Sunday, June 29, 2014

New Haven Century - Recap

The goal was the full 100 miles, I knew my butt was not properly trained for this distance so there might be a struggle, there might be some whining.  The stupid cold/plague/allergies are hanging in there so there might be some coughing and snot rockets.

As I packed up my stuff Saturday night for a early a.m. departure to New Haven, CT, Dave suggested a second tire.  100 miles is a lot of miles, you might need it.  I was hoping to not need either of the tubes.  He also said, "We really should get a good frame pump.  The ones we have suck."  Kinda late to do anything about that now wasn't it?

I left on time, mentally checking my list as I drove away.  I forgot my water and electrolytes bottle.  SOB.  Turned around to get home to find Dave calling me to let me know that I had forgotten these things.  Ah, thanks hon.  No snark, seriously I appreciated the call.   The century riders were asked to leave no later than 8 a.m.  I was going to be right up on top of that with this 30 minutes I just lost.  Oh well...  

The directions from Google were sketchy once I got close to The Devi's Gear Bike Shop, I had it surrounded all the 1 way streets were messing with me!! Eventually figuring out where I could park Ro's SUV.  OH yeah, Vinnie is back into Christine mode, not even a month later and we are back to this "SRS Airbag Failure" complete with the interior flashing lights and rapidly swiping windshield wipers.  Grrrr....  I think I may get a new car sooner than 2017, but we shall see...  

Got parked found some other riders we all chatted, they were doing the 100 too and the course was nice.  Oh ok, sounds good.  

Found the check in, noted that someone was being told that the streets in Milford, CT were not marked with paint, but with chalk.  This was not noted in the 'welcome to the ride note' other course marking issues were.  Hmmm...  Poked around for more information and where is the bathroom??!!

Off I went just a minute past the latest start time, had a difficult time getting a signal and then a last moment panic about the directions.  

Milford was a problem and I and others did get lost. What a cute little town!!  That got all straightened around after reading the turn by turn directions and eventually finding a heard of bikers (or are they a clouder or a pod?)  Couple bonus miles, no biggie.  

I was cruising along fairly well bummed that I wasn't riding with anyone, or even meeting up with people at the end, ultimately enjoying the beauty of this part of Connecticut (once I got out of Milford).  My next challenge was the arrow pointing left to an obvious bike path, sweet.  I pedaled along there for quite a while, 4 miles, and then began to wonder if I was going the right direction.  Of course I was not, and no one should be surprised by this, especially not me!

Got myself back on the right path, love my iPhone and Google maps!  This caused me to miss a rest stop, which I didn't think would be a problem.  Silly girl.

Landed at the 100 turn left 64 go through.  I hemmed and hawed and my butt voted, through.  Ok then.  The 'hills' were over it was just the next 50 or so (because of my scenic adventures) that I was concerned with and frankly I was tired.  I'd been at it for 4.5 hours and did I have another 4.5 in me?  Wasn't sure and didn't want to find out.

Missing that rest stop was noticed when I drank my last water and electrolyte drink, I was parched, gag.  Found a gas station and stopped, frantically checking on my bike to make sure no one stole it while I was waiting to pay for the water.  Oh sweet water...  Pulled out of there to notice someone flagging me down for a rest stop not 100 feet away!!!  She said I was yelling and waiving.  I said I was so thirsty.  I did stop and top off my water bottle and snack on a few PBJ finger sandwiches jibber jabbered with some bikers.  They too went straight instead of a left at the cut off.   15ish more miles till the end, sweet.

Made it about a mile and hit something, sounded like plastic, then sounded like a mini explosion as my tube went flat.  Oh yippie...  Got that all straightened around, pumped up the tire and checked everything and noticed the tube coming out of a hole in the side of the tire.  Hmmm... OH wait I read something to put a dollar bill in between the tube and the tire.  Feh, what the hell, took it all apart again and slid the dollar bill in there, pumped the tire back up again.

Neatness doesn't count!

The tube with the gash
The tire, after I got home.  Dave was pretty impressed by this!
After I fixed the tire, for the second time, a gang of motor-bikers came zooming by.  Wowza.  The first time I had pulled over into a gas station (my quest for water) which wasn't even open.  As I'm going to get back on the road.  Cop motorcyclists sirens and lights flashing and then what must have been a mile of bikers two by two.

The first time I saw them.
I waved, they waved, wonder what that was all about?
It was VERY loud!
They all appeared again just as I was finishing up fixing my flat.   Had I been on the road that would have scared the crap out of me and who knows what may have happened.  Things happen for a reason, right?  I was off the road and I think that was a good thing!

I stopped a couple times to put more air in the tire but I wasn't getting that sucker up to 110 psi, no way no how.  Riding tired on a low tire sucks, did my best to make the best of it and pedaled forward.  Eventually finding the finish, and then Ro's car which contained an icy diet coke, ahhh.

Ahhhh.... Nice to get out of the bike shoes, which really are well ventilated, especially when I went down hill I could feel the breeze on my toes, the clean clothes were nice; nothing was as nice as that icy diet coke.  

Beth, not a century rider, yet!!  

PS Gizzy did get a short walk, we had to cut it short to pick up a pizza for dinner.


  1. Beth, you are amazing! 5.5 hours on the bike?! Just curious: did you start on the 100M course, and switch to a shorter one en route, or did you switch before event start? Either way, 70M ride is very impressive, especially given all the adversity along the way. Dollar bill between the tube and tire - this fits into Grandma's "You should learn something new everyday", which I did today thanks to you. Great experience and recap. A century is in my future at some point (Mike B will probably reply back, you're turning 100 already?).

    1. Thanks! I started on the 100M course, fully intending to gut it out, I'm a glutton for punishment :) I reached the point where you could take the 64 mile course or stay on the 100 mile course and I opted to cut the ride short. This was a pretty good course, all the options (there were 4) had the same first 13 miles and the 30 then headed back to the start, then at the next rest stop (the one I missed on my joy ride) turned back for the 45 mile ride, then the 64 / 100 split was pretty much in the middle of no where with the directional arrows painted on the hard top.

    2. Glad I could pass on the dollar bill tip! It was a life saver for me, for sure. I can't remember where I read that and was very glad the knowledge managed to stay in my brain and I was able to apply it!! Just remember to not carry only a 20 because, if you have a tire blow out then your snacking money is stuck in your tube. So make sure you have a few singles in the wad o'cash safely tucked away.

  2. Funny, I never thought to bring a spare tube last year on any of my runs (or a dollar) it'll be an automatic, if I decide to dust off the bike...great work on the ride though, and thanks for the recap!

  3. Beth you amaze me! I am so proud of you! I am so clueless when it comes to the bike and I don't even know how to change a tire, tube, use a dollar bill, etc. I was planning on just calling Dave!

    No seriously, you did great and this too is on my bucket list. Maybe when you are ready to tackle it again, I will be ready to join you.

    1. Thank you!!! Oh you need to know how to change a tire. Dave made sure I did before I went on my first solo ride (the Tour de Lyme). Next time I try I should be ready too!!

  4. Nice work, that is one long ride!

    1. Thanks Seth yes, a very long ride. It does get easier though!