Tuesday, August 19, 2014

100 mile ride

Blazing Saddles 100 mile

I started back riding the ElliptiGo earlier this summer when I was sidelined with an ankle/foot injury.  Last fall on the Go I focused on riding as many of the paved summits that I could.  This summer I tried to find some interesting locations to ride and also started thinking about longer distance rides.  I did a couple of 50km (31 mile) rides on the Go and in July I rode 100km (62m) up and over the Kancamagus pass and back.  That got me thinking I could do 100 miles (especially if it didn’t have any big climbs).  Most of the 100’s that I could find included a lot of dirt road, which is fine on a bike but not pleasant on the Go.  I found a very inexpensive ride close to home in Rowley MA, put on by the North Shore Cyclists.  The week before I hit the Windham rail trail and rode for 50 miles, as a test for how I’d feel.  The fifty went well, but 100 on the road might be a totally different animal.

I felt a bit out of place as I was the only person riding an ElliptiGo but I would have felt out of place anyway since I’d never done anything like this before.  Since it wasn’t a race people just got in there groups and started off just after 8am.  Conditions were just great with temperatures in the 60s going up to the upper 70s and very low humidity.  My plan was to aim for 14 mph, but I had it in my head that any time it felt like an “effort” I’d back off.  In the early miles I had packs ride by me and every once in a while I’d pass someone.  After about 5 miles I figured I’d be riding alone so I put on my Shuffle and for the next 6+ hours I listened to Carbonleaf.  I only had one bad patch where I felt tired and worried about the distance left and that was around 52-53 miles, after that I felt pretty good and even picked the pace up.  For the most part the miles just rolled by!

My splits for each 10 miles were:

Preparing my gear for the ride


Highlights along the way:

10 miles – crossed Rocks Village bridge (Merrimack River) then 5 miles along the River

17 miles – Saw MJ running at Millvale reservation in Haverhill, not sure if she recognized me when I hollered “MJ!”

21 miles – Crossed into NH (Plaistow then Newton)

27 miles – The first aid station of the day, got a lot of strange looks as I rode in on the Go

50km – Nice view from the top of Bear Hill and a fast descent back into Massachusetts

35-40 miles – Scenic stretch along the Merrimack River

41-42 miles – Ride through Maudslay State Park

44 miles – Nice view along the Artichoke Reservoir

46-49 miles – Passed through the Martin Burns Wildlife management area

50 miles – Big rest stop, lots of people hanging out here

52-53 – Probably the most tired and lonely stretch, windy and exposed along the flats of the Little River

100km – Tied my longest distance ride while on Route 133 in Rowley

70 miles – Saw small groups of 100 mile riders coming out of the final rest stop (10 miles ahead of me)

70-75 – Great stretch of road where I felt like I was moving really well, scenic part as well with Willowdale, Appleton Farms, and Bradley Palmer state park

78 miles – Final rest stop, just a quick break to fill up my water-bottle and get rolling

81-85 miles – The only time I was with anyone, went a little bit harder to stay with a group of four guys.  The most fun I had during the day

92 miles – Beautiful narrow twisty road that was recently paved, rolling along through Cleveland Farm and Georgetown/Rowley State forest 

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