Ride Notes Archives

Ohio Double Century

Here’s a bit of a brain dump about the Ohio Double Century this past Saturday. It was damn hot. OK, maybe a bit more information.

First off, kudos to the Frank for putting together a great event. It was very well organized. Other than one minor Subway change of plans that worked out just fine, I thought everything worked like clockwork. The route was fun, the routes markings were easy to follow and the food stops were well placed and well stocked.

The format of the ride was an outbound route from Plain City  to  Urbana, 2 loops out of town and back to the same stop, retracing the outbound route back to the start for 155 miles and then a 15 mile loop you rode 3 times.

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3-State 3-Mountain Challenge

After a year of waiting I can finally say that I finished the 3-State 3-Mountain Challenge in Chattanooga, TN. Last year, after driving down there, a few of us decided not to even start the ride based on the pouring rain and forecast of hail and dangerous lightening. So, this ride has been on the “I will finish this ride” list since then.

The ride advertises 3 tough climbs over 100 miles, with one climb in Tennessee, one in Alabama and one in Georgia.

The weather forecast wasn’t great, but it was at least tolerable. It was also very wrong. A group of 8 of us drove down on Friday, checked in, ate plenty of Italian food and awoke on Saturday to cloudy skies and dry roads.

At 8:00, 2500 riders gathered for a mass start.  That’s when the rain started.  It was a light drizzle as we left town, but it rained harder and harder as we approached the first climb – Suck Creek Mountain.  This climb is 5 miles long at 4-6% grade.  If it hadn’t been for  the pouring rain, I’m sure it would have been a beautiful climb.  But, it wasn’t too tough and I hooked up with 3 other riders as we made quick work of the 1st mountain.  The descent was a white-knuckle fear fest in the rain.  My hands cramped from being on the brakes so hard and I was still doing 28-30 mph.  I usually like flying down a mountain, but the bottom of this one could not come soon enough.  Read the rest of this entry

200K Brevet

Saturday was the Ohio Randonneurs 200K Brevet. 40 riders left the Motel 6 in Grove city for the 127 mile round trip ride to Tar Hollow State Park and back.

It was cold at 7:00. The forecast was for sunny skies and north-northwest winds. Sunny skies was a good thing. Wind from that direction on that route meant we’d be facing a headwind for much of the final third of the route.

As the group rolled out with a nice tailwind, the pace quickly picked up and we made great time in the flats. The smaller hills started before we got to the first control in Oakland and the crowd thinned out quickly as we started into the big hills in the middle of the route.

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Mt. Lemmon

I spent the first part of this week at a conference in Phoenix.  I brought my Ritchey BreakAway with me and added on a few vacation days to the trip.  Yesterday I did a 62 mile ride north of Scottsdale and never really got away from traffic, but I was riding in shorts and a short sleeve jersey, which was a pleasant change from Ohio.

Today I got up early and drove to Tucson to do the ride that was my primary reason for bringing the bike with me.  I rode to the top of Mt. Lemmon.  The ride started at the intersection of Tanque Verde and Catalina and finished 29 miles later in the town of Summerhaven at the top of the mountain.  The first 4-5 miles is relatively flat, but then the road kicks up for the next 2 miles.  It is a beautiful climb on a very smooth road.  There is a wide shoulder on much of the route.  I was expecting a tough climb and a great descent.

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Ohio 200K Brevet

This past Saturday I rode the 200K brevet from Alum Creek Dam to Loudonville and back.  I’ve had a good spring training season so I was looking forward to the ride.  I know that most of it would be flat and on roads I knew well.  We’d have 45 miles of hills between Mt. Vernon and Loudonville, but I didn’t expect any of them to be particularly difficult.

The ride started at 7:00 and, let me tell you, it was cold. I’ve heard various reports, but I know it was in the low twenties according to the thermometer in my car.  I knew the temperature was supposed to go up during the day and I didn’t want to be over dressed in the afternoon, but it was way too cold to take too many chances.  I did leave my heaviest gloves behind and went with 3 lighter layers on my hands.  My fingers were painfully cold for the first hour or so, but eventually it warmed up enough to be comfortable.

I started with Steve Gratz, Joe Giampapa, Dave Levy and Ned Williams and we picked up Kevin Swabb who had started late a ways up the road.  The pace was quick right out of the gate but we quickly got a group together and kept a steady pace into a medium headwind into Mt. Vernon.  After a quick stop to get our cards signed we headed out on the hilly part of the course.

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First century of the year, but . . .

I’m not worthy.  Yesterday a group of us went out for the first century ride of the year.  We rode the 2 Dog Leg route created years ago by Dave Buzzee.  We started with 10 riders and after a few took one of the cut-offs ended up with 6 people doing the 100 mile route.  The weather wasn’t quite as sunny as I had hoped and it was still in the 30s with some headwind after lunch, so it was a tiring day.  But, I can’t exactly feel great about finishing when Mike Perakis finished with us, but on his fixed gear bike.  At one point he said to me that if he finished the ride he would know that he never, ever has to try that again.  Apparently, once was  enough.

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