Today would have been the first ever 6-person Century completion ever,
except only one of us actually rode the 100 miles, and it wasn't I.
Me, Roland Kays, Perry Woodin, Steve Relles, Adam Cohen, and Andrew
___, a 19-year old I'd not met before. Roland and I were on geared 29s,
but the others were on Cokers. We all arrived at Central Park North
except for Adam, who had parking issues following a flat tire that he
had to fix late in the game. He still managed to pull off 75 miles,
which is quite impressive. Steve also finished with Adam, while Perry
came in at an impressive 55; I'm not sure about Andrew).
The other 5 of us took off a few minutes earlier than the training
wheel crowd, but they quickly passed us when I took everyone 5 blocks
out of the way by accident (I possess a wonderful sense of
misdirection). Eventually we headed down a slightly different route
that allowed us a faster, smoother (and longer) ride towards the
Brooklyn Bridge. We stayed together until the first rest stop (at mile
14) after which Roland and I zipped off with the goal of 100 miles; the
others had to contend with choosing 55 or 75-mile options due to the
time constraints (12 hours max).
Going for the hundred
Roland and I had a great time. The route took us around all of
Brooklyn, which had a pretty flat route, and thence around Queens,
which never seemed to end. In fact, the break between rest stops is
surprisingly large at that point, going from mile 42 to 71 without any
peanut butter or bananas. We took our own breaks frequently, partly to
rest my groin or Roland's legs.
Pain and breaks
It was odd how each of us suffered differently, especially since I was
not expecting any troubles after having such a relatively pain-free
Lobster. But the breaks made a huge difference, and by mile 71, we'd
made great time and were looking at finishing by 5pm (that is, in 11
hours, total). This was not to be.
More pain: a massive UPD for me and wet pants
A few miles later, as we finally arrived in the Bronx, it was time for
me to upshift yet again. I was just ruminating over how many times I'd
successfully shifted up to that point -- 50? 100? -- when suddenly the
gear didn't catch and I fell over backwards like a bowling pin. Happily
I was wearing a helmet, wrist guards, and even a *** pack hydration
system. All of these were essential in my coming out of the fall with
nothing more than two tiny scratches on my elbows. But in falling, I
smashed my helmet on the ground. I wasn't dazed, but it was certainly
the hardest I've hit my head (out of three times total). The fall
didn't hurt my shoulders only because I didn't have time to move my
arms from my sides, which might have resulted in a worse fall. But as I
lay there realizing that I was ok, I wondered why my pants were wet: my
hydration pack had ruptured. Having checked that my body was unhurt, I
next checked my 2nd-most valuable possession at the time, but luckily
my iPhone was ok. Phew!
Gun shy and sore
At this point, I had ridden about 78 miles. There was still time to
complete the 100, but I was nervous that my head or neck might have
some latent injury and that I had no water for the remainder of the
ride, tho I could always buy liquid, so that wasn't a big issue. The
real issue, however, was my bum. I was really sore at this point, and I
worried that I'd only be making things worse if I rode for 3 more hours.
I decided to quit the ride a bit early and headed to the race's endpoint
while Roland rode on thru the hilly Bronx. He ended up finishing the
ride (about 105 miles) in just over 12 hours.
When I got to my mom's afterwards for a shower, I took a look at my
bottom. It looked like one of those cartoon Santa faces from the 1960s
with really red cheeks. The shower was painful and the drive home (80
miles, or just about the same distance it took me 10 hours to ride) was
a bit uncomfortable.
The good news
Well, I was happy that my ride didn't tire my legs or make any other
muscles sore and that I was able to ride nearly 85 miles after having
only ridden about 25 since the Lobster. It's too bad about my seat and
about that UPD, but it was still a great day.
Dictator for Life,
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