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Flat as a Pancake - CycleCentury

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New Baden, Illinois
United States
Hostelling International
80F / 27C
Total Time = 6h 30m
Overall Rank = /
Age Group =
Age Group Rank = 0/
Pre-race routine:

Got up very early and had a fresh PB&J sammich. I had most of gear ready to go the night before, so it was just a matter of getting up, dressed, and out the door by 5AM.
Event warmup:

No warm-up necessary for such an event!
  • 5h 31m
  • 101.3 miles
  • 18.36 mile/hr

I got started right away at 6:20AM. It was already about 10mins later than I hoped it would be, but I was still getting after very early in the grand scheme of things.
It took a few miles to get things up to speed, but once I did, I felt great and knew that I was going to have a great day. There wasn't a sole on road that I can recall. Even for the first 25 miles, I probably only saw 3 cars. Wildlife was plentiful on the roadsides. Bunnies and squirrels, and the ocassional chicken would have to dart out of my way at the last second. A light misty fog was still being burned off by the early morning sun on the corn fields. By all accounts, it was a beautiful day.
I went ahead and just passed the first rest stop because I had only been out about an hour, and I was doing fine on fuel. That, and I really didn't want anybody to catch me either. I know it's not a race, but it's also no fun to be passed. So I just kept cruising. I was over half way done with my first lap when my rear wheel sputtered. I was really making killer time and slicing though the fairly mild headwind with ease when I had to stop and fix it. I was quick about it, though, especially considering it's the first time I've had to use my CO2 device. I was back up and running in about 5 minutes or so, but not before a guy passed me. He opened up a mile gap on me that I would never close. I decided it wasn't worth it, and assumed he probably a much stronger cyclist than me.
The rest of the way into the lunch stop was still enjoyable, but I was nervous that I might flat again. Thankfully I was fine. At the Lions Club Hall in New Baden, I had lunch with all the volunteers since there were no other riders in yet. The guy who passed me apparently wasn't stopping! I only stopped briefly at lunch and was feeling great after stretching for a minute. At my first century, I was aching badly at this point. On this day, though, I was ready for more and anxious to get after it.
I refilled my bottles and pumped my rear tire again for good measure and headed out after my 20min break. The wind had gotten worse, I discovered. The first few miles back out of town were very tough, but eventually I was rewarded with an awesomely long stretch of tailwind and flat roads. I pushed 24mph with relative ease and let my HR settle back in to the 140's for a while. What a treat that was. with about 20 miles left, I saw my first cyclist because my loop was about to connect with the morning loop. It was really good to see some other people and have some "rabbits" to chase. I locked on and mowed down a few of them. A few people tried to catch my tire for a draft during a long stretch of headwind, but I was going SOLO. They couldn't hang. Finally, I reached the last rest stop at the 89 mile mark. My HR was getting pretty high, but I knew I was on the home stretch so it was acceptable. Also, no sign of cramps or aches, so I was excited about finishing hard. I stuffed 3 Fig Newtons in my mouth and hopped back on the bike to wrap it up.
That's where the suffering took place. Wow! The winds were intense and I was headed right into them for the most part. Sometimes it was a struggle to crank out 12-14mph. I just got as aero as possible, and hammered away at it.
Cruising back to the finish, I was informed by the volunteer that I had missed the turn-off for the lunch stop, and that it was back the other way. I said, "I'm hungry, but I already had one lunch. I think I'll stop now." She was pleasantly surprised that I was done, but one glance at my computer convinced her that indeed I was.
I grabbed a cold drink of water, stretched for a few minutes, loaded up my gear, got my picture taken, and headed home by about 12:45.
What would you do differently?:

Drink more during the 2nd half of the century. I was getting really thirsty towards the end.
Post race
What limited your ability to perform faster:

Flat tire.
Otherwise, I think I really maxed myself out again. I didn't catch a draft for so much as 1 second.

Event comments:

It's beautiful countryside out there, and I felt safe the entire time except for a few dogs that gave me chase for a bit. That's all part of the atmosphere, though, so I loved it! I recommend this ride for sure.

And I love that they keep track of timing for "bragging rights." I finally earned some!

Last updated: 2007-06-07 12:00 AM
05:31:00 | 101.3 miles | 18.36 mile/hr
Age Group: 0/
Overall: 0/
Performance: Good
Wind: Headwind with gusts
Course: One metric loop, and another concentric 35mi-ish loop after lunch.
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence:
Turns: Good Cornering: Good
Gear changes: Good Hills: Good
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Not enough
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 4
Physical exertion [1-5] 5
Good race? Yes
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? No
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities:
Race evaluation [1-5] 4

2007-06-07 2:03 PM

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St. Louis
Subject: Flat as a Pancake

2007-06-07 2:10 PM
in reply to: #834509

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Athens, Ga.
Subject: RE: Flat as a Pancake
Good job on the not race race! Sounds like you had a great time. I was kind of disappointed you didn't eat pancakes for breakfast or lunch or anything.
2007-06-07 4:28 PM
in reply to: #834509

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Phoenix, AZ
Subject: RE: Flat as a Pancake
Good race. and fixing a flat in five minutes. I never could have done it that fast, if at all. Be glad that you did start early, that afternoon wind was killer. I think its funny that you talk about the guy that passed you just being a good cyclist as if your not a good cyclist as well.
Awesome ride!
2007-06-08 10:09 PM
in reply to: #834509

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Springfield, MO
Subject: RE: Flat as a Pancake


Glad to see you had fun, and as always good RR.

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