June 19th, 2005


(no subject)

I finished the Flying Wheels Summer Century yesterday, a 2000 riders, 100 mile 'training' ride with 5 really nasty hills; my moving average was 16 MPH, flat speed 22MPH, top speed 43 MPH. Here's the elevation profile and route map:




The ride started with a 5 mile gentle downhill ride until we got to Inglewood Hill road, which just went skyward. That hill pretty much sorted out the riders into strength categories. I cranked up that hill along with a bunch of other riders, and then we enjoyed a brief fast downhill run only to have to climb the second steep hill. On the second downhill ride I hit 43MPH; my hybrid bike with road tires can go very fast, and since the bike has disk brakes, I can maintain control at those speeds, unlike the road bikes with their caliper brakes that overheat and lose their effectiveness on long runs. Stillwater Hill wasn't quite as bad since it flattened out considerably near the top. The rest of the 70 miles was also quite nice and flat so I cruise around 22MPH. Somewhere along that route, we ran into a rain shower which was quite refreshing with temps in the low 70s; it washed salt off my skin.


At the halfway point, we stopped in Monroe, where a city block was closed to traffic to become a haven for the riders. There were food stops every 16 or so miles along the route, but Monroe was the rest stop complete with huge food laden tables, music, and open restaurants. I wandered into Fiddler's Bluff Coffee Company and ordered up a cup of chai and a roasted turkey sandwich for a well derserved rest and meal.


Fueled for a goodly time, I joined a bunch of riders and we pedalled south toward Carnation (yes, as in milk). Another rain shower greeted us along the way, and, unfortunately, a couple of accidents. A truck driver did not like the idea of sharing the road so he plowed through a pace line and took out two bicyclists who had to be sent off to hospital for emergency treatment. This turned out to be a hit and run, so the sheriff had a few words for the trucker.


The last part of the ride was the hardest as we had a steep three mile hill to climb at Issaquah-Fall City road. It was awful; even in my lowest gear it was painful crawl upward. I passed many riders stopped on the roadside, and I had to stop once to rest my overheated body. I thought I hit the wall, but it was just a combination of top exertion, heat, and many miles behind me. I and others made it to the top and a little past that point we rode into our final food and rest stop. I poured water over my head to cool down and I watched other riders wobble in to the stop. With only 18 miles to go at least it was mostly downhill with the last 5 miles of a gentle incline. Sadly I got to see another accident; this time a rider was sideswiped by a car turning left to enter the main road form a side road. The bike was mangled and the rider was carted off to hospital with severe injuries. This almost happend to me a few hours earlier, though being acutely sensitive to this kind of problem I yelled out at the driver to break him out of his blindness trance. The rider who suffered injuries wasn't so lucky or prescient. In both cases, though the road has a clearly marked six foot wide bicyle lane, drivers are utterly blind to anything other than cars. A driver can wait at a side street waiting for traffic to clear but be totally blind to the lane next to him even though he is looking right in the direction on oncoming bicyclist because he will be focused solely on the car lane looking for car traffic.


Selene has the nice camera, so these photos are taken with my cameraphone. The little LG 6000 camera is only 300Kilopixels and besides, pictures of the rear end of bicyclists are not all that interesting anyway, well, there was this gorgeous woman... :-) 



In the Snoqualamie valley, water and pit stop.                At the finish line, refreshed after a massage.


I am resting today and the massage given by the New Seattle Message folks at the finish line helped undo the lactic acid soreness and spasmed muscles. One of the 'nice' features of endurance riding is the loss of fat; it is burned along with glycogen if the rider stays aerobic. Two days before the ride I loaded up with extra food to raise my weight from 184 to 188. On the ride day, I ate quite a lot of food along the way and I stayed well hydrated to avoid the dreaded bonk. My  ending weight was 182.