so... It was one of my goals this year to do a century ride... when I found out the ADA (American diabetes association) would have a metric century option (thats about 62 miles) I jumped at the chance...
I logged a good bit of miles over the last few months (not near as many as I'd have liked but whatever)... I talked a few guys from my club into riding... only 3 of us but wow it was great to get to know a few guys I didn't know (club web page is awesome for networking)
it started yesterday night... I filled my bottles, semi went over my bike, lubed the chain, got all my stuff laid out on the table ready to rock n roll... got ready for bed... being that registration was from 6-7am and the mapping program said i was about an hr from the start location I set my alarm clock for 5am or so I thought... at about 5:30am my wife wakes me up... seems I set it for PM... i've got a bad habit of doing that grr... I rushed to get everything into the van grab an extra water and a banana for breakfast... thankfully it took closer to 35-40 min to get there... had about 20 min to get geared up registered and ready to roll with my club boys... I'll mention that i'm no morning person... but it was a gorgeous day out... the cool air was refreshing... I was ready for an awesome adventure
heres a few pics of the gorgious sunrise I got to see while crossing the garcon point bridge
click to enlarge thumbnails.
there was a good turn out... from what the announcer guy said they expected about 150 participants... they got over 300... for being the 1st tour de cure ride in the area they where surprised... thats a good thing
anyway we found someone to snag a pre ride group shot of our team
from L to right thats me (Mark, Dustin, Carlos) yes i'm a little out of place with both my 29er and me being a big dude.
so off to the races we went... well... we went in planning to FINISH the ride... taking it easy... stop at the rest areas if we needed and to overall enjoy the awesome route the Tour took us on... it was great... lots of water front... some neat historical areas in pensacola... and 3 different bridges (3 mile bridge wasn't near the intimidator I thought it would be... while riding I got to chat a good bit with both my group and a few other guys on the tour... everyone was real friendly.
heres a map of the route...
we had a little bit of a head wind going east... but it wasn't horrid... we tucked into a pace line a few times to battle the wind (which wasn't really that bad thanks to us being shielded by houses, buildings and tress) we knew there would be a NICE tailwind on the last 20 or so miles... which would be on the beach road that they just re-opened a month or so back... there was a large rest stop at around the 40 mile mark... so we stopped off, got a few PBJ and bananas in our gut refilled our bottles... we prob hung out for about 15 min... decided it was time to get back out... up to that point we'd averaged 14.8mph... about the pace I wanted to keep for the day... very easy pace... anyway... over the bridge and onto the beach we went... we ended up catching up to another large group in pretty short order and started a nice line... averaging a sweet 20mph pace... that was until on mile 52... i hear PLINK... and the rear end starts getting squirly... around the 10 mile mark I found i'd broken a spoke... only because carlos told me i needed to get my wheel trued up... at that point i figured... meh i'll be OK as long as i'm not to hard on the wheel... so this wasn't completely unexpected... after a short stop to assess the situation I decided i'd just ride it as far as I could... if i couldn't finish (being so close to the finish) one of the guys would finish then come back and let me finish on their bike... I chugged a long slowly for the next 2 miles... hitting as high as 15mph... about which time i hear another PLINK... yup another spoke... 3 gone on the drive side of a 32 spoke wheel... thankfully i'm running discs... at this point I figured what is it going to do if i keep riding... snap another i suppose maybe... I pedal along... I found that if i only went pretty slow the bike just tossed back and forth so much... if i kept it over 15mph it smoothed out a lot... even more so if i kept my weight on my hands way up on the horns of the titec H bars... ended up catching up to my guys a few min later at the rest area... when you gotta go you gotta go ... we rode the rest of the way "home" together... most of the way rolled around 18mph or so... smoothed out the ride a lot... completely expected to pop another spoke but it never happen... we had one more bridge... I pushed up it pretty hard to keep over 15mph if I could... cumming back down i hit 28mph... lots of weight on the front wheel and bleeding speed with the front brake... didn't feel like finding out what would happen if i broke another spoke doing those kinds of speeds haha... we rolled up towards the finishline where my family was... was pretty kewl... rode up and gave em high 5's as I rolled by ... they are 4 and 5 y/o... doesn't take much to excite them I suppose haha... I finished the ride with a 15.2mph average which I was very happy with all said and done my computer said 63 miles... so I must have it dialed in pretty close (that includes the short jaunt to the bathrooms and to the car)
me in all my nasty glory of finishing 62 miles...
our group finished...
and I couldn't help myself...
all said and done I raised $370 so far... it's a bit under my original $500 goal... but that was my fault for not mailing out my fund raiser papers like i'd planned (moving around and the new job ate a lot of time)... if you'd like to donate a little the ADA is still accepting money (haha) http://main.diabetes.org/goto/MarkThomas
the PORC team received $1572
I would like to thank those who have donated...
and on a last side note... I want to give major probs to this guy... I wish I knew his name... he's a paraplegic (non working legs) and headed up a large team (the team we paced with on the last 20 till my spoke problems) he pedaled every inch of the ride with his arms... realy makes you think about how good we have it... and how bad our excuses are... from what I'm told he is also an amazing tennis player... he just put on a wheel chair tennis tournament a week or so ago...
I can't wait to do this ride again next year... if you have something like this in the area try it out... toss some slicks on your MTB and roll out...
anyway... I want to thank Dustin and Carlos for not making this into a hammer fest and make it something memorable for me it was an awesome experience... I really enjoyed just putzin along chit chatting and getting to know ya'll
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