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5BBC Montauk Century - CycleCentury

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Babylon - Montauk, New York
United States
73F / 23C
Total Time = 00m
Overall Rank = /
Age Group =
Age Group Rank = 0/
Pre-race routine:

Alarm went off at 3am and I took about a ½ hour to get ready and get out the door. Check-in was at 3:45, and I wanted to give myself plenty of time to find a taxi. My cab let me off on the wrong side of Madison Sq Garden, so I had to walk down a side street to get to the check in area. Saw a couple having sex against the side of a Duane Reade drugstore. Lovely.

Got checked in, put my bike on the truck, and found a seat on the train out to Babylon for the start.

Event warmup:

Filled up my bottled with Heed at the start, took a couple of granola bars, put my bag on the truck to Montauk and headed out at about 7am. I was determined to stay on top of my nutrition, so I had 5 gels taped to my top tube, two bottles of Heed, and a couple of granola bars in my pocket.
  • 5h 51m 33s
  • 106 miles
  • 18.09 mile/hr

I got into a fairly fast group off the start, and then decided to drop them when a couple of people started riding really unsafely in a frantic bid to suck the wheel of the leader. I rode most of the way alone, but started talking with a guy who turned out to also be from Brooklyn and we rode together to the first stop. I stopped, he didn’t. I took a minute to use the bathroom and re-fill my empty bottle, eat a pb& nutella, text my wife, and got back on the road.

The second leg of this ride is my least favorite. Nothing to look at, terrible roads, lots of traffic. There’s one section where there’s a narrow two-lane road and virtually no shoulder and what shoulder there is is covered with gravel and branches, and broken glass. I was about the 34-mile mark when my front tire blew out. I stopped and crossed the street to where I could sit and change it. I got the old tube out and the new tube on with no problem in about 5 minutes, but realized that one of my 2 Co2 cartridges was empty and the other one didn’t get the tire filled all the way, because I didn’t seat it properly. I went back across the road to beg for some air from passing riders. A couple of groups passed me before two older roadie guys stopped and let me use their inflator. I got back on the road after about 20 minutes. When I made it to the next rest stop, I bought two more cartridges from the mechanics, had another pb&n and got back on the road quickly. I wanted to be in Montauk by 1pm and I was behind schedule.

The third leg is my favorite. Beautiful scenery, nice roads, very little traffic etc. I started chatting with another guy who also turned out to be from Brooklyn. We rode for nearly the whole way together at a decent pace, although probably a little slower that I would have gone by myself. He was a good rider, but had never gone more than 50 miles before, and was starting to feel it about halfway through. There’s a long climb over a bridge, and after that, I had to make a concerted effort to let him catch up. I didn’t want to be a d!ck and drop him just for the sake of some artificial goal I’d set for myself. We rode into the third rest stop, I was feeling really good. I looked for him as I was leaving but I didn’t see him or his bike, so I set out for the 4th leg by myself.

The 4th leg of this ride kicked my butt last year. It was so cold and wet that I ended up forgetting to take in any calories on the bike, and my gels were too cold to get out of my flask. I ended up bonking at about the 90-mile point, just when it starts to get hilly and suffered up this one long climb up Montauk highway; I had absolutely nothing left at the end, and limped into the finish area feeling horrible. I was determined not to let that happen this time. I paced out my nutrition strategy and left myself with plenty of calories in the tank. I was riding with a guy who was a perfect partner for this section. He was a big guy, a strong, capable rider who held a great line and a steady pace, and we took turns pulling until we got to the hill. I decided to go in front for the first section, and I really felt great. I stayed in my aeorobars and spun up the hill as fast as I could. I looked at my computer and was holding 19mph up the hill (there was a tailwind, yes). I was determined to get up the hill on my own, so I pulled him all the way up, and maintained the 19mph pace all the way to the top, where he took over, after thanking me for the pull. After just a couple of more hills, we cruised into town and into the finishing area. Total was 106 miles and I arrived at 1:06, so I would have been well within my 1pm goal had it not been for the puncture.

Post race
Warm down:

I felt better after the ride than I’ve felt after any of the other times I’ve done it. I had about 2h to chill out after the ride before the train left, so I had some burgers and salad and ice cream and took a snooze on the grass.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Not get a flat tire, or at least do a better job of checking my equipment beforehand. OTOH, better this happens in a century vs a race where the clock is ticking. Also, I would have been faster if I hadn’t been talking to other riders, but where’s the fun in that?

Event comments:

This is a great event. It’s very well-run. If the weather cooperates, which it has for two out of the three times I’ve done it, it’s a really nice day. The only drawbacks are the early start (3:45am check in in NYC) and the fact that you spend almost as much time on the train as on your bike. The ride to the start line in Babylon is about an hour+ and the ride home from Montauk is close to 3h.
Also, it would be nice if there was a little more in the way of entertainment at the finish line. If you finish early, there's not really anything to do for 2 hours or so until the train leaves.

Last updated: 2010-04-05 12:00 AM
05:51:33 | 106 miles | 18.09 mile/hr
Age Group: 0/
Overall: 0/
Performance: Good
Wind: Tailwind
Course: A winding, mostly flat course from Babylon, NY to Montauk, NY
Road:  Dry Cadence:
Turns: Cornering:
Gear changes: Hills:
Race pace: Drinks:
Post race
Weight change: %
Mental exertion [1-5]
Physical exertion [1-5]
Good race?
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Below average
Race evaluation [1-5] 4

2010-05-17 8:31 PM

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Brooklyn, NY
Subject: 5BBC Montauk Century
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