Friday, July 3, 2009

THE century of this CENTURY !

Around 9am i roll out of bed and head over to Sam's house for some breakfast. We have a little coffee and scrambled eggs with some background chit-chat. I smile when i see the orange Masi sprint frame in the living room -- Masi Mark had ridden down the night before to join us on the first half of what would be a bit longer than a 100 mile ride.
We hit the road at about 10am. It's a little chilly -- in the 65 degree range -- but only because we've grown accustomed to 95 degree temperatures with 80% humidity. Once we've gone 15 miles or so our legs are getting warmed up and we're averaging 20 miles per hour. I know this won't last the whole trip, but it still feels good to be in a comfortable cruise at this speed.
The route is a familiar one for the first 20 miles or so, but once we've passed Lake Lemon I start to pick my head up and look around at an unfamiliar view. We chose to take a less direct route with more back roads and hills, and i'm glad we did. It was a much more scenic route than my boring, flat, noisy, and frightening trip using State Road 37. A lot of rolling hills and farmland made this ride a much more enjoyable one (visually speaking). I often found myself wishing that i had a camera or commenting on how pretty the ride was.
At the quarter mark, we took a break and stretched a bit to get the blood flowing back into our feet -- and any other parts of us that were falling asleep. It was a strange stop. Morgantown is a pretty small town, so we really got some strange stares from local folks. Most people had dirt or drywall dust on them, and were obviously the hard-working type. So our lycra clad forms standing in a parking lot munching on Cliff bars and drinking water probably left them scratching their heads a bit. Maybe strange is the wrong word ... awkward could be a better one.
A few short miles later, we were back into the open farmland and i was smiling again. From the stop in Morgan town to the start of Indianapolis yeilded only three points of interest ( aside from the scenery) : two mutts decided to try and push our pace a bit when they came running from their owners yard at us, barking all the while. it wasn't too scary, just surprising. Even more surprising was when we rounded a turn 5 miles down the road to have it happen AGAIN ! Only this time it was one dog, a beagle. When i realized this i slowed down and took a sigh of relief, only to look ahead and see that Sam and Mark are 30 yards ahead of me ! Still pedaling their hearts out ! Soon they realized they weren't in danger of getting bitten and slowed back down. Once i caught up we all had a good laugh about it and were silently glad we didn't have to get a rabies shot.
The third point of note was the rain. It wasn't so much a point as it was a steady presence for the rest of our ride to Indy. It started around the 46 mile mark and didn't let up until we had reached our destination, Joe's Cycles.
Once we made it to Fountain Square and saw the familiar store front, my stomach started grumbling. Until that point i had been so focused on everything else that i hadn't realized how hungry i was ! Fortunately, a pizza place was right across the street -- making the food choice pretty clear. With a little food in our belly, we took a breather at Joe's and chatted with Shawn a bit. We had ridden 60 miles and were feeling pretty good still. Mark said his goodbyes and went home, while we set back out on the road -- riding the exact route we had just finished... only the opposite direction this time.
The rain showed itself again, but only for 5 miles or so. The beagle wasn't there to greet us this time, but the two mutts were. We rode by them before they had a chance to realize we were there, so their reaction wasn't quite as aggressive as before. The stop in Morgantown was no less strange than the last time ... nor awkward. This time we saw a younger crowd of kids. Before we witnessed the middle aged and elderly aspects of Morgantown, and now the teens and tweens showed their faces. They didn't give off the hard-working vibe like the older folks...more of the angsty dressed entirely in black to match their disposition vibe.
Oh well, to each their own. We had ground to cover, and were ready to get home. The trip back through Lake Lemon was a tough one. The hills are pretty difficult on a fixed gear, especially after you've ridden 90 miles before you meet one. We struggled through and made it up them, taking solace in the fact that those were the last tough hills we would face. The rest were fairly tame and the majority of the ride would be flat ( or as flat as Bloomington gets).
A few groups of roadies passed us, and i couldn't help myself ... I sprinted up to ride their draft for a few miles. Not because I needed them to pull me along, but because i wanted them to look back and see us right on their wheel. Riding the same road they were riding, and still keeping up with them... only we had 90+ miles under our belt to their 20. That was just the pick-me-up Sam and I needed mentally to make the rest of the ride into Bloomington a happy one.
A couple protein drinks, a shower, and a generous application of Tiger Balm and I am feeling a bit tired. It was a tough ride for us, but a pretty impressive one. For my second century and Sam's first one our results were: 120.56 miles, 7:03'33, 17mph avg, max 37.8mph. Mark's max was 43.3 and Sam's max was between 44 and 44.5 ... all our max out speeds were down Lake Lemon hill. Sam rode 50 x 16, I rode 48 x 15 ( a bit easier than my last century at 49 x 15 ), and Mark rode 48 x 16.

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