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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Virginia
    Posts
    21

    Unhappy Century went on...

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    Well, the century went on despite the tragic turn of events this past week. It was actually good for me to get out and ride and get away from the constant news flashes.

    There was good news and bad news. The bad news was the weather brought in a cold front and gusting winds. I wore shorts, knee warmers, long sleeved jersey and a PI wind vest. The knee warmers did well until we reached the first rest stop. After we got back on the bikes the right knee warmer slid down past my knee like an old lady with knee high hose down on her ankels! It was quite a sight. I had to ride that way for 20 miles.

    The bad news was sand on the roads. SAND IS THE ENEMY!!!! I beleive they had recently resurfaced the roads with small gravel and poured sand on top. It was 2-3 inches deep at the intersections and in long patches all along the roads. It covered the road markers so we had to come to a stop and look at the map to find out which way to go. How many cyclists does it take to read a map? HAHA. The first 13 miles were literally covered with sand.

    The second bad news was the constant and gusting winds. At one point I was pulling on the front ( which I should not be doing in a group because the weight watchers diet really does work and I am quite small now) and we hit a bridge that crossed an opening to the James river and it almost blew me over sideways. I really had to fight to stay upright.

    The third bad news is I thought it was going to be flat. I should know better. The hills were pretty short but steep. I can make it to the top of a hill pretty fast, the problem is I have nothing left to keep going after reaching the top. Next year I will have to work on hills.

    The good news is I had a friend meet me down there and we found a great group to hook up with. They had nice bikes but were not racers and ended up being really strong riders and very nice people to spend the day with. They had an advantage over us because they knew the roads and each others riding styles but they welcomed us into their pack. They were just a little stronger than we were but it kept us going for the first 50 miles. I am sure they could have dropped us if they felt it were necessary. There were even 3 other women in the group and they were strong!

    The route consisted of 3 loops of 50,27 & 25 miles which all ended at the starting point. This was great because it allowed us to drop off the top layer after the first 50 miles. 2 riders in our group opted out at 50 mile point and they were grateful they were not 50 miles out with no choice but to ride back to the car. I almost quit but they said "you are coming aren't you?" and it gave me the energy to go on to the 27 mile loop. After that only 3 of us finished the last loop to complete the century. We were really fighting the wind and I was trying not to look at my computer to see how slow I was going. When I reached the 100 mile mark I was by myself fighting the gusting headwind and looked at my computer to see that I was going all of 12.7 mph. I was greatful when another friend came up in front of me and got us up to a whopping 15.5 mph.

    I was hoping for an average of 19 -20 but ended up with 17.9. This was really not bad considering the conditions.

    The Penninsula Bicycle Association did not have control over the weather or the roads. The things they had control over were very good. The rest stops were stocked with the right food and had clean bathrooms/port-a-johns. The atmosphere was warm and friendly and the people were just great. They even sent me home with a bag full of bagels. I will do it again next year and hope I can find the same group to ride with.
    Last edited by Mary T.; 09-17-2001 at 04:04 AM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Wyoming
    Posts
    8
    Sounds like an excellent pace, given the circumstances, Mary. I did an 8-mile time trial last week. With the headwinds and slight uphill on the out leg, I was doing 10 mph. Even 34 mph on the back leg didn't get my average mph much over 16.

    I really enjoyed reading your report. It was a pleasant break from the rest of the distressing news these days. So... thanks!

    Lin

 

 

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