I know this is a running blog and I will get back to running right after my annual migration across New Jersey in the MS 150 City to Shore bike ride. Please forgive me this brief sojourn into another sport.
Today started at 3:30 AM for breakfast and a quick drive to the start line in the Woodcrest PATCO station in New Jersey. I arrived by 4:45 and was told that I couldn’t collect my ride packet until 5:30 as they had to train the volunteers. Boo. Oh well, I seized the opportunity to use the porta-potties while there were no lines. Result!
After a quick bike setup and pinning numbers on Jerseys, and a team photo, it was off to the corral for the 6:30 start. I managed to wheedle my way to the front and got out pretty quickly. I was in the 17+ mph group and fought my way through the ranks to get within sight of the front few. I’m not too familiar with the route so I didn’t want to be right at the front.
Then it was on with the game plan.
I managed to jump on a line that was doing 22 mph for a few miles but they turned off at the first rest stop. Fools. I carried on and soon managed to jump a line that was travelling around 26 mph. That’s more like it! I did a brief pull but I haven’t been doing bike training this year so I had to bail off quite quickly.
I pulled in at rest stop #2 for a pee break and got straight back on my bike. My avg speed was 19.5 by this time.
I then managed to jump another fast and consistent line that took me past rest stop #3 and onto the ‘century’ loop. This is an extra 22 miles that is optional to make your ride up to 100 miles.
The line I was on didn’t pull in but I did. They were too fast to ride with for the longer distance that I had in mind. At the rest stop on the century loop my avg speed was up to 21.9 mph. I then headed out on my own.
I skipped the repeat of rest stop #3 which the century loop feeds back into and then… Jumped on the century loop again. Stupid, I know, but I was feeling strong.
By the rest stop on the century loop (visit 2) I was at 20.9 avg speed having had to do some sections solo. It was at this point that I met up with some team mates who were there for the first time. I worked out my timing and realized I could not quite make another century before they close the loop, so I decided to ride the rest of the way with them. This was a relief as it was a more sedate pace.
Me and my Fellow Team Force Majeure riders.
We continued past rest stop #3 (again again) and then took the route towards the finish. We stopped at rest stop #4 and a quick stop at #5 too as it got really hot. 92F to be precise. Phew! I had started to feel it in my calves and thighs by this point.
The entry into Ocean City is over two large bridges that I like to race over. I cramped badly on the first one and was more careful on the second. I didn’t let my speed drop below 13 mph over them though.
Then it was plain sailing through the twisty streets of OCNJ to the finish line.
123.97 miles according to my bike. Average speed by the end had dropped to 18.8 but that’s okay for the distance. Totally knackered and legs shot. Now I have to prepare to do 75 back again tomorrow. Yeah.
For now I am nursing some mild sunburn and trying to recover. Peace and quiet.