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Clarksville Sunrise Century Bike Tour - Cycle


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Clarksville, Tennessee
United States
90'sF / 0C
Sunny
Total Time = 4h 28m 30s
Overall Rank = NA/NA
Age Group =
Age Group Rank = 0/
Bike
  • 4h 28m 30s
  • 100 miles
  • 22.35 mile/hr
Comments:

The quick version: I hung for 66 miles at +26mph, then pretty much rode solo for 34 :-)

The longer version:
We started out the ride with around 30 guys (no ladies this year) and the group quickly organized into a rotating paceline. Everyone was working and my effort was pretty low. There was not a group sitting off the back while others worked (yet) as I had heard from previous years.

Around 10 miles, some guys were starting to get weak and began jumping into the "backwards" line when they were only halfway up the "forwards" line. This was annoying and caused us to needlessly close gaps and waste energy. There was some admonishment from the group but unfortunately these guys kept going with their plan.

Around 20 miles, a group began to form at the rear of the paceline as riders decided to sit out of the rotation. At the time I thought this was annoying, but mostly due to the fact that there wasn't a good way to know if the guy behind you was going to rotate or just sit back. If he sat back then all of a sudden you had a gap to close to get back into the forward moving line. In retrospect as long as they didn't confuse the rotation It was better to have them draft than try to work but never get to the front.

This went on for roughly the next 20 miles, and around 40ish miles there was a large group sitting on the back and a core group of probably 15 continuing to work. At this point my effort was still within my limits but the trend was worsening around having to close gaps.

Around 55 miles the working group was starting to crack and I was having to put out a lot of effort on a regular basis to close gaps. Guys were beginning to fall off the large group at the back but there were still around the same number working. Unfortunately the workers weren't all doing well and I started to get concerned about how often I was having to put in a hard effort to close gaps.

Somewhere around this point we dropped the entire group of guys that were sitting at the back. I just looked back after a rotation and they were gone. Nowhere in sight. This allowed the support truck to pull up and offer nutrition/hydration which answered one of my initial questions about the ride... for those looking to participate in the future, you will need to carry enough water to last until the draft pack falls off.

At this point things settled down a bit, but I started to get the feeling I had put in too many hard efforts for my fitness level. I'm a much better TT rider than road racer (i've only done one road race before) and i'm not used to the effort level varying so much. I sat back for a few rotations to recover and then tried to get back to work. Things went OK for a while but at mile 66 I got a sudden cramp in my left hamstring. I stood up and stretched it, then made a hard effort to latch back on. This caused the cramp to come back a little worse, so I stretched again. Another hard effort and another cramp... and so it goes. I watched the group ride away with probably 12 guys left.

The story of the next 34 miles is pretty boring so i'll make it quick. My hamstring cramp never went fully away, but I could usually manage it by standing and stretching, and keeping my effort low. Any harder effort and it came back right away. I had to stop 4 times to stretch when it locked up badly and wouldn't release while standing/coasting. The draft group from the elite peloton must have completely imploded as I only saw 3 guys come past in the final 34 miles. I tried to ride with 1 but lost him while cramping. Finished in 4:26. The sad part is I probably could have gone out and TT'd this course faster on my own but oh well... it was a fun experience.

I talked with one of the front group finishers afterwards and he said they finished with 6 riders in a time of 3:55. The day turned out to be pretty hot and fairly windy, which may have contributed to the slow time (relative to record pace.)

Overall it was a good experience and I will try to get back next year for another attempt. Other than improving fitness, next time I will pay more attention to my effort level and HR, and sit out of the rotation for a bit if need be. I think this approach will not only help me get further with the front group, but if done right it also allows people to stay fresh for longer and actually contribute to the paceline. The key to a fast time overall is to keep as many people in the front group as possible, and keep them working as much as they can without burning them up and dropping them.
Post race



Last updated: 2013-07-20 12:00 AM
Biking
04:28:30 | 100 miles | 22.35 mile/hr
Age Group: 0/
Overall: 0/NA
Performance:
Wind: Some
Course:
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence:
Turns: Cornering:
Gear changes: Hills:
Race pace: Drinks:
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall:
Mental exertion [1-5]
Physical exertion [1-5]
Good race?
Evaluation
Course challenge
Organized?
Events on-time?
Lots of volunteers?
Plenty of drinks?
Post race activities:
Race evaluation [1-5]

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2013-09-02 3:48 PM

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Subject: Clarksville Sunrise Century Bike Tour


2013-09-03 11:52 AM
in reply to: #4844884

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Ft Campbell, Kentucky
Subject: RE: Clarksville Sunrise Century Bike Tour
I usually race this every year. It is a great race put on with alot of good stops setup along the way. To bad I am in Afghanistan this time.

I never tried joining the fast group , always just ran it on my own.

Great job on your part!
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