Sunday, September 16, 2007

Highlander Ride Report

Rest stop at mile 85.

Up at 4:15am for oatmeal and coffee. Got suited-up and out the door by 5:15am for the 1-hour-plus drive from Corning to Bristol. As in previous years, arrived at Bristol Ski Resort in the pre-dawn darkness, along with everyone else who was preparing for the 7:00am start of the 100 mile route.

Quickly checked in and picked up my ride number (#193). Then back to the car to put the bike together and get ready to go. Weather was going to be a factor this year more than in previous years with a forecasted high of only 52F, possible rain, and wind. I picked up some new bib-knickers from Brands the day before for a little more protection from the cold. I ended up wearing toe warmers, base layer, 5BBC jersey, windproof vest, and long-fingered gloves.

Post-ride, I was pretty happy with my clothing choice as we seemed to have every kind of weather during the ride (sun, clouds, wind, rain, wet roads, dry roads, etc.).

The ride was every bit as difficult as in the past two years, possibly even more due to the weather. I hit my first snag at mile 13 with a flat tire, but I located the offending sharp stone, replaced the tube, and reinflated with my CO2 cartridge and was rolling again in a few minutes. There was a photographer on Miller Hill again so I hope to be able to post that photo in a couple of days.

After climbing Miller Hill and grabbing a couple of Fig Newtons at a rest stop, I tackled the fastest downhill of the ride. Last year I topped out at 54 mph on this downhill but due to the wind and damp roads, I kept it at a more reasonable 48 mph this year.

The first "Monster" hill climb was Bopple, but since it comes up after only 27 or so miles, my legs were pretty fresh and I was able to struggle up to the top. A few people were there ringing cowbells and shouting encouragement. A few short miles later we hit "Monster" # 2, Gannett Hill, not as steep as Bopple but longer and without much recovery time from the last hill.

The next 40 miles are some very tough rollers then a nice cruise to Italy Hill Road. Another rest stop and a couple of miles to "Monster" #3, Sliter. Coming after 67 hilly miles, this was the hill I was most worried about. Luckily, I was able to drag myself up it.

Some more rollers, another downhill ride along the lake, and I met up with the family at a rest stop around mile 85. We chatted a little and I munched a Clif bar. Then off to the final "Monster", Griesa Hill road. This is a long climb but not as steep as the previous three, so I was able to get in my lowest gear and spin myself up.

Grinding up another hill, 19 miles to go!

Got rained on for the last 10 miles, mostly downhill, back to Bristol Mountain. I picked up my complimentary wine and headed back.

Legs don't feel too bad this morning but temperature here is only 40F and my warm clothes are still wet and dirty from yesterday. So, no ride this morning.

...Back home now. Its still nice out so I did a short recovery ride to Jones Beach and back!

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