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Centurion Collingwood - CycleCentury

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Collingwood, Ontario
Centurion Cycling
6-20C / 0F
Total Time = 00m
Overall Rank = DNF/
Age Group = 45-50
Age Group Rank = 0/
Pre-race routine:

Woke up at 5:30 a.m. to have breakfast and get ready for the race. We were staying at a small Motel about 6 km from the start line, so I had to bike to the start area to let Sweetums sleep in. This wasn't an issue, it was an absolutely beautiful sunrise and clear morning. Felt ready and the ride to the site woke me up.
Event warmup:

Light stretching while I woke up, and 6 km ride to site at snails pace. Walking around trying to find the bag drop, which was POORLY organized. The only downfall of this years race... last year was well organized and staffed... this year NOTHING. This is the main reason I didn't line up where I should have been.
  • 00m
  • 160.93 kms
  • 0.00 km/hr

I have nothing to add really... the race/ride organization is a truly wonderful group of people looking to get other's interested in mass start events. They started out last year with just shy of 1000 riders for the entire weekend... this year they almost tripled that for the entire weekend. With this type of growth they definitely had growing pain issues.

#1- they didn't have the athlete concierge set up like last year. Last year you could drop your bike at a rack, do your registration, come back, prep the bike and yourself, and leave your bag checked-in (if you had one) in one easy location. This year that wasn't as evident or as well staffed. I spent 1/2 hour futzing around trying to get my bag checked in... and unfortunately that made me late to line up with my race group. I ended up lining up at the back end of the serious riders... and most likely was in the faster casual riders.

#2 -starting that many people without adequate spacing... the casual riders are not where you want to be if you're a serious rider. I did have one of my outfit with me at the start (he was late as well) and we started out together, but I dropped him on the first hill, because I saw an opportunity to catch up with our group. I didn't do it on purpose and didn't notice that I had lost him until the top of the first big climb (6 km uphill). I was then riding alone and making great time. Just before our first big descent, I got into a large group of riders... most of whom were unsure how to ride in a group. This was a very bad decision on my part... I should have just kept going to the front of the group and rode down the hill alone... this would have been better for me. As it was I had to dodge other cyclists and would have to yell out "passing LEFT" all the time... and still ended up on the wrong side of the yellow line too often... once to often as it ended up.

I had not drank enough to this point, we were already 1.5 hours in to the ride and I had barely touched my sports drink. I had also, not eaten anything... I should have been shovelling in the drink and food at this point to maintain an even pace/exertion level. As it turned out, wasn't too big an issue until they did my blood counts at the hospital.

Yes, you see that right, I ended up at the hospital. Some where in that descent, I got out of position and was forced too far to the left. The road made a steep and sharp right hand turn and I was on the left side of the road heading for the ditch. I attempted to brake, but most likely ended up locking it up going over the handle bars into the ditch face first. (I think all my high jump training in high school paid off as I took the fall on the side of the head/shoulder... a much broader area so didn't suffer too great an injury). Unfortunately, when you're a 6' 4" tall guy, weighing in at 220 lbs... with your bike coming down with you at 65+ km/h (~35 mph), coming to a complete stop on your head isn't a great thing. I suffered a Grade 2 concussion and have 4-5 vertebrae compressed. I was unconscious at the scene for at least 5-10 minutes and the ambulance didn't get me out of there for atleast 30 minutes. I do not remember ANYTHING from about 5 minutes before the crash until about an hour later. The first thing that I fully remember is my wife arriving at my bedside at the hospital. I have vague recollections of things before that, but it's all a jumble. That was the end of my day... 1.5 hours in and only 30 km... or something like that.
What would you do differently?:

Demand that my bag be checked promptly.
Line up with my group, even if it meant cutting in front of 100's of people.
Ride with similar style riders... fast descending and able to ride straight lines.
Post race
Warm down:

coming to a complete stop in a ditch and getting ambulance ride to hospital

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Crashing face first in to a ditch.

Event comments:

I'd rate this race and organization as the best...but I didn't get a chance to experience everything and really was looking forward to finishing this event faster then last year. I believe they've had some growing pains and hopefully next year with a little more experience they will get all these issues straightened out.

They need to allow better access for team members to hook up and ride together.

I can't complain about the medical staff, or comment about them, because I don't remember a single thing of getting treated at the side of the road. I am just relieved that they were there to take care of me. I know that there were a couple riders who did stop and stay with me until the ambulance arrived (have been in contact with one since). A couple of them stayed 30 minutes with me... which meant they did the remainder of the race alone. To those gentlemen, I send my DEEPEST gratitude and thanks. It's people like you that make humanity a wonderful thing.

Last updated: 2011-08-22 12:00 AM
00:00:00 | 160.93 kms | 0.00 km/hr
Age Group: 0/
Overall: 0/
Performance: Bad
Course: Hilly and scenic course from Collingwood to Creemore, back to Eugenia/Kimberly, up thru Ravenna and back to Collingwood. This is a great course, with over 6000' of climbing.
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence: 90+
Turns: Good Cornering: Bad
Gear changes: Good Hills: Good
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Not enough
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Bad
Mental exertion [1-5] 3
Physical exertion [1-5] 3
Good race?
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? No
Lots of volunteers? No
Plenty of drinks?
Post race activities:
Race evaluation [1-5] 4

2011-10-07 10:03 AM

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Subject: Centurion Collingwood
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