Sea Gull Century

It has been two days now since the ride and now I have the time to sit and write this out, I found an Octoberfest after the ride and was not “inclined” to do anything yesterday :)

Started Saturday early, 5:00, already had the car loaded with my bike, shoes, helmet, kit and snacks, don’t know why.. we only live 45 minutes from the start. The registration opened at 6:00, start time was 7:00, I was parked and ready to roll at 6:15… too early and I had to wait around a bit. I managed to wait 25 minutes before I jumped the gun and took off… along with several other riders too. It was around 55 and my hands were a little cold, by a fine morning for a ride. Around the 18 mile mark, I saw something odd ahead of me… a unicycle! (see the album) I rode next to the man,, didn’t get his name, and he was riding a modified rig with time trial bars and a tri-seat mounted on a rail system he designed himself. We were doing 15 mph and talking away, until we got a stop light. I believe he was from South America, judging from the words he uttered.. seems it takes up to 5 minutes for him to re-mount his ride. I didn’t get to see him again and hope he did make it the whole ride as he was planning to.
Rest stop at 21 miles, and got into a pace line with a tandem (they blew by me earlier), and two other riders and was invited to join them. After it was my turn to pull, I was passed by one other rider and he accelerated a bit, only 20 mph, and when I looked back, we had gained 6 more riders… but lost the original four. I rode with these guys for the next 40-45 miles and they hurt me. I think I need to do more training :) We made good time until through the 40 mile rest stop then onto the 60 mile lunch break. That was when we went into the wind. I managed to keep up with the group until mile 70 and I started falling behind. The leader would drop back and help me drag back on to the tail and I managed to hold on a bit longer. Then the cramps began. Ouch. I asked the leader to go and I’d catch up, if I could, with them at the next rest stop, only 8 miles away. By this time the group had slowed and were waiting on us. I told them to go and have a good ride and I enjoyed riding with them. Hope they continued their pace as I lost them. Did I mention they kicked my butt?? ;) After the last rest stop, (which I did not get the pie and ice cream – didn’t think I needed to put it on to my tummy;), I dawdled along at 15 to 16 mph and was getting passed by everyone.. okay it just seemed that way. With the wind and sun out, it was very pleasant finishing the last 20 miles considering I started cramping in both calves (sounds like I have two small bovines in pain…), but I still managed to make it back before 2:00, pretty darn good for me.
Lessons learned: I need to train more! Apparently dawdling along on the back roads is not enough if I want to ride with the big dogs.
Drink more water and stop leaving my gels in the car, I mean really, they are for during the ride moron. :)
All in all I had a great time and can’t wait for the next ride.