Monday, September 27, 2010

2010 Tour of the Hamptons

Did the Tour of the Hamptons century ride yesterday. Great weather and a large, fast peleton made for a good ride out on Long Island’s south fork. I had been off the bike for two weeks, trying to get my “running legs” back in time for the Wineglass Marathon. Before this weekend, I had run 9 out of the previous 10 days, and only skipped the one day because of a late night getting home from work. On the last run (Friday morning), I started getting some calf pain and felt a bit drained. With the century on Sunday, I did I nice group ride with the Brands crew on Saturday to get used to the bike again and give the legs a break from running.

I had plans to ride with the Early Birds group at ToH, as I do every year. This was the first century ride I had ever completed, back in 2003, and I’ve done it every year since. Had a quick breakfast at home and drove out to Southampton for the 7:30 AM start. It was great to see everyone there from both the Brands team and the ‘Birds. Our big group pulled out on time, I’m guessing we started with 40-50 riders.

We had our first flat at mile 5, but that was it for the day! A pretty good statistic considering the large group and the mileage. As we got warmed up the pace gradually ramped up from the high teens to the low/mid 20’s. And it stayed there, on the mostly flat roads out to the first rest stop. Everyone’s legs were still fresh with just 35 miles in, so the stop was a quick one and we soon departed for the second leg of the ride, out-and-back to Montauk point.

We made short work of the hills out to the lighthouse, the group staying mostly together. It got really exciting at the turnaround when we got the tailwind. Forty riders, single file, 36 MPH = AWESOME! At the second rest stop, we had 57 miles logged and took a little more time to give everyone a chance to refuel. Heading back west now, we got into some rolling hills for the next 15 miles. At this point, my recent lack of riding seemed to become apparent and I got dropped off the back around mile 70. I was on my own for 7 or 8 miles then hooked up two more riders who also dropped off the main group. We worked together for another few miles to the final rest stop at mile 84. We were pleasantly surprised to rejoin the big group there!

With 20 miles left, we resumed at a good pace. Hitting some more hills, I started to yo-yo off again along with 6 or 7 other riders. When the road flattened, I dug deep and went into time-trial mode and bridged back over about ¼ mile gap on my own. After that, there were no problems hanging with the group for the rest of the ride. So, 104 miles at a rather brisk 20.4 MPH average.

Turned out to be a great day for riding, and a welcome chance to reconnect with my EB friends. I think the Massapequa Bike club has finally perfected this route, eliminating the busy Noyack section that put us on a busy narrow road with lots of annoyed drivers.

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