Monday, August 20, 2007

Sunny day... Keepin' the clouds away...

That may work for Sesame Street, but it wasn't quite the case for the Assenmacher 100. In the days leading up to the ride, I was treated to gradually worsening forecasts for Sunday. Because of this, I was on the bubble for this ride up until Sunday morning at 6:30am, when I pulled out of my driveway. The last forecast I saw called for an 80% chance of rain, and a look at the radar revealed the "big green blob o'fun" creeping into the area. However, the "green blob" appeared to be heading ESE, and that the bulk of it would pass to the south.

I arrived in Swartz Creek at about a quarter past 7, and saw a small group; a sharp contrast to last year's mass of riders. I did the registration thingy, and was rolling by about quarter to 8. The first 27 miles went rather uneventful: legs getting warmed up, a brisk east wind (this'll suck on the flipside of the ride), passing a few riders, and getting passed by a couple riders. I rode for about 15 miles with a guy on a Bianchi fixed gear, and we talked fixed gear bikes, riding fixed, and tours. As with last year, I skipped the first food stop, which was located 10 miles into the ride.

The 2nd food stop (and the first I stopped at) was in a neat little park in Durand, about 27 miles in. I ate a banana and a couple of good homemade cookies, rested for a few, and was back on my way. This is when the rain started; a light rain which lasted for a little over 45 minutes. A few miles later, I caught up to another rider who was doing the 100 miler, and he offered to trade pulls. We rode in this manner for about 15 miles, and I enjoyed the reduced effort. This was my first real experience with drafting for an extended period. It seemed to make no difference in effort when I was pulling, but when I was drafting I could really notice a benefit. After about 15 miles, he decided to drop back. I was finding that I was pulling ahead of him on the hills by a good margin. I guess riding singlespeed offroad has done well for my climbing. Also about this time the rain let up.

The next food stop was at Sleepy Hollow State Park, about 55 miles in. I talked with the staff, and found out that one other rider had been through (not a lot of customers for the century today). The rider I drafted with and another rider pulled in about this time.

Leaving the state park meant riding in an easterly direction, and into the wind. Thankfully there were some northbound and southbound jogs in the route to break things up, but there were a couple long stretches into a headwind. I would just move to the drops, grit my teeth, and bear it. This about summed up the 2nd half of the ride, with food stops in Owosso and Kerby respectively.

I rolled in to Assnemachers about 2:15. Time spent in the saddle was 5 hours 50 minutes, with 101.7 miles on the clock. As I was loading up, it started misting... the first rain that I saw since just before the state park. In all, the weather held out better than I had hoped, and I had a very nice ride.


Sara said...

6 hours and 100 miles - damn, you ARE insane! Way to go! (and better you than me!!!)

Mary said...

My legs hurt thinking about riding 100 miles!