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Seagull Century

by on October 10, 2010

This Ride: 101.5 miles
Kona Distance: 4,038 miles
Month to date: 228 miles
2010 Total: 4,524.5 miles
Pace to 5,254.8 mile goal in 2010: (340 miles ahead of goal pace)

It is done! It was a great ride! It exceeded all expectations!

For those who don’t want to read a lengthy ride report, here is the abbreviated version:

Five of us, including Mike B, his brother and uncle Dave, Jerry (from Catonsville), and Jeff S. (not Shultz) met and launched at around 7:12 am with over 8000 of our other friends.  We rode together for a few miles as we were getting our legs moving, but soon Dave, Jerry, and I were off the front and rode together most of the ride.  We gradually picked up the pace, until we had one 5 mile “lap” averaging 22.5 mph!  We established our own small pace line, and more often than not picked up other riders rather than attaching ourselves to pace lines going by us.  At the 64 mile rest stop, I had an average of 20.3 mph for the ride.  From there, it was all headwind to the finish.  I rode some stretches solo, and struggled with keeping the speed up because of the headwind, my fatigue, and the solo riding.  I finished the 101.5 miles in just under 5:14 and total ride time (including rest stops) was 6:13.  That makes moving average of 19.4 mph for the ride … quite an accomplishment I’m very proud of.

Now, for those wanting a longer ride report, keep reading:

Lori and I drove to Ocean City on Friday.  We had a motel there.  With a last minute change of plans, our other housing option fell through, and Ocean City was the closest motel we could find.

Saturday morning, I woke at 4:15 to start getting ready and to prepare for the 45 minute drive into Salisbury.  We arrived in plenty of time, and were able to park in the garage convenient to the start.  I wrestled with appropriate clothing for the 56 degree start, and decided to err on the side of caution with long fingered gloves, shoe covers, arm warmers, and a wind vest (yes, I had a wind vest).  I’m glad I made those choices, as the temperature dropped and I changed gloves at mile 23 and the arm warmers & vest came off around mile 43.  The Garmin said the temperature dropped to 48 in the early part of the ride.  It might have come close.

Mike B. was running a little late, so we didn’t meet up until about 7:00, connected with his brother, his Uncle Dave, Jeff Sho…, and Jerry from Catonsville (who had ridden with SPP a few Friendly Fridays ago).  We saw Chip at the start.  Chip rode a 200 K permanent starting at 8:pm Friday night, and was getting ready to start the 100 miler.  At 7:12 we were off on our planned leisurely pace of 16 mph.

Well, that didn’t last long.  Although it was a jovial fun start to the ride, soon Uncle Dave was off the front.  I was torn, wanting to ride with Mike but he was riding support for his brother who had never ridden this distance before.  Soon I found myself cranking up to a comfortable speed and Jerry hung on my wheel content to draft as I was pulling a comfortable 19-20 mph, surprising myself.  Uncle Dave allowed us to catch up, and soon this group of 3 was riding a comfortable pace that just kept increasing.  By the first rest stop at mile 23, we had one 5 mile stretch with 21.9 mph average.  Although we didn’t really need the rest stop, we stopped.  I grabbed a banana,  some fig bars, and ate a few bites of a bagel.  I didn’t want to overload, but did want a little bit in my belly.

Soon we were off again, and we proved that the pace was not a fluke.  In fact, the next 15 miles was completed in just over 31 minutes, with 5 mile splits at 22.5, 21.5, & 21.5 mph averages.  This was feeling great!  The next mini rest stop was at mile 43 and contained just water and Gatorade.  Mike, his brother, and Jeff caught us there.  They skipped the first rest stop in an attempt to catch us.  We linked up and continued the ride with a little larger pace group as some others latched on to our wheels.

The next stretch was on the road to Assateague.  We maintained averages over 20 mph and our pace line was continually changing as some dropped off and others jumped on.  We were the consistent riders.  We were passed by a few well organized teams, but their speed was much faster than we wanted to try.  At one intersection, our group was split by an oncoming car with the right of way.  I was the last one across before the car crossed the route.  So our new paceline was smaller, but kept collecting riders as we went.  At one point, I had the scare of my life.  We were riding fast, and suddenly from ahead I heard a rumbling noise.  I thought someone had fallen and was looking for the safe exit at 22 mph when all of a sudden my bike began to vibrate aggressively.  The last half of the pace line had hit the rumble strips along the side of the highway.  Soon we were off the rumble strip and on smooth pavement again.  Somewhere along this stretch of road, Bryan and Jeff from SPP passed us going a little faster in another pace line, and I jumped on their wheels, riding with them for a few miles to the bridge to Assageague.  After riding such a flat course, that bridge looked like a mountain.  Within minutes we were at the rest stop on the island.

It was here that I discovered that I had a 20.3 mph average over the first 63 miles.  Wow!  That’s without a plan, and with a 16 mph average the first 5 miles!  We lingered at this rest stop chowing down on chocolate chip cookies, banana bread, fruit and topping off the water/Gatorade.  Little did I know that the ride was really just starting.

Mike announced he was backing off the pace some.  He was starting to think a lot about his planned 200k ride on Sunday, and supporting his brother.  Jerry, Uncle Dave, and I started out together, but Dave took off and Jerry and I were left to catch up.  It was then we noticed the headwind that I heard dozens describe as brutal.  We put our heads down, peddled hard, and struggled to maintain 18-19 mph averages.  Jerry did a lot of pulling.  We soon caught up to Dave and he pulled for a good long while.  When he started to fade we grabbed the lead, but soon I found myself riding with Dave a good half mile back from Jerry.  I decided to try to bridge the gap, catch Jerry to have him slow down so that we all could ride together.  (At one point a few miles earlier he had asked me to slow my lead pace to allow Dave to catch up.)  I worked to bridge the gap into the headwind, but succeeded only to close within about 30 yards and couldn’t finish what I had started.  I had gone into the anaerobic zone and just didn’t have enough left.  As I was slowing, Jeff & Bryan passed again, and I grabbed their wheel and used the pace line to catch Jerry, let him know the status of our group, and within about a mile we stopped to let Dave catch up.  I look back now and we could have simply ridden another couple of miles to the next rest stop and waited there.  Oh well.  That mistake would cost me dearly the last 15 miles.

It was at the rest stop at mile 84 that we had pie and ice cream in addition to all the other regular items.  I had a little cherry pie and some ice cream, not that it was a good idea, just that it was being offered.  Soon we were on our way again, but with only about 18 miles to go, it was now getting to be every rider for themselves for the sprint to the finish.  Jerry went off strong, and soon he was gone.  I wasn’t able to hold his wheel any longer.  Dave dropped off my wheel (but later passed me … where I don’t know, and neither does he).  I rode alone for quite some distance until I found one rider to draft behind.  Drafting one rider is not the same as drafting multiple!  He and I shared the lead, as the headwind continued to pound us, but soon he was gone and although I was riding the slowest pace of the last 95 miles, I was still passing a lot of people.  Jeff and Bryan passed with about 6 miles left, and I was just not able or willing to grab their wheels.  (They spent a lot of time at rest stops!)

When the odometer turned over to 100 miles (1.5 miles from the finish) I checked the Garmin and the rolling time read 5 hours 9 minutes.  I tried to call my family to tell them when I would be arriving, but got no answer.  I pushed on, and found myself getting a little emotional seeing the tunnel to the finish, hearing the congratulation announcement, and riding into the finish apron where my family and others were cheering me on. It was a good ride.

Total rolling time for 101.5 miles = 5 hours 13 minutes 30 seconds

Total rolling time for 100 miles = 5 hours 9 minutes

Rolling average speed = 19.4 mph

Total Elapsed time (including rest stops) = 6 hours 13 minutes

Total Enjoyment = Absolutely!

From → Cycling

One Comment
  1. Great job! The pace you set is something I can only dream about – well done! Your descriptions have peeked my interest in the Seagull for next year. It sounds like a lot of fun.

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