Sunday, August 1, 2010

Midnight Century On The Brain - #1

It's pretty much all I'm thinking about, so pretty much all you get to hear about for the next week or so. All random-like, too. Lucky you.

Today I did a 60-ish mile loop from my house that picked up the back half of the route. I can barely type, let alone think. Guess it's a blessing that I couldn't make it out to do the whole course yesterday - probably would have died on the side of some stupid-ass dirt road. Damn, this is not your typical century. Pretty sure the only thing that's gonna get me through is game-day adrenaline.

This section is one of the prize features of this course. Who in the hell would ever think to ride a bike down there if someone didn't tell you to.

One of the things I wanted to find out today was if I could roll on 28mm wide tires. This is a typical part of that closed road section that I was wondering about. Went just fine.

I took a food break at the intersection of Valley Chapel and Spangle Creek. All Hallmarkey wonderous.

Until you look from the other direction. That's the (mother bitch) Spangle Creek climb in the background. What a royal joy.

Good a time as any to tell you all about my amazing hydration plan for this year: a) two regular 24 oz bottles in cages. b) dork basket on the back. c) two big bottles bungeed in the basket. d) each big bottle fills two little bottles, so 6 bottles total. e) there you have it.

I averaged 12.6 mph today. I know, pathetic. But actually I was hoping to go a bit slower. Thing is, I worked it out and if I ride at this pace, I'm gonna hit Spangle at about 5:20. That's 40 minutes before either the gas station or The Harvester open up. Either one would be a great place to crawl into, all dramatic, salty, crying, gross, begging for the mercy of small-town stangers. But not if you have to wait 40 minutes.

Cool picture of a busted tree on Cheney Spangle Rd. No bearing on anything.

This is the first place on the course you can actually get public water. It's just after you get on the Fish Lake Trail, which is only like 80 miles in, so not a problem. Just suck it up.

This is maybe the rockiest section I rode through and it wasn't all that bad, so I think I've pretty much made the decision to ride on 28's. 35's would be way more comf, but my whole focus is on actually finishing this damned nightmare of a ride at least one time before I die, and I need every little bit of help I can get.

Cafe Marron is toast. It's Italia Tratorria now and they don't wake up so early, so hard to say if/where there will be a breakfast gathering. Plus, I would get there after everyone had been sitting there for two hours and was ready to leave, so it would kinda suck.

So I'm sort of thinking, and this is all kidding aside, breakfast at The Harvester, then finish up the course and just head straight home. This wouldn't work for anyone remotely fast, but it might just work for me and any other stragglers. Greasy, country breakfast. Perfect fuel for the last leg.


Jason Gilman said...

First of all Pat, if you succeed in riding the course on 28's you are one seriously hard core dude. I normally ride 35's on my Trek, but I went up to 40 this summer to prepare for this route and for me they seem about perfect (and not significantly slower). Oddly enough, despite the big tires I'm riding as fast or slightly faster than before on that bike, but I think that's more of a function of all the training I've done on my road bike with the 28 tires.

That summer road portion of Dunn is pretty obscurely cool alright. When I rode the second half of the course a little over a week ago I got to that gate and debated with my iPhone map for a good 10 minutes before biting the bullet and confirming it was actually the way to go.

That Spangle Creek road climb is going to be kind of a killer final big climb after all the previous ones, but once you reach the top you're on the easy, relatively flat and daylight portion of the ride.

I skipped the no trespassing portion of the Fish Lake trail when I rode there last week (although I've ridden that section before). The roughest portion of the route I found was the washboard on Marshall Road between the Fish Lake Trail and Thorpe Rd.

I definitely have some questions about what the official finishing portion of the route actually is because the semi-official route map doesn't actually begin or end at the Elk and spends time in Peaceful Valley that doesn't make sense given the Browne's Addition start. My inclination would be to just take the FLT all the way to the new trail head and then take Sunset Blvd unless you're actually supposed to get in one last climb- the Riverside to the finish would make more sense.

Pat S said...

Jason, I think the perfect tire for the MC debate is akin to the perfect saddle debate. No right answer, each to his own. And each of us evolves or devolves. Last year I was convinced that 35mm Paselas were PERFECT. Now, I sing a different song.

One thing we can agree on, though, is how brutal that short (~1 mile) stretch of Marshall road is. I have three loose teeth and a bruised kidney.

As far as the start/finish, midnightcentury-dot-com is my master. I must ride into peaceful valley, even though it is totally stupid, when we are supposed to start/finish at the Elk. Remember, nobody is running this thing, so don't make the mistake of trying to make sense of it.

The climb up Riverside to BA is seriously bike-car unfriendly. I'm taking Main.

Very cool that you are going for it. Hope IR2 and that we can celebrate together on Sunday morning.

Jason Gilman said...

Thanks for the route clarification Pat. It occurred to me after reading the cue sheets from Tom that it wouldn't be that big of a deal to ride down to your start point from the Elk. I just didn't realize MC participants were doing that. The funny thing is that I ride by your start point all the the time so navigating to there from my house is more second nature than the Elk,