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Tour De Forts - CycleCentury

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Jacksonville, Florida
United States
North Florida Bicycle Club
70F / 21C
Total Time = 5h 12m 1s
Overall Rank = /
Age Group =
Age Group Rank = 0/
Pre-race routine:

Woke up at 4:45am ate some peanut butter toast. Had a cup of coffee and loaded up my bike and stuff. Drove to the bike shop to meet up with the rest of the crew. (Rob, Al, Craig, Travis)

We helped Kent and his wife load up his shop stuff and headed to the starting place. (First Coast High School, Jacksonville FL)
Event warmup:

This was/is not a race. We got our bikes ready and milled about smartly.

Kent (the bike store owner) noticed that I was the ONLY one not wearing his shop jersey. (I had on my Brasstown Baldbuster Century jersey) He gave me the look. I explained that it was dirty from yesterdays ride. He hurumphed and tossed me a spare to wear.
  • 5h 12m 1s
  • 106.5 miles
  • 20.48 mile/hr

This was not a race. I had signed up for this for a couple reasons:
1. It was on the weekend of my birthday (easier to get spousal permission)
2. It was cheap. (25 bucks)
3. It was 3 weeks prior to the Brasstown Bald Buster Century.

As it turned out Al had promised Craig that he would be his domestique for this (his first) century. I was ok with helping out with that so I was in. Travis was along for the ride but Rob was skeptical about hanging with the group. He later decided there were enough of us to make it ok.

We started at 7:30am. There were a lot of people on the road so the first few miles were really a pain trying not to crash AND stay together. Once we got out on the open road the riders got stretched out enough that we were able to get into a decent pace line. We were a small part of that paceline and frankly I was glad to get out of it. The accordian was killing me.

The way we got out of that paceline was during a bit of confusion when Craig went one way and we all went the other. Since our stated purpose was to get Craig to the finish line, we doubled back and found him at a rest stop. I took advantage of the restroom and the peanut butter crackers.

Gabe (who I forgot to mention earlier) also caught back up with us at this stop. He had fallen off the back when his computer fell off his bike after hitting a big bump. Gabe was riding in a US Army Team kit. He is a recruiter and I think most of his riding is in triathlons. I only bring this up because as I was sitting on his wheel, I noticed that he was down in aero position while drafting the guy ahead of him. I had to tell him that wasn't such a good idea in a group like this (or ever). He cut it out (for the most part).

We were a smaller group now and I was happy for that. We motored our way up the road only to get confused by the road markings and had to stop for a bit to consult the map (how embarassing) We got back on course and headed for Fort Clinch State Park. We accidently dropped Travis after the turn into the park. I dropped back to help him get back on (twice). He was having troubles getting back up to speed. We rejoined the group just in time for the rest stop in the park (about half way through the ride). More peanut butter crackers. Another restroom break and we were off back through the park.

The ride through the park was a very scenic tree covered route. Out of the park was a right turn towards Yulee. There was a couple times during that stretch that we had to back off for either Travis or Craig [I think].

Workload wise, Al started off the day with the lions share of the pulls. Craig was conserving and would pull off pretty quick{if he took the lead at all}. Rob and I picked up most of the rest of the slack. I was happy to spend some time in front so I could get aero and give my hands a break. Riding on the hoods and tapping my brakes all day was wearing me thin. There were some other riders that jumped in with us when we overtook them. Some of them hung on long enough to help take turns on the front.

We all made it to the Yulee rest stop together where Kent had set up shop. We did the usual water in water out, BS'ed with Kent and his wife (Beth) and then got back on the road. Right after the rest stop is where the Century riders take a different loop. It is 32 mile loop that goes through the middle of nowhere.

It was in this loop that Travis's troubles keeping up really kicked in. We dropped back for him twice before he told us to just go on ahead. We didn't really like leaving him but he said he just wanted to ride his own pace and finish.

None of us were really happy about dropping him but there were plenty of riders for him to join up with and the whole course was being patrolled by motorcyles so we knew he was going to ok if he had a mechanical or something.

Back to reality. We still had at least 45 miles to go so....keep on spinning.

There were a lot of people on the road before but now the numbers were smaller. There were some that we seemed to keep passing. There was one female rider that we passed several times. I was perfectly happy to draft her all day long. As we passed her (again) I told her we really weren't stalking her. (maybe just a little)

In the beginning of the ride our pace had been hovering in the 22-25 mph range depending on how big the paceline was. Our average slipped a bit on the second half due to dropping and waiting for Travis and Gabe and general fatigue (mostly Craig).

We got the Yulee rest stop again (with out Travis). Kent gave us a look for leaving him behind. We took care of business and got out of there. The end was getting near and we were all ready to get'r'done.

We ended up dropping Gabe somewhere along the last 15 miles. He needed to do his own thing so off we went (Al, Craig, Rob, and me). Al said "lets get this thing done". I was all for that. Al can ride some serious long distances and at a good clip too. He was tired of poking along.

I was like a horse that can smell the barn. When it was my turn at the front I got reigned in by Craig a couple times because I was riding him off my wheel. I slowed down some but not as much as he probably wanted.

106.5 miles and we pulled into the parking lot. It was a good ride. I am sure that if Craig had not been along I would have ended up with fried legs trying to keep up with Al.

I felt great. Nothing really hurt. I felt strong like I could have kept riding.

While we were sitting there, Gabe and Travis both came in under there own power. All was good.

What would you do differently?:

Post race
Warm down:

Went home and made lasagne, started some laundry, and took a dip in the pool.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

It wasn't a race. I could have gone faster but my goal was to get in a long ride with some friends.

Last updated: 2008-04-20 12:00 AM
05:12:01 | 106.5 miles | 20.48 mile/hr
Age Group: 0/
Overall: 0/
Performance: Good
AVG HR 144 Max HR 171 AVG Cadence 90 rpm Max speed 30.1 mph calories burned 7397 total climbing 3844 ft. (no real hills just overpasses and stuff like that)
Wind: Some
Course: All over the northside of Jacksonville.
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence: 90
Turns: Good Cornering: Good
Gear changes: Good Hills: Good
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 4
Physical exertion [1-5] 4
Good race? Yes
Course challenge Too easy
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Good
Race evaluation [1-5] 4

2008-04-28 2:23 PM

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Orange Park Florida
Subject: Tour De Forts

2008-05-01 10:56 AM
in reply to: #1367152

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Extreme Veteran
Subject: RE: Tour De Forts

Glad everyone made it OK!  I think that was probably Travis' first century also, right?  Just another day in the park for you. 

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