon so I plan on riding Saturday morning. I'm planning a half century. I ride about the same speed but I'm not sure if I'll get there by 7am.


09-14-2007, 08:15 AM
I am looking forward to my first century.
Any other TEers doing this?
PAP, do you want to meet up at the end of the day Saturday?

09-14-2007, 10:09 AM
I am looking forward to my first century.
Any other TEers doing this?
PAP, do you want to meet up at the end of the day Saturday?

Hi Indi-

I am not sure which route I'm riding yet but I probably will be there early. I have volunteered at Ft. McClarey for the afternoon - I think noon to 4 or something like that.

If you want to meet up at 7, that would work for me.


09-21-2007, 05:18 AM

I am looking forward to tomorrow's ride. If anyone is going, look for the chick (and her dh) with the jerseys with this logo on the backs (our dear fuzzy sponsors):




09-23-2007, 12:25 PM
Ride report? Did you both end up going yesterday, or wait for today's pleasant weather?

09-24-2007, 02:45 AM

We ended up going Saturday, which was perfect riding weather. A little overcast, a nice cool morning, sun came out in the afternoon.

Okay, a ride report.

We left the farm about 5:45 a.m., got up to Hampton Beach State Park at around 7:45. We passed riders doing the southern (Seabrook area) loop. Next year I will do this loop first - we did it last this year and I have reason to believe it is better to get out of the way right away.

The parking lot is a big open sandlot with camping trailers, a pavillion, and bathrooms, and beach access. I saw a rider go down in the sand on the road in the parking lot. We went over and got in line, which moved fairly swiftly, and took our numbers and maps and went back to the truck to change. We finally got on the road at 8:20. I had a thin long sleeved shirt under my jersey. It was about 65-70 degrees out, with a light wind. I had two bottles - one with half gatorade, half water, one with all water. I carried a small fannypack with cell and small camera. Had an extra tube and banana in the jersey pocket. Had gorp in the top tube pocket.

Headed North on rt. 1A we quickly caught up with a crowd of early riders and passed some at a fairly easy pace. This direction is kind of like the herd path on a long hike - there are riders here doing not only the century but also the quarter, half, and metric, all headed North. So you have the racers, the pacers, the commuters, the pokies, and just about everyone with a big smile on their faces. The first section is through a beachfront community with lots of t-shirt shops, restaurants, and people parked along the beachwall. This was a very flat section. I fell in behind a guy I call Arizona because his jersey said "Arizona." How original of me, right? DH went ahead and I did not see him again til the first rest stop. Arizona and I maintained a nice pace of about 17-20 mph on this flat area with relatively little wind. We passed and got passed. Arizona was very conscientious of keeping me behind him; when I tried to pass, he would pass me. But he wouldn't drop me. At the first bridge where one is encouraged to walk rather than ride over the steel grate, we chatted for a bit. He told me I should slow down a little if I was doing the full century.

Rt. 1A then meandered up and through Portsmouth, NH., taking some side and residential streets and including many "surprise" turns. Arizona dropped me at this point. I got cheered on by some roofers.

At the big bridge in Portsmouth, cops are there to tell you to get off of your bike and walk on the sidewalk. I walked behind a very statuesque girl with red jersey and tall bike, walking with a handful of tall guys. I wondered if she was a TEer. At this point, for some reason, my little dorky fannypack became unclipped and I had to stop and readjust it. Totally noob that I am.

I was alone up through Kittery, where there are some mini hills. I did fine on the hills. It was beautiful.

Stopped at the first fort... I am not sure of the name, and there was DH waiting for me. We spent ten minutes here. There were perfect bananas, orange slices, oreos, chips ahoy, and pb sandwiches on wonderful bakery wheat bread. The bathrooms here were very nice. I was in a good mood and had lots of energy at this point.

From Kittery to Cape Ned**** I did fine, and dh stayed with me. We stopped at Cape Ned**** light only long enough for a snapshot.

From Cape Ned**** to the return loop is a bit of a blur, because I was really pushing at this point to up my speed to match DH's. I missed a lot of views because my eyes were closing the gap between our tires. We came back down through Portsmouth and almost collided at one of the sidestreet turns. After the bridge, there was a confusing loop that went under the bridge and then around. If you weren't careful, you ended up back in the direction of the bridge again. We did this and had to get off and walk our bikes down a small set of steps beside the bridge to get back on the route.

From Portsmouth through Rye Beach area, according to DH, we were doing 21 mph along 1A. There was a gentleman riding on my tail, and another gentleman riding behind him. I was very proud of that. I kept low and tucked in and thoroughly enjoyed the thrill of the ride. I did not feel as if I were pushing at that point.

Just below this point, the ride splits and there is a turnoff for those going 100 miles. We took the turnoff and immediately slowed right down. This loop goes through a ritzy residential area and is quite scenic. We got passed by some racer guys and I started getting tired. I think this was mile 65-70. I knew that there was no stops along this part and it was around midday and my body was just reminding me it was lunchtime. I pulled off and took a stretchbreak and DH looked antsy to move on. I told him to go ahead, and totally expected him to take off with the next pack that came through. He did not, however, and waited for the five minutes it took for me to recover.

I was fine then for the next 15-20 miles. Then we passed Hampton State Beach - the start, in order to do the last Southern loop.

I have to say that this is the part where everything kind of collapsed. It wasn't so bad, it just was one of those episodes that makes you wonder why you're doing it. We had headwind. The road/route was depressing. It's just not my favorite kind of neighborhood - beachfront community, strip in front of a beach, smells like fried food and beer. Call me a snob. Whatever. It got me down. I felt like they could have looped it on a different kind of road. Maybe they couldn't. Whatever. Lots of cars, a nasty headwind, and the pavement needing potholes filled. This went on for maybe five miles. Then the arrows turn left, across the busy highway, down a residential road with lots of bumps. Not good at mile 89-93. This road ends prettily, with a little cul-de-sac on the water, but is maddening in that it's just leading back to 1A again, to the strip. So, up we go, and on 1A, I took a handful of gorp and a swig of gatorade and determined to make the most of the last five miles. My arse was killing me, my shoulders were a mess, my neck hurt, and DH took off. My internal jukebox was playing the same song it had played in the morning which I was now thoroughly sick of, and I was trying to think of something else to sing, but I couldn't find a tune. So I thought, suddenly, of Kermit the frog singing Rainbow Connection.

Pedal Pedal Pedal Why are there so many... songs about rainbows
Breathe breathe pedal pedal and what's on the other side?
Rainbows are visions, but only illusions,
And rainbows have nothing to hide.

What's the next lyric? How's it go? I was passing the ugly honkitonk area. A man off to the right was loading beach chairs into his car. A kid with no helmet rode in the opposite direction. DH is a speck ahead of me. I pedal harder.

Someday we'll find it, the rainbow connection,
The lovers, the dreamers and me.
la la la dee dah dah dooooo....

At this point, I knew I only had three or four miles to go. I knew that it would be over, so I'd better kick some butt. I also had given DH the camera to take a pic of me coming in on my first century. So I figured when I came off that bridge, I'd better damn well be flying.

So I stood up and went. Wheeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!
And then up came the bridge.
And rainbow connection went out of my head, and song 1, the annoying song of the day, came on again.
And I stood up and went up the bridge, and came flying down the other side. Up ahead at the parking entrance, I could see DH's jersey and I could see he was digging for the camera and I could see he was not ready to take my picture (I guess he was not expecting me so soon, eh?)

I fly in and see him with the camera and I started laughing.

Here I am, flying in laughing, at 3:05 or so...

http://img167.imageshack.us/img167/9127/seacoastcentury023op5.th.jpg (http://img167.imageshack.us/my.php?image=seacoastcentury023op5.jpg)


09-24-2007, 04:29 AM
It's almost like I was there! What a great post. Thanks, Anj, for all the detail!

Next year.....:D

09-24-2007, 06:49 AM
P.S. Patti, sorry I didn't call you.
I meant to.
I got caught up in all the newness and just registered and off I went.
I thought of you when I got to the fort but it was too early.

09-24-2007, 07:11 AM
Wow, I can't believe you did the Amesbury/Seabrook portion last... We did it first, last year and got it out of the way. There was little traffic at 7:30 AM.
A very good description.

09-24-2007, 08:54 AM
We arrived in the parking lot at 7:15. The registration line was long and slow so we decided that we'd to the southern loop then come back. This was suggested by one of the volunteers. This loop is about 17 miles of flat, boring road. Most of it on a main road with a nicer loop down into a residential neighborhood. We got back to the start in about an hour. We checked in and used the facilities. While we were there another group of friends were arriving to start their ride. We decided to wait for them and all headed out together on the northern loop. I was time restricted and had to be back by 11:15 so I only rode another 10 miles out. The others went on and I headed back. There was a pretty strong headwind and there seemed to be nobody heading my way so I rode the 10 miles back alone. I flew out on the tail wind but slogged back at about 12 mph on the way back against the wind.

When I got back to the start, I checked in and then headed up to Ft McClarey to volunteer. I had a wonderful afternoon with the nice folks of GSW and chatted with riders from all over. I made enough peanut butter sandwiched to las a person a lifetime! I had a great day.

09-24-2007, 09:44 AM
PAP, you did it right.
Next year, I'm doing as you and Robyn say and doing the southern loop first.

Top ten parts of the ride:

10: Seeing the trays of oreos, free for the taking.
9: Passing guys
8: The 360 degree left-turning curve outside of Portsmouth, with rosehips on one side, the ocean dead ahead, a slight downhill... wheeeeee!!!
7: Jimmy Eat World song "The Middle" coming on in my head around mile 50.
6: The roofers whistling and cheering the riders on.
5: Did I mention the oreos?
4: The ocean view I got a peak at as I drafted 21 mph behind Mister Speedy
3: A second wind at mile 94
2: Watching Mister Indy jump, bike and all, over a roadkill, while going 21 mph, and yelling "roadkill!" (I did not jump my bike over the roadkill, but politely swerved.)
1: Being alone for the last 5 miles, no other riders around, just me, the ugly honkytonk t-shirt shop lined road, the wind, and my head.

p.s. the peanut butter sandwiches were deelish. Thank you PAP and ALL THE VOLUNTEERS!!!! You guys rock.

09-24-2007, 07:19 PM
awesome details, thank you! I really felt like I knew what you were going through [it doesn't hurt that I did the Salisbury MA to Kittery ME section at the end of August] on the ride. I hate the part around Hampton Beach too, once the traffic is coming in. It definitely detracts from the rest of the very pretty route.

Great accomplishment and congratulations! It sounds like you had a very good time on the bike, and after all isn't that what we really are after? And a century to boot, nice!