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A great day at the NSA-OCE Century ...(2 posts)

A great day at the NSA-OCE Century ...Humma Hah
Jul 21, 2001 7:09 PM
I just got back from one of the bests rides of my life, a little informal event called the No Shifting Allowed-Or Coasting Either Century. Five riders, two on fixed gear track/road bikes, two on gearie roadbikes, and me on the cruiser.

I admit, I coasted. The gearies did their best not to shift, but I'm told they gave in after a few miles.

I turned in several personal bests.

I did my best overall time for a century, an unremarkable 7:58 at 100 miles. However, my previous best was 8:02, and that run was only 98.4 miles on a one-way route that usually has a tailwind the whole way. I did not record rolling time in the earlier effort, but I did 6:55 on this run, the best I've ever recorded. Average speed at the finish was about 14.4 mph, a speed I usually consider pretty typical for a short local ride.

My first half was simply incredible, for me anyway. At 8 miles, I was averaging 15.9 mph. OK, not fast, but you gotta understand that my best-ever recorded 20-mile informal TT on that hunk of iron and rubber was 16.0 mph on a nearly flat course. At 25 miles I was still averaging 15.7 mph. At the lunch break, 55 miles, I was still averaging 15.1.

This good performance is largely due to the route. The first half rolls a little, but is overall pretty flat. There were NO traffic lights that I can remember, only a few stop signs, mostly pretty good pavement, and very little traffic on these back roads. We may have also had a slight tailwind for the first half. Because it was a local run, I'd had the opportunity to carb load the night before, and get an excellent breakfast, two things that I frequently have trouble doing on a rushed Friday trip to a distant event, and sleeping in a motel. I could feel the difference clearly: I was a ball of fire for 50+ miles. Finally, we started with temperatures in the upper 60's, which rose to around 77 by the lunch break -- perfect for me to give my full effort. I didn't wear the HRM today, but from my breathing I doubt I was more than 5 bpm off my AT for the entire first half. I paid for this in the second half.

My altimeter says we climbed 12800 feet, about the pace of the Death Ride. My altimeter lies, big time. I'd guess climbing was more like 2000-3000 ft. I have a little altimeter troubleshooting to do. Its usually pretty close.

My riding for this week presently stands at 179.3 miles, and I may do a little recovery spin with the wife tomorrow. I believe this is also a personal best. It finished catching me up on my riding goals for the year, and even put me over a week ahead! A few weeks ago I was badly behind.

But the absolute best part of this ride was meeting new friends and exploring new places. Mark and Mercedes are great people, and fixies to boot. And they introduced me to a pile of roads I'd never been on: I doubt I rode even three miles on roads I'd ever been on before, out of 105 total.

The group was laid back, out for fun, and not interested in hammering down the road and losing me. At 8 miles I was still in the pack. Shortly thereafter I could no longer keep up, and watched them slide into the distance. I was content to ride my own pace, something you accept when you ride such an unsuitable mount. So imagine my amazement, at 24 miles, to look in the Third Eye and see the paceline coming up behind me! They'd taken a break, and I'd passed them! And it happened again. Approaching 50 miles, one of the gearies caught up with me. He'd been sent ahead to catch me again after I'd blown past a store where the group had stopped. He wanted to let me know where the lunch stop was planned. Then, pulled ahead, but overshot the sandwich shop, and I beat him there again!

I stopped a little over half an hour for lunch, again for a snack (I was carrying my favorite donuts) at 84 miles, and again at about 92 when I was almost out of ERG, to pick up a quart of GatorAde and an icy drink to cool down with.

I'm quite
Got cut off ... the rest of the post:Humma Hah
Jul 21, 2001 7:21 PM
I'm quite tired now, the kind of tired you get when you know you've done very close to your best.

They're planning a repeat on 29 September. Any of you Northern Virginia riders who would like a route where you may well set a personal record, or newbies looking for an easy place to try your first century at a reasonable pace, and with an easy-going crowd, here's your chance. But mostly, any singlespeeders and fixies out there who'd like to try this road distance without worrying about being shown up, this is YOUR RIDE! They're actively looking for new blood.