Sunday, September 13, 2009

101 mile ride around Cayuga Lake

Ride stats:
Time: 7:10:12
Distance: 100.79 miles
Avg Speed: 14.1 mph
Max Speed: 35.7 mph

Well, it's done now. I decided to go for the full 100 miles instead of just 85 since "it's only another 15 miles." I realized that I wanted to try to do a century, and that I would be okay if I couldn't complete it and needed to be picked up early. There were moments when I thought I wouldn't be able to finish and moments when I almost gave up. Here's the breakdown of what I remember:

Miles 1-30 Easy! Flew up the hill on Rt 34 without a problem. I did wish I had eaten breakfast but managed to make it to the first pit stop anyway.

Miles 30-50 Started to feel tired and couldn't believe I wasn't even half way done.

Miles 50-60 Got a second wind. Crossing through Montezuma was exhilarating because I knew that was at the top of the lake and the halfway point. I had driven through there before but it was amazing to bike to there all the way from Ithaca. I did take two ibuprofen at lunch because my knees were starting to feel a bit creaky at this point.

Miles 60-80 This is when I started to feel like I couldn't finish. My speed dropped down to 9-10 mph and I felt like I had no more energy to give. I was riding pit stop to pit stop, and decided to just see how much further I could push it.

Miles 80-100 I started to feel better as the end got closer. I've done dozens of 10-20 mile rides, so I tried to muster up the energy for just one more short ride. The last 10 miles felt great. I knew I had the stamina to finish, my speed picked up, and I coasted up the hill coming out of Taughannock without any problem.

Overall, the support for the ride was amazing. The organization that went into each of the pitstops in terms of location, staffing, and refreshments was so well thought out. There were motorcycles and cars following alongside us the entire time to pick up tired bikers, help fix flats, or just encourage us up the hills. There was a flag person at every intersection to help guide traffic-- I only had to unclip at one light the entire ride. People from the community came out to sit along the roadsides with signs of support or to wave from their front lawns. I'm glad that my first century was done with STAP with a wonderful group of volunteers. My next goal is to volunteer my time for an event like this.

And lastly I'm so grateful for the support of my friends and family. People donated their money, trained with me, listened to me talk about biking incessantly, came to meet me at the finish line (and gave me a speed course in changing a flat tire!), cheered on the victory ride, and celebrated with me at the end. You guys really powered me throughout this whole summer and to say I'm thankful is an understatement.

Here's an approximate map of route with pit stops at King Ferry Winery, Frontenac Park, Verdi Signs, Seneca Falls Community center (lunch), Thee Amish Market, Bellwether Hard Cider, and Cass Park along the way.

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