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Ride Report: Door County Century(31 posts)

Ride Report: Door County Centurynoveread
Sep 9, 2003 6:48 PM
Early this season I had planned to do the Door county Century (DCC). It's in a picturesque part of Wisconsin and I'd heard good things about this particular century, not the least of which is that it is a good century to do as your first organized century. I also happen to work for the State Assemblyman who represents Door County, so in a way, I'd be "working" (little did I know). So, I made the DCC my first organized century and my second century ever.

Dave K. and I drove up to Door County on Saturday morning. We arrived at the high school in Institute a short while before registration opened at 3pm. Registration was in the gymnasium, where several area bike shops had set up for the weekend. If you forgot something at home, you could pick it up here. Good prices too, I picked up a USPS cap for $7.

After registration, Dave and I went up to Sister Bay where we were staying and then hopped on the bikes for short little ride over to Fish Creek and Penninsula State Park. We took in Skyline Drive which has some beautiful vistas. Then we rode over to where Paul and family were camping. Carl and JPE were there as well and we finalized plans to meet the next morning at 7am with departure time from the high school to be 7:30am. With everything set, Dave and I left to return to Sister Bay while there was still light. Next was dinner, hang out for a bit, then to bed.

The next morning I was up early in anticipation. No doubt a bit nervous too since everybody's favorite love ride leaders Dave S. and Greg were signed up as today's slave drivers... (What WAS I thinkin'?) Anyway, we take off from Institute right at 7:30am on the button. JPE was a bit excited and was already gone by then having been sucked in by some other group's announcement of "let's go!" Though with the pace Dave and Greg set at the start, it would not be long before we caught the group he left with!
It's early, we're all strong this time of day!noveread
Sep 9, 2003 6:49 PM
Conditions were perfect for the DCC. Temperature at the start was 60 degrees. Just warm enough so we could leave all extra clothing in our cars and not have to carry it around all day! Early on, everyone is relishing the conditions as well as full energy reserves.
Green Baynoveread
Sep 9, 2003 6:51 PM
The first rest stop was about an hour in, which meant 22-23 miles or so! We're really moving along quickly! I'm already thinking to myself "there is no way I am going to finish this century at this infernal pace!"
Mmmmm, food....noveread
Sep 9, 2003 6:52 PM
The rest stops were well stocked! This first one was my favorite with tons of bagels (along with your choice of topping) and cookies and loads of water and gatorade. Half a bagel with peanut butter and some gatorade hit the spot!
Fish Creeknoveread
Sep 9, 2003 6:54 PM
The first half of the section between the 1st and 2nd rest stops was pretty flat. We motored along and absolutely flew down the long gradual descent into Fish Creek. Here's a shot as we come into Fish Creek. The guy in the green jersey there, no, it's not Baden, but he did come up to me at the next rest stop remarking about how our group was just flying, and especially up the hills (in the park).
Group swells in size...noveread
Sep 9, 2003 6:55 PM
Here's another shot of Fish Creek. Somebody said that our group was like a magnet being swept through a pile of iron shavings, picking riders up all the time.
Penninsula State Parknoveread
Sep 9, 2003 6:57 PM
Now we are headed through Penninsula State Park. The boys up front were keeping a strong pace. They apparently had aims to shed some baggage on the climb to Eagle's Bluff.
That is Beautiful Countrypeter1
Sep 9, 2003 6:58 PM
To this northeasterners' eyes, Door County resembles parts of Maine. I spent a week there a few years ago and thought it would be great for riding.

Where are the goats on the roof of the Swedish restaurant??
Goats on the roof...noveread
Sep 9, 2003 7:14 PM
That's Al Johnson's place in Sister Bay. Al married a Sweedish woman. Who, I've been told, is a little, uh, rough... to deal with...

The Empty Wrapper
Like this pic...noveread
Sep 9, 2003 6:59 PM
The park is a great place to ride with many outstanding views. This is the last picture I took before the main climb of the whole century, the climb to Eagle's Bluff. It's not very long, but it tops out at over 12% so the opportunity to shed some hangers-on was available. I myself didn't go to the -absolute- limit up the climb and just got tailed off the core group at the top. I latched back on very quickly though.
Second (and third) rest stopnoveread
Sep 9, 2003 7:00 PM
The second rest stop was also the third rest stop for those riders doing the 100 mile option. Another great rest stop with lots of food and stuff! They even had an extensive first aid kit so I could get some medical tape to cover my, well, you know... While we were at this stop, I checked out my HRM. This stop was around mile 45 or so, and to this point, my average heart rate was 167bpm. Oh yeah, this is Greg. He looks a little sheepish doesn't he? The rest stops are the only time I can get a picture of him, otherwise, he's at the front of the group hammering away.
Peace? This is anything but a love ride!noveread
Sep 9, 2003 7:02 PM
Maybe 150yds from the second rest stop is a tractor sign. Dave K. had a good jump on Dave S. and took out the sprint. I thought it was quite funny to watch these antics but little did I know this was going to be one tough section for me.

Here's a shot of Dave K. and Carl. Everybody looks happy don't they?
Going hard...noveread
Sep 9, 2003 7:04 PM
I found the pace during this section to be downright BRUTAL! I was working very hard just to hold the wheel infront of me! Compare this shot to the one from earlier on in the ride. No happy-go-lucky blob of riders here. This is a tight single-file paceline.
"Rolling Through"noveread
Sep 9, 2003 7:05 PM
This single paceline was pretty much the rule between rest stops 2 and 3. Rolling through!
Sep 5, 2003 7:57 AM
As we were headed back west, the Crono boys on the front were being taunted by some carrot. So, the pace lifted, and on a gradual rise at about mile 70 I was dropped. What made it worse was the fact that this rise was right next to the guest house where I was staying. Ohh, it was so tempting to pack it in. But for some [stupid] reason I soldiered on, and a few moments later saw Sieloff coming back for me. He towed me back to the group pretty quick. By the time we got to the third rest stop, my average heart rate for the whole ride had risen to 172bpm.

By this point I was getting far too tired to take pictures while riding. The section between rest stop 3 and 4 was also pretty hard for me and one particular road had a horrible surface. I felt and sounded like a train as my bike went ka-chunk, ka-chunk, ka-chunk across the cracked road surface. This is a picture from the 4th rest stop at Jacksonport.
Beautiful road...noveread
Sep 9, 2003 7:08 PM
After the fourth rest stop, for some strange reason, I started feeling good. I dunno what happened, but from mile 90 to about mile 98 I felt the best I had since mile 3! I even hopped into the double paceline which was quite fun. I was working hard but hangin' in there. I wonder if my brain was hiding something from me?
Beautiful countryTNRyder
Sep 9, 2003 7:22 PM
Wow, nice ride report! How do you take the pictures while riding? I sure do miss trees living in N. Texas right now.
pictures while ridingnoveread
Sep 10, 2003 6:15 AM
my camera sits in the right hand pocket of my jersey with the strap hanging out. When I want my camera, I stick my hand through the strap then pull the camera out. That way, I can pull out my camera, take a pic, and put the camera back with only one hand, with no chance of dropping the camera.

The Empty Wrapper
All done (in more ways than one)...noveread
Sep 9, 2003 7:12 PM
At around the century mark, folks were watching their cyclo-computers for the rolling of the numbers. By this point, I was feeling really awful. Alas, little did I know, my body was about to blow, big time. Somewhere between mile 101 and 102, it was over, and I mean OVER! Oh it was ugly! I trickled in a bit after the group, my computer said 5 hours flat (riding time) for the distance. Faster than JPE 'cause he left with that other group that morning! :)

Here's a snapshot of my HRM, follow the green line (speed) and you can see when the lights went out at the very end!

I just had to chill out for a while at the car once I finished. I was so tired I literally could not see straight. Figuring I was going to be tired (though didn't anticipate this wasted), I had already planned not to return to Madison today as most other were. It's a good thing I had planned this as I would have been a hazard out there!

After a rest, I gathered my bags and headed back to the high school. The locker rooms and showers were open to us to use before we headed over to the cafeteria for a spaghetti dinner. It had to be the biggest plate of spaghetti I have ever consumed! It was great! I skipped the pie and ice cream though, no more room! I had a great time on the DCC. I didn't see as much of Door County as I had anticipated though! Good thing I wasn't banking on the century to get lots of viewing of the county in! :)

That's it!

The Empty Wrapper
Great Ride Nove....but I miss the cows :-) (NM)Scot_Gore
Sep 9, 2003 7:18 PM
We're heading off the Door Co. next week...crosscut
Sep 9, 2003 7:45 PM
Great report! Congrats on the excellent century ride. My wife and I have vacationed in Door County several times in the past and we're heading off there next week. On previous trips I rode the same roads you picture, and it's pretty nice country. I love the state park. My wife isn't much of a rider, so she sticks to the park, but we have a great time. One year we rented a tandem to test our marriage. We're still married. The best part about Door County is the weather. Always refreshingly cool and crisp this time of year. I can't wait to hit the roads there next week!
What HRM do you use? -nm-tmotz
Sep 9, 2003 8:00 PM
Good Pics and Nice report...looked like alot of fun! "nm"CARBON110
Sep 10, 2003 5:44 AM
HAC4 nmnoveread
Sep 10, 2003 6:03 AM
And the hits just keep on comin' from Nov!hrv
Sep 10, 2003 7:06 AM
First you show riding around Madison, were I lived for 17 years and met my wife, then you show Door County, were we visited many, many times and honeymooned in Peninsula Park!
Will this grand nostalgia parade ever end?!!

OK, you've more than earned a place to stay here in Hood River, located in North Central Oregon (the state, not the city!) and experience riding beyond description. Almost impossible to do a century with less than 8K of climbing (but think of the descents!). BTW, was your altimeter stuck, or is Door County really that flat?

I'm black and blue from kicking myself for not getting into biking more when I lived there. Awesome riding and a hotbed for racing. If I did I wouldn't be feeling like each race now, at 48 yrs. old and only biking for 2 years, is gonna put me in intensive care!

Thanks again and looking forward to future travels down memory lane.

Heh-heh, I aim to please!noveread
Sep 10, 2003 9:30 AM
As far as Door County being flat, yeah, it generally is, and century definitely is, which is another reason why it is such a good choice as someone's first century.

However, that being said, if you wanted, you could do a very hilly ride in Door County. On the west side of the penninsula, the niagra escarpment is quite exposed. From the shore-side towns there the climbs are short, but steep. On one descent, we even had switchbacks. On Saturday, when we rode over to Fish Creek, we racked up a significant amount of climbing in a very short amount of time.

The Empty Wrapper
Sep 11, 2003 6:22 AM
You say you keep your camera in your jersey pocket, how do you keep it from getting all sweaty? Also what camera and model do you use, digital or film?

Two years back a couple buddies and I did a week vacation in door county, camping at different state parks and riding a couple days out of each park before moving on to the next park. Penninsula was our second park we stayed at, did the big climb there every morning to get out to the highway. Your photos brought back memories of that trip, thanks for sharing

Ride in Peace, Mike
Sep 11, 2003 7:57 AM
Couple of things, first, if it is a short ride or I know that the jersey is not likely to get real wet, I just put the camera in the pocket with the lense away from my back. That way, moisture stays away from the lense.

If I figure it is likely to get too wet, I take a ziplock bag and put a piece of scotch tape on each corner to make a tab. Then, I use a safety pin and attach the bag to the bottom of the jersey pocket through the tape tabs. Keeps the bag secured in the jersey when I pull the camera out.

The camera is a Sony P7 3megapixel. For me, the 3megpxl is enough of a camera as I know I can get good 8"x10" prints out of it and know that I really am never going to print anything bigger.

The Empty Wrapper
Sep 11, 2003 8:13 AM
I also use a 3.2 megapixel(CanonS230). I like the ziplock bag idea, but I may go a small bit further. I've found the ziplock freezer bags are somewhat thicker and stiffer. Cool idea for carrying the camera, thanks for sharing(again!)

Ride in Peace...Mike
Good Grief that's a flat century :)gray8110
Sep 11, 2003 11:21 AM
I climbed more than that in my wimpy 16 mile post-work ride last night.

All looks fun & fast though. Great pics.
What Date was this ride?MisJG
Sep 14, 2003 8:02 AM
Would love to do this next year. Is there a site with info?