First try for a fast century
Summary: 103 miles of GREAT roads. About 10 miles of chipseal, but not really bad stuff. About 10 miles of chipseal, but the SHOULDER wasn’t chipsealed… Take note, Texas counties! Leave the shoulder alone, and the bikes will ride on it! I was also impressed with the smooth transition from the chipsealed surface to the shoulder. You should do this ride next year! There were probably 50 riders total… and at least 50 volunteers!
The 5 century riders split off the front within a few miles. 3 of us rode together for a while, and then we didn’t, and then we did again, and then I let them go off again, and then I passed one, and then we all finished in the span of 15 minutes.
In between, there was a lot of wind.
I also met a very sad little dog. Well… a big dog, actually. I was kind of worried he might think I was tasty. But when I was 100 feet from him, he looked nervously over his shoulder, exclaimed “Oh, crap! A bicycle!”, tucked his tail between his legs and hid under the nearby fence. Poor pup. Apparently taken 1 too many water bottles to the head.
My goal for the day was to finish 103 (or even 100) miles in under six hours. I didn’t account for 25 mph headwinds gusting to 40 and 25 mph crosswinds gusting to 45. I’m very pleased with my time of 6:25. I was 50 seconds over six hours on the bike, so just 25 minutes stopped.
My biggest scare of the ride was the foul taste of the water I refilled with at my second stop. I managed to get past that. My second biggest scare was taking a 50+ mph crosswind gust while descending a hill at 30+. I need to work on my upper body strength, as fighting the crosswinds just about ended my ride. If the crosswind stretch had gone another mile, I probably would have had to call it quits.
Next time, I need to be less stubborn. I would probably have been very pleased with myself if I’d finished at the 62 mile mark. At the time, I was dead set on the century, though. In hindsight, the winds picked up dramatically about 10 minutes after I turned south for the century loop and rapidly grew to the borderline dangerous level. Many thanks to the volunteers who kept a close eye on the brave (crazy?) century riders.
I enjoyed chatting for a while with Jim, a fireman from Bonham who apparently works at the station in Plano by my house. Small world, huh?
In the end, I got a great, long sleeve t-shirt and my lovely smiling face will grace the tishomingo.com website for a full year! What more could a crazy cyclist want??? I vote we take a big PBA contingent next year.